Author Archives: Lindsay Strongin

Lindsay Strongin-ghost story 2- Boy Scout Camp


This interview took place as follows:


Me: So you said you have camp ghost stories?


M.G.:  I have one.  So this campground is in Rancho Los Flores which is a desert.  It was a Boy Scout camp. I heard this story from the Boy Scout patrol leader of troupe 450.  Every time the boy scouts go camping there we always took the younger scouts on a snipe hunt.  A snipe is a bird that can’t fly but doesn’t exist in this part of the country… so it’s a goose hunt.


Me: Wait I thought it was a Snipe hunt.


M.G.:  Ha-ha…very funny.


Me: Okay sorry, back to business.  So basically, no one is ever going to actually catch a snipe on the hunt.  Go on.


M.G.:  So one night the troupes had taken 3 or 4 cubs out and three of the scouts went with them and they came back with two cub scouts and the other two were missing.  They searched all night to find them and couldn’t.  It was about 3am when one of the cub scouts came running back and had informed the older boys that the other scout was gone.  So they took the one Cub Scout and went out looking in the area where they had lost the Cub Scout.  They searched to find a trail of some kind and one of the boy scouts had found the neckerchief of one of the cub scouts and then they found other pieces of his uniform further down the trail…a hat… a compass…the compass was pointing south which was the opposite direction they’d come from so they had pretty much begun to give up and go back and then they began to hear this whimpering.  They followed the sound and as they got closer the whimpering turned into sobbing.  When they got to the source they looked down and found this little girl who was covering her face.  The boy scouts told the Cub Scout to go back and when they turned around he wasn’t there anymore so they turned back to the little girl asking questions and she just kept crying.  One knelt down to her and the sobbing turned into this creepy hysterical laughter and he said “what’s wrong?” and she said “I killed them” and they said “killed who?” and she responded “your friends.”  So all of a sudden they heard a loud scream from the two boys… and after that they were never heard from again.


Me: So what/who was this girl in the woods?


M.G.:  Whatever she was…she wasn’t good.  There was enough physical manifestation of her for these boys to think she was human…or alive in some way.  I think the point of the story was that while you’re looking for kids lost…you find another kid that’s lost…but this story is just purely to scare the kids and the snipe hunts are real and when you’re a kid and you hear these older boys talking about this stuff and the whole point is you’re never going to catch a snipe! They don’t exist on this part of the country!  It’s a ritual. They trick you consistently into thinking you’re going to catch one.  It’s a tradition.  The horror story is part of that.  The idea is that weird stuff happens at this specific camp ground. It’s just a scary story for the kids.


Me: Right, is this legend or story supposed to be true, or is it supposed to be fun fiction in the woods?


M.G:  This is supposedly a true story.  It’s told only to scare the kids but not enough so they never want to come back, it’s for fun.  We had an experience where we went out snipe hunting with the older boys and we all split up and you don’t travel far from the group and we all came back but the boy scout that had told us the story…well they came back him and his cub scout said “oh when we were out there I saw a girl out in the field and she kind of just disappeared”  and we thought oh maybe he had told the kid to say this but we weren’t that far from each other so somebody would have heard him egg the kid on and the reaction the older boy scout had seemed pretty genuine.  He looked pretty shocked.  After that I sort of remember everybody kind of immediately going back to their tents not really wanting to stay outside.


Me:  So is this area known for being haunted?


M.G.:  I don’t think so…although that weird personal incident makes me think otherwise, but the story is only told by the boy scouts every year as a Boy Scout tradition.  I’m sure they’d tell it no matter where they went camping.  So whether or not the story is true or whether or not the girl is in the woods, the boys are going to tell the story to scare the kids no matter what just to keep the tradition alive, it’s part of the fun of being a boy scout.


Me:  Yeah I loved being a boy scout…


M.G.: Good one.


Me: Thanks.


As emphasized in various cultures and texts regarding ghost stories, this one seems to emphasize the importance of ghost stories as a cultural ritual.  There is a sense that we often tell ghost stories for the sole purpose of sustaining traditions in our culture and passing these rituals down through the generations.  I am not sure I necessarily believe the truth behind this story, considering the ambiguity of the ghost girl’s existence, even as a ghost (non-existence?), but I do know that this story holds importance and prominence in a sense that without it, the boy  scouts would be without a whole tradition. The telling of this story, and even the snipe hunt are both a bonding experience—the story probably provides a bonding between the scouts in fearfulness and nervous excitement while out on the camping trip with the other boy scouts which provides for an overall exciting retreat and a feeling of camaraderie as a team.  There is perhaps a sense with this story that they are strengthening the bond between the members, and initiating the young ones into the club allowing them to build their bond with the older members, bringing them all together.  In a way, this story is more about building relationships and life-long companions through upholding traditions, than it is about the ghost itself.

