Author Archives: Emilio Guerra

Tyler’s Grandpa- Dutch Immigrant- Family

“this story starts with my grandfather… he comes from a really wealthy family.. really high up in the dutch east indies trading company.. theres a boat in the dutch indies trading company that was like named after my grandfather.. owned shiton of art .. its now in the reiks museum .. but the war happened .. world war 2.. and it was a very shocking experience for my grandfather. it terrorized his family his mom died and his dad married someone else..everything about the Netherlands just traumatized my grandfather.. he doesn’t even like the Netherlands. he doesn’t even like dutch he considers himself american even though he was dutch all growing up. So He kinda came from a very posh back ground but he wanted to run away from it. So in order to do that… his dad was going to pay for medical school anything he wanted to do… he wanted to go to farming school. cause he wanted to become a farmer so he could  go to the states or canada whichever one would take him. And at the time the states was accepting way to many immigrants at some point they cut them off right when my grandfather was applying to come to the states so he ended up going to Canada. So my grandfather is going to go work on a farm in Canada. and um.. he gets there.. and hes got.. he dresses for the… he takes like a year of agriculture school which is not really like a learning agriculture university its just literally like how to be a farmer.. you know like probably no one from his socio-economic status has ever been like I want to learn how to be a farmer.. but thats what he wanted to do so he does that goes for one year and then gets sent to Canada.. He arrives to Canada and.. he dressing for the part. so he’s wearing like a flannel shirt and overalls which he assumes is dressing for the part he has no idea. you cant research that on the internet or whatever…. He gets to Canada he gets a bus or whatever to the station.. takes the train.. and then he is just waiting at the train it’s just him. his accordion. and his duffel bag full of just clothes…. He comes and gets picked up by mr . muir.. no mr. hillicker.. Perse Hiliker. Perse Hilliker comes and picks him up.. drives him back to the farm doesn’t say a word to him he’s just like “alright get in your the worker lets go”. They go back to the farm and then that’s where he meets my grandma for the first time. Love at first sight all this stuff.. And then um.. He works for him for a little while like two weeks, and then Persie says they are going to go hunting and they invite Ralph my grandfather. and so… my grandfather is very exited that he is invited.. he’s brand new working on this farm, and he has a thing for my grandmother and now the Dad is inviting him to go hunting. But my grandma comes from a family where there is like 9 kids, like 6 dudes and three girls or something.. but theres 6 dudes going on this hunting trip and all of them have clearly hunted before… My Grandpa grew up in like downtown Amsterdam in like a nice.. his dad was a doctor and all this shit.. you know he’s never been hunting .. he’s like been rowing .. but he’s never been outdoors out doors.. So he thinks he should really practice.. At this point working like 10 hours a day on a farm. he decides hes going to wake up really early like 430 or 5 am and practice shooting for a little while before work… he doesn’t want to embarrass himself when he goes on this trip. So he wakes up really early.. I don’t even know how they probably had alarm clocks back then. So he wakes up really early  he goes to the gun rack and pulls out one of the Guns and he goes out and brings in the tripod thing that they set up or whatever. And he goes out to a lake and theres a bunch of ducks and he’s going to shoot one of these ducks. …like my grandpa is like… he comes across as a war hardened guy but he’s a really soft guy when he comes down to it.. He’ll like cry in a movie and then when you confront him about it he’ll be like “i have no idea what your talking about” and um.. So he starts feeling bad, he’s about to shoot this duck but its more important to him that he makes a good impression on his dad because he’s trying to get this girl. So he lines up the gun and he’s going to hit the duck and he pulls the trigger and he hits the duck but not a headshot.. its hard to get a headshot its got a little… and the duck is flapping around going crazy all the other ducks fly away.. and this duck is clearly suffering. And so my grandfather grabs the gun and runs for the duck..not like to get his catch.. but like he doesn’t know what to do theres like a suffering animal.. he’s never been through this before.. so he grabs the gun holds it by the barrel and tries to hit the duck in the head..right when he does, the gun hits the ground, it fires and he shoots a bullet that goes in the bottom of his ass and out the top of his ass cheek. ………interruption………It started out with my grandpa wanting to make a good impression now he’s clearly not going to make a good impression he shot himself in the ass.. so he goes back to the truck .. grabs clothes rags everything and stuffs them in his pants to stop the bleeding… he gets back to Persies house.. goes in his room wraps it up as best as he can with whatever he has and never told anyone including my grandmother for like 25 years.


Collector: Who told you this story?

Informant: My grandfather under pressure?

Collector: Who knows the story?

Informant: The story can be told to you from anyone in my family

Collector: Do you think you will tell this story to your kids?

Informant: Yea for sure


I guess in analysis what i take from this story is how culture specific a story can get. We may all belong to certain cultures but within that culture there is subgroups and and so on, the family and the family stories represent a really small culture subgroup in my opinion and this story is proof. this story is shared by all of tyler’s cousins aunts and uncles and one day his kids and hopefully so on. I now share in this story and feel as if i know my friend a bit better.


A beautiful man- Family- New Mexico

I was headed home from friends house and decided to use the lyft application, not knowing what to talk about i asked the driver Charles “Carlos” Van Stuesen if he knew any folk lore, he asked and i explained and he told me a rather interesting, supposedly factual story his mother had told him she witnessed.

