Author Archives: kosich

The Haunted Hotel Cecil

Main Piece

The following is transcribed from a conversation between the informant, identified as BH, and myself, identified as GK.

BH: There is this hotel right by USC called “Hotel Cecil” that is supposedly haunted. There have supposedly been a ton of deaths in the hotel. The one that I can remember, is that there was a woman who was staying there, and she suddenly went missing for two weeks. No one knew where she had gone and the hotel said she never checked out. During this time many of the other hotel guests were complaining about an eery smell in the hallways. They also identified that the water coming out of the sinks and showers was brown. This lead to one of the hotel employees to check out the water tank, which is unreachable for hotel guests. Once they gained access, they found the women’s dead body. 

GK: Did they ever identify the killer

BH: Not that I know of. And it’s weird because the part of the hotel where the body was found is unreachable for guests and most employees.

GK: Have you ever stepped foot in the hotel?

BH: I have but very quickly. I just wanted to check it out while I was in the area. The first thing I noticed was that the lighting in the lobby was very dim. And the emptiness of the lobby was really creepy. I had to step out because I was pretty scared. Even when observing the hotel from the outside, you could detect the ominous presence to it. 

Background: The informant, who is a 24 year old USC graduate, likes this story because he was a film major and really enjoys a good mystery like the one he told me. He had originally heard this story from a friend of his while the two of them were eating dinner at a restaurant a block away from the hotel. He was so intrigued by it, that he read up on it right when he returned home. And eventually went to check the inside of the hotel out himself later on.

Context: The informant and I discussed this story on the way to dinner when we drove past the hotel. 

My Thoughts: This story told by the informant truly intrigued me because I love to hear creepy stories like that. I find it interesting that the hotel is still open today despite the fact that it has a haunted reputation. It also makes me wonder who would stay there. I feel as if some of the people who stay there want want to see if the legend is true. This speaks to a certain curiosity we all have as human beings as some of us want to get out of our comfort zone and possibly experience something that might frighten us. Just like the informant did when he stepped foot in the hotel. I also read an article on it, which talks about some of the other legends that are connected to the hotel. After reading it, a part of me wants to go and check it out myself!

Erickson, Steve. “Spending A Night at the Cecil Hotel, Where Serial Killers and Eerie Deaths Abound Los Angeles Magazine.” Los Angeles Magazine, 28 Oct. 2016, www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/spending-a-night-at-the-cecil-hotel-where-serial-killers-and-eerie-deaths-abound/.

Locking Eyes after saying “Cheers”

Main Piece:

The following is transcribed from a dialogue with the informant, CG.

CG: A superstition I know of is that you must lock eyes with someone when you are drinking a cocktail after saying cheers. Supposedly if you fail to do so, you will have terrible sex for a year. 

Background: The informant is currently a Sophomore at The University of Southern California, and was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She heard of this superstition from a friend of hers while she was at a bar in Paris, France. Ever since she heard it, she has believed in it, as she follows that rule every time she drinks and someone gives a toast. 

Context: The informant and I discussed this superstition over Face Time. 

My Thoughts: This is a fascinating superstition to me. I feel like it is less serious than the other ones because the penalty for not doing it is so ridiculous. I don’t think anyone actually fears this superstition and instead thinks it’s kind of funny. I believe it is used as a way to make toasts more lively within college culture. It also serves as a great way to laugh at someone who doesn’t know about the superstition and fails to to follow it. This is due to the threat being so unrealistic in my opinion.

Infant Looking at its Reflection

Main Piece

The following is transcribed from dialogue between myself, GK, and the informant, MB. 

MB: One superstition I know of and believe in is to never show a baby that is younger than 1 year old its reflection in the mirror. If you do, it supposedly brings bad luck to your kid. 

GK: Where did you hear this from?

MB: My mother told me.