Lindsay Strongin-ghost story 1- New Hampshire


Interview takes place as follows:


Me: Tell me your ghost story


L.M.:  Okay. So this takes place in New Hampshire in an area where this place was converted from a Catholic school into apartments and the building used to be a dormitory in the catholic school.  So the rumor goes that during the last five years of the catholic girls’ school, before it got turned into an apartment, there were about 15-20 murders that took place.  Behind the dormitory they were getting buried behind the school area. But after these were turned into apartments there was a rumor about the dance hall that they had kept the same.  The rumor was that after a certain hour, you could hear the tapping across the dance floor as if people were dancing and you could hear a live orchestra as if there was a ball going on.  Apparently this would happen late at night or early in the morning between 12am and 2am. I don’t really know what would trigger it other than the idea that it always occurred late at night…it was almost the idea that if you were in there past a certain hour, you were disturbing them…


Me: them being?


L.M.: the spirits…


ME:  spirits?


L.M.: Yes because we couldn’t really see anything. I think the difference between a spirit and a ghost is that with a spirit you can’t see anything but with a ghost there would be some type of physical manifestation.


ME: Who did you hear this story from?


L.M.: I heard this from my friend whose dad lives in the apartment building.


ME: Do they still live there?


L.M. My friend doesn’t but his dad still does.


Me:  So is that the extent of the tale or is there more?


L.M.:  No, there’s never been anything truly scary happen.  It’s just spooky and the rumor is basically that if you stay past a certain hour, you’ll definitely hear them.


ME: I see.  So you said you had a personal experience in there?


L.M.: Yes.  So I was 17 years old going out to New Hampshire.  We were staying with my friend and they had converted the room next to the dance hall to a game room.  My friend had told me the ghost story the night before and we didn’t really think anything of it, but the next night we were in the game room.  The only division between the game room and the dance hall are two glass double doors so you can see right through them.  It was 12:30am and we were playing pool and we stopped because we heard this tapping and my friend went to the door to see if anybody was at the entrance and nobody was there.  Then 15 minutes later we heard the tapping again and this time it was a little louder, a little stronger…maybe more forceful, and we stopped to listen and it stopped again.  Then about ten minutes later we were listening to hip hop music, all of a sudden it sounded like there was a classical orchestra/ballroom orchestra playing music but nobody was there.  So we turned off the radio and the ballroom music continued.  Then we went into the dance hall and the music got louder as if we were in a ball.  We basically ran out of there.


ME: So you think the ballroom music and tapping were “spirits”?


L.M.: Yes and the reason why  was because when the tapping started we thought maybe it was somebody upstairs and we asked but there’s no room between the roof of the game room and the dance room, so basically it was in its own designated area and there was nothing above us.  Then when we went out onto the dance floor, you could still hear everything as if it was there, but it didn’t feel like there was a presence there…it was as if it was separated from this dimension, yet we could hear it.   This building is people’s homes, so it’s probably not that accessible in terms of visiting for ghost sightings but it is definitely a building that one would be able to find.


Me: What city in New Hampshire?


L.M.: Near Lake Winnepasaki


Me: Do you know how old the story goes back?


L.M.: It was a pretty well-known catholic girls’ finishing school before it was an apartment building.  The apartment building was the dormitory the girls used before it was refinished and fixed up a bit.   It was probably a finishing school around the late 80s.


ME: Alright.  Any other thoughts you’d like to add?  Interpretations?


L.M.:  No, I mean it was a spooky experience that I don’t really understand.  The legend proved itself to me that night though, what was supposed to happen pretty much happened and we weren’t going to stick around to see what might happen next.


Similarly to the way others avoid admittance of belief in ghosts, L.M. did not want to fully conceptualize the existence of ghosts in her story.  She had not seen anything, and as you can see, she attributed that to the idea that ghosts can be seen as opposed to spirits which can simply be heard according to her personal theory.  Therefore she did not fully want to admit to having had an encounter with “ghosts” per say, but she did respond with this tale when I had initially asked about “ghost stories.”  Personally, I’ve never been one to distinguish specific differences between ghosts, spirits, phantoms, or whatever else people might refer to these “things” as.  In my opinion, if you have an encounter with the paranormal, it’s the paranormal—there’s not much of a difference.  I tend to think of all of these manifestations as ghosts and/or spirits, with plenty of overlap and equality between the two terms.  It sounds as though the occurrence of the ballroom music and the tap dancing are unexplainable, and I believe in these experiences; I believe in ghosts.  It theoretically could be explained by means of psychological illusions, other sounds that were mistaken for tapping or music, or tapping and music coming from somewhere else, but considering the ghost story that accompanies the dance hall, and the fact that her personal story matched it, I feel that there is definitely the possibility that this story is one of ghosts haunting the remains of an old catholic school and that’s all there is to it.