Author Archives: Katherine Wechsler

Norwegian Mall Ghost

Christine Nielsen’s Story: as told on a Wednesday night, sitting across from each other at a table in the DG dining room around 7pm.

Background: Christine is from Oslo, Norway, and is currently a sophomore at USC. She is a Communications major, white, 19-20 years old. I met her through my sorority Delta Gamma.

Christine: I used to work at this place that’s like super, super old, built in the 16th century, and I was working a night and it was really, really, um, there was like no one there, at all. It was only like five minutes until closing, and I hear this like laughter, like some child laughing or something. And I was like, ‘oh that’s weird, there’s no one here’. I like asked a guard like, ‘oh, did you hear the laughter?’ And she was like, ‘yeah I always hear it, but like don’t know where it’s coming from’. And then, um, I was like, you know went home and came back the next day, and like the same thing happened. And I was talking to [?] and was like, ‘oh, did you hear the laughter again?’ ‘yeah, we hear it often, and there’s some laughter going on. Like it’s an old place, you know’. So we always like thought that it was a ghost. And I asked, like, one of my bosses and she, uh, is good friends with the owner of the place, and, which actually lives in an old castle, up in the hill (laughs). And then, uh, he apparently, like, told her there was like, a hundred years ago, there was a guy and like a little boy that got, like, murdered. So, he was like found in the river, and, and, he like goes like around, haunts the place. He’s like going around the mall, making fun like laughing, knocking over shelves. So like, I remember one time, I was like in the store, and he like suddenly like a shelf literally like fell down. And it was like me and one other customer in the store, and it just like fell down. And I was like, ‘okay, that’s weird’, and by that time I’d already heard the story so I was like, ‘hey, it’s the ghost, haha’. It’s really creepy and there’s like several other ghosts going there. So that’s one.

Reaction: Christine was very adamant about her belief in the ghost haunting this mall, since she had experienced it herself. She definitely was influenced by the people working in the mall with her, as she learned the story from them, and Christine had even interacted with the ghost while with a customer. I’m not sure how to react to this ghost. Although it took place in Norway, a mall is still a mall no matter where it is. I’ve never experienced something like this, so I’m not sure what to make of it.

Mariposa Elementary School Haunting

Cubby Sporrong’s Story: as told on a Tuesday afternoon, sitting on a ledge outside Montgomery Ross Fisher building around noon.

Background: Cubby is from Redlands, California. She is a freshman at USC, white, 18-19 year-old female. I met her through my sorority Delta Gamma, and we also have the same Linguistics class.

Cubby: Ok, so there’s supposedly a ghost, um, that haunts Mariposa Elementary School in Redlands, California. And the ghost’s name is supposed to be Billy, and he’s supposedly a thirteen-year-old boy who was hit by a bus riding his bike. Um, and I believe that was like 20 years ago, um, I’m not entirely sure. And anyway, um, people from all around the country come looking for Billy the ghost of Mariposa Elementary School. When I was in fifth grade, they, like, shattered all the security videos and stuff trying to find him because they think that Billy won’t be there if he knows he’s being watched by security cameras. Apparently that’s a myth. And, um, basically he’s supposedly been seen, like, haunting the hallways of Mariposa Elementary School and like playing tether ball but… So that’s, that’s that.

Reaction: Cubby was very skeptical of this story, despite the fact that she attended Mariposa Elementary School. She often used words like “supposedly”, as if she were trying to convince herself of its truth while she was telling me the story. I’m not entirely sure where she learned it, but it seems likely that she would have heard it from other kids in her school, maybe even teachers. I find it hard to believe in the story since Cubby is so suspicious of it, but the story itself seems somewhat plausible. Nonetheless, it also took place a while ago, so it may be inaccurate or simply legend now.

Devil’s Road, Pennsylvania

Kathy Liu’s Story: as told on a Sunday afternoon, sitting in the suite living room around 3pm- Kathy sat in the big blue chair, I sat on the couch, and Tanya listened from a chair at the table.

Background: Kathy is a USC freshman from Westchester, Pennsylvania. She is a Cinematic Arts major, 18 years old, and of Asian background but US born-and-raised. She is one of my suitemates this year. Tanya is another one of our suitemates.