Background: The informant is a 26 year old women who is currently raising a baby. She says she was told about this superstition from her mother recently, who followed the superstition as well while raising the informant. This piece of folklore is very important to the informant due to the fact that she is a mother and she will always want what’s best for her kid. 

Context: The informant and I discussed this superstition face to face

My Thoughts: In my opinion, this superstition is not true. I believe kids at that age cry when they see their reflections because they are not smart enough to know what’s going on yet. Plus babies just cry a lot in general. I also think this way because while looking online, I was not able to find anything on this superstition, which makes me wonder where it originally came from. It could be something that is just spread amongst her family. That’s what makes small forms of folklore like this interesting. They are so small, that you just wonder what event must’ve happened to spark it and thus engage its spread. The closest thing I could think of, is the “Bloody Mary” Myth, which originated in England. It makes me wonder if this lore maybe originated as its own version of Bloody Mary. It’s interesting to think of.

Solly, Meilan. “The Myth of ‘Bloody Mary’.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 12 Mar. 2020, www.smithsonianmag.com/history/myth-bloody-mary-180974221/.

Harry Poter Joke

Main Piece

The following is transcribed from a joke told to myself, GK, by the informant, CZ. 

CZ: How does Harry Potter get down a hill? 

GK: I don’t know. How?

CZ: J.K. Rolling

Background: The informant is a 20 year old, who is a huge Harry Potter fan. He claims to have found this joke online, and loves to tell it because “it’s such a stupid joke”. If you are not a Harry Potter fan, the joke is J.K. Rolling is the author of the series, and the joke is simply just playing off her last name. 

Context: The informant and I discussed this joke over Face Time. 

My Thoughts: For me, this joke would qualify as a “Dad Joke”. I say this because the joke is really short, and the only reason it brings out laughter is because it’s so unoriginal and unfunny. However, I feel like “Dad Jokes” are becoming more popular amongst the younger generation. I say this because over the past couple of years, they’ve become their own category of jokes, and have a certain style that differs them from other jokes. The style I am talking about is, how the recipient is usually laughing at the person who is telling the joke rather than the joke itself.  The dynamic of the “Dad Joke” is certainly interesting in that way.

The Secret Lemurian Society inside Mt. Shasta

Main Piece:

The following is transcribed from dialogue between myself and the informant, DH. 

DH: Up in Mount Shasta, there is a rumor that there is a Lemurian society living there. If you didn’t know, Lemuria is rumored to be a lost continent that was located in the Pacific Ocean a while back. Along with Atlantis, the continent was the most advanced in the world, and housed people who were supposedly 8 feet tall. This belief grew stronger as some people who have climbed Mount Shasta have claimed to come across the Lemurian people. For example, there was one guy who claimed to find an underground city inside the mountain, and got to meet some of the Lemurian people. Because of this strong belief, there have been some cults created and they claim that the Lemurians went to war with Atlantis, and were forced to build a secret society inside Mt. Shasta because their continent got destroyed.

Background: The informant is a 57 year old man who is really into outdoor activities. He in fact climbed Mt. Shasta when he was 25, and had heard about these stories from his father before the climb. However, he claims to have never came across any Lemurian people.

Context: The informant and I discussed this Legend face to face.  

My Thoughts: I personally do not believe in the secret societies up in Mount Shasta. I say this because there haven’t been too many witness accounts, and I feel like the people who claimed to see them only said so in order to profit off it. It is, however, a pretty interesting legend. There have been a couple of books written on the subject. One of them is titled, A Dweller on Two Planets, which talks about survivors from the sunken continent and how they are living in a series of complex tunnels beneath Mt. Shasta. Another one is titled, Lemuria: The Lost Continent of the Pacific, which talks about the battle with Atlantis and the road to Mt. Shasta. Despite the fact that I do not believe any of this to be true, I can’t help but feel the desire for it to be proven true. This is because having another culture of humans could lead our culture to more innovation and let us know what we are lacking in. It also makes me want to some day climb Mt. Shasta, and see if the rumors are true for myself.