Informant: So this is a story that my mom told me.. um she was um.. silver city New Mexico and there was a prom that she was attending… and there was this beautiful guy that was there at the dance and um.. all the girls thought he was handsome all the guys thought he was handsome but no one knew.. of him.. they where just all googoogaaggaa over him good looking he looked and he had been there all night long and that um…finally at the end of the night though one of the girls actually noticed his feet and he didn’t have shoes on but they were like of goats hooves almost like devil you know.. and so of course the screams started yelling and other people started noticing …his feet and then everybody then evacuated… the prom and in the chaos the guy just like poof he disappeared .. he didn’t exit they went in and looked for him he was not there but everybody had seen him and seen that he had like hooves for feet not feet the description was that it was just like a goats foot. that was my moms story and she said it was so creepy even how gorgeous he looked.. even the straight guys just fell in love with him and the girls were just all over then one had to notice his feet and it was hooves

Collector: so your mom told you this

Informant: yes

Collector: of what decent is your mom

Informant: Mexican

Collector: how old was she

Informant: she now is 7f she was probably in 11th or 12

Collector: so in the 60s?

informant: before 64

Collector: do you think this could have been the devil?

Informant: when she tells it yes it totally seems like it was the devil  visiting for some reason  idk but yes it totally seems like this could have been the devil in disguise and his disguise was attracting people because of how good looking he made himself

Collector: is your family religious?

Informant: yes my mom is super Catholic

Collector: was this a catholic school per chance

Informant: no wow

Collector: was this a Catholic area

Informant: i mean most people in new Mexico then were catholic.


This story is bizarre, i’ve tried to try to explain it with science in my head but the only thing i could imagine is a hallucination or a dream that was told as if were real but the informant claims that an entire town saw this an so it kind of rules out those two. unless this was a practical joke i don’t understand this as anything but a belief that an entire class prom was visited by the devil or some supernatural creature with devilish characteristics.

Culturally, as my interview shows the people in this building primarily came from a catholic background and most of them if not all would have been familiar with this fear.

Ghost spirit in our house- Los Angeles

I was headed home from friends house and decided to use the lyft application, not knowing what to talk about i asked the driver Charles “Carlos” Van Stuesen if he knew any folk lore, he asked and i explained and he told me a rather interesting, supposedly factual story his mother had told him she witnessed, Afterwards he told me this:

Informant: Well there is a.. feels like a ghost sprirt in our house umm.. me and my roommates named him Prior Walter for like the Walters before him.. but.. just a funny name that we gave him .. but everybody that comes to our house.. kind of feels this..  that spends the night their question the next day is is there a ghost in the house cause they always feel something..but umm.. he’s not ever evil.. he seems like he is always at the entry way .. its a split level home so when you come in your either going to go up down or at that main level..and he seems like he is always at that main level.. like to me it seems like he’s waiting for family to come home but they are no longer there.. and he doesn’t know any better.. whats the weirdest thing is .. is when my dogs will walk around him they will go up do a U and go.. keep on walking they do not walk through him and thats the weirdest thing to see… um but.. like i said he’s never been evil or bad or anything.. just you feel a presence every now and then and like i said everyone who has stayed the night has always asked that the next day..

Collector: where do you live?

Informant: In montabello … i’ve kinda gooled but nothing comes up.. but we’ve always just said we have a ghost named Prior Walter.

Collector: Do the dogs look at the ghost as they walk around him.

Informant: umm yea actually all of them would look and walk around him except for one.. she would sometimes just sit at the bottom of the stairs and just stare at him.. she would just look at his direction when there was no one there to look at.


This story definitely raises some flags to me, i have personally asked the question of whether there was a ghost or not and people have responded.. everyone asks that. This consensus of “feeling” of a ghost might shed light on why we believe things. There could be multiple reasons why people are feeling this without it being a ghost but we begin to believe in the unbelievable, when multiple people are experiencing and witnessing an inexplicable phenomena the tipping factor of belief might be that it is a unanimous or majority consensus. Also for some reason Dogs always sense spirits as shown above as in the movies as well. Dogs have a great sense of smell maybe whatever is causing these sensations also gives off a smell which triggers the Dogs attention. Regardless the Dog’s attention is a contributing factor in the weighing of odds of whether or not there is a spirit, and as my informant has told us he believes that there is a Ghost because (1) he himself feels a presence (2) multiple people have felt a presence without foreknowledge of others’ feeling. and (3) because the Dogs don’t act as they usually do near where this presence is felt. These three pieces of folk-evidence might be sufficient to inspire belief in Ghosts.


Informant: If you lose your upper teeth you have to throw it.. bury on the ground.. in the ground.. and if you lose your lower teeth you have to throw it on the roof and this is because.. its a wish for growing your next teeth.. growing straight up.. that’s it.

Collector: did you do this as a kid?

Informant: Yes.


My friend Junsuke who was born and raised in Himeji Japan, told me this story one night that we had been drinking a tad. In comparison to many cultures i have noticed that there are many things that come with teeth. a ritual of sorts and a wish or treat. this may be universal or just widely spread because all humans lose their teeth as kids.

teeth- Venezuela

Informant My parents told me this story and I practiced it as a kid..So.. In the US the tooth Fairy is what picks up children’s teeth when they fall out… but.. in south american culture we change the tooth fairy for the “Mouse Perez” or  in Spanish its  the…”El Raton Perez”  and… the practice is the same … as the .. um … american.. where the child puts the tooth.. under the um.. pillow .. but it’s a mouse.. instead of a ferry.

I recorded this From my friends Girlfriend, Sara Segura, they both gave me an account of teeth customs, and i think together both accounts can be analyzed not as variants but similiar rituals. While this specific account can be analyzed as oichtype of the tooth fairy. She was raised in the United states but both of her Parents are immigrants from Venezuela.