Kathy: So I come from Southeastern Pennsylvania, and there’s this road, I forget what it’s called but, colloquially we call it “Devil’s Road” for this reason: so there’s a house in the middle of this, like, circular, windy path, and it used to be like a historic house- I forget if it like belonged to like the DuPont family or like something- some historic family, and there used to be like some really cultish activities going on and I think, I don’t know, but this is one of the things. But there’s something crazy about people in cement or something crazy like human sacrifices or something weird they did to people, and the entire road is kind of like enclosed in like shrubbery and everything. And the houses, no not the houses, the trees around the house actually grow away from the house- they all like grow in the direction away from the house (demonstrating with hands) which is a really creepy thing. And then at night, if you drive around the first time, a light will turn on in the house or something like that. And then a second time a black car with no headlights on will follow you, tailgate you. And then the third time that car will kind of like gently bump the back of your car a little bit, and really scary things- it’s got like no headlights or anything. And you’re not supposed to go a fourth time. Pause. Nobody knows what happens to you a fourth time. You’re not supposed to go. But yeah, that’s Devil’s Road in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Me: Did you know people who’ve tried driving?

Kathy: Kind of. Group, people, friends of friends of friends tried going. There’s like this one kid who goes around three times like often.

Tanya: Damn. Yeah, I kind of want to do it, even though I’d probably end up crying out of fear.

Kathy: If you visit me, (laughs), then we’ll go do it.

Me: Suitemates trip to visit Kathy.

Tanya: Lol. This ghost stuff just fascinates me.

Kathy: Cool.

After a bit of online research, we discovered that the DuPont family used the house to marry their cousins, so as to keep their wealth in the family. They would use the house to hide children from these marriages. However, it is difficult to visit the houses do to restrictions on the area due to popular interest in Devil’s Road and the Cult House.

Reaction: It was clear that Kathy believed in the legend, though she hadn’t tried to experience the myths of the house herself. She had heard the legends from her town and her friend had once attempted to complete the journey. I am not sure if I completely believe it. However, I have never been to southeastern Pennsylvania, and even if I were there, I would probably be much too scared to try it out for myself, certainly not alone!

Blackbeard on the Outer Banks

Leslie Pratt’s Story: as told on a Wednesday afternoon, sitting on the steps by the Student Union in the Campus Center around 1:30pm

Background: Leslie is from Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a freshman biology major at USC, a white, 18-19 year-old girl. I met her through my sorority Delta Gamma.

Leslie: So basically, uh, this story’s about Blackbeard’s legend. He’s, uh, known as like a really famous pirate, maybe the most famous pirate there was, and um, basically the story is that he was, like, killed, um, in a battle in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. That’s, like, where I grew up so I kind of know the story. And um, basically when he was killed in battle, he was beheaded, and then it says like, as the legend goes on, um, his head was like hung from the bowsprit, of like one of the ships, so in the front of the ship his head just kind of like, laid there, so it wouldn’t see it. And they threw his body into the water, and the like legend surrounding that is his body swam around the boat three times and, um, his head was never found. So, um (long pause), yeah and the rest of that, um, no one knows, like, who like kept Blackbeard’s head. And um, even like when I was in school the legend was like, it was like turned into a cup and no one knows like, who like has the cup with his head. So that’s just like, kind of like the story of it. Kind of like no one knows like what actually happened to him or if he was even, like, killed in battle. And when he apparently died he like swam around the boat three times for some reason and like, and like, no one can like find his treasure because it was apparently like buried somewhere in North Carolina but like no one can find it. So that’s like kind of the legend of Blackbeard

Me: Where’d you hear the story?

Leslie: Basically, honestly like just throughout school. Like we always like took trips to the Outer Banks and like to the beach, so like, and then like we would like, school trips to like museums and they would always be like, ‘oh, have you heard of Blackbeard?’ So it was really like, relevant in North Carolina, so it’s just like the common legend everyone knew of.

Me: That’s so cool! And do you believe it? Do you believe Blackbeard’s there?

Leslie: Um, (laughs), probably not honestly. Apparently, like, when he died, it took like, um, a lot of gun wounds to like, take him down. That’s why everyone thinks like, if he did swim around the boat three times, after he was beheaded, like, if anyone was to do it, it was him. So that’s why like, everyone kind of thinks that.

Reaction: Though Leslie says she probably doesn’t believe the legend, it seems as though part of her wants to believe it’s true, maybe even just so she has a cool story to share about her hometown. Blackbeard is a very well-known character, and while I have not heard this legend, parts of it, such as a lost treasure, coincide with traditional beliefs and motifs. Perhaps his ghost is protecting the treasure and keeping it hidden from those who executed him. I’m not sure what to make of this legend, but it does make me curious about the historical aspects of the story.