Author Archives: Lewis O-Schneider

Ghost of the 600 wing

My informant told me about the legend of the ghost of the 600 wing from his high school.

These were a collection of stories or rumors that were spread in his high school. According to my informant, there weren’t ‘sightings’ of the ghost. Instead there were often events that were attributed to the ghost, such as the internet going out, or creaking noises being heard. These events were tied to the ghost because of other stories that were spread among the students. My informant wasn’t able to identify a clear source, but mentioned stories about a mysterious closet that contained corpses.

These stories all have the possibility of happening. The 600 wing is supposedly one of the older wings, leading to more warped floors which can be explanation for the creaking noises. The age of the wing can also explain the interruptions of the internet.

Ghost stories tend to originate in places that are spooky or eerie. These can include abandoned or old buildings, or places with religious significance. This high school wing checks both boxes. The environment allows the creation of these ghost stories.

The ghost stories are able to continue to exist because of multiple things. My theory is that teachers welcome them as the dissuade students from exploring too much. Although students may not truly believe in ghosts, there is always that “what if?” that stops students from going too far. On the student’s side, it is fun to have a ghost story tied to the school. It helps build a bond between the students and their school and can be something that they joke about.

Hand Lizard

This hand gesture is supposed to look like a snake or lizard. There are multiple variations, where the pinkies are used as a tongue vs used as a tail, but the main concept is that it looks like a reptile

My informant learned about it in elementary school. It was way to differentiate who was “in the know or who was not”, sort of as cool thing you could do with your hands. However, the hand gesture was not exclusive, in that if someone didn’t know how to do the gesture they would be taught.

I recognized this hand gesture as it was something I used to do in my childhood despite being us growing up 4 years apart and across the country. Much like my informant, for my childhood it was used as something cool you can do when you were bored and it wasn’t ever withheld from others.

Candle Riddle

“I am born tall but I die very short
My only purpose is inside the house
What am I?

A candle”

This is a riddle that my informant told me about. She first heard it from her uncle when he used it to make fun of his sister (Informant’s mother) because she was “too short to be as hot headed as she is”. Some variation of the riddle or punchline is used in the household whenever someone is being too hot headed.

When I first heard the riddle, I thought it would be somehow linked to the sphynx’s riddle about man. I do not think there is enough information in the riddle to actually get the answer, making this more of an inside joke. I think there is a hidden message behind the riddle, warning the recipient to not be too hot headed/emotional or else they will burn faster.

A saying from a library

Readers live a million lives in 1 lifetime

My informant learned this saying from an elderly coworker at a bookstore she worked at with the following advice of “You don’t need to worry about what you will do in your life if you’ve read books because you’ve already experienced all those lives”. My informant thought about the saying on the train and came to realize that to her, a significant part of her most memorable memories came from books.

This saying is important to my informant because it serves as a confidence booster. It reminds her to take pride in being a book worm and that some of the experience she gains from reading can be applicable to her current surroundings. There is some truth to the statement, in that reading about surviving in the woods may help you survive in the woods, but to remember everything that you’ve read is not something that most do.

Pinocchio Rebus

This is a rebus that consists of the image of a pin followed by an O, a key, and another O

My informant encountered this rebus at a school fair. It stuck with her because it was the one word puzzle, the type she loves, that she wasn’t able to solve. She found the answer by asking the person at the stall, which was Pinocchio.

The rebus in itself is pretty simple, all you need to do is say each part out loud and meld the words together into one. The difficulty comes from how simple it is. Most rebuses make you think about the positioning of the symbols, and the O’s can be misread as zeros.