Author Archives: Michael






Interviewing:  Holly Schmidt


Sitting together in my apartment.


Transcript begins:

Holly:  “I was about twelve, which means my sister was nine or ten. We thought it was kind of funny at first; the way the window opened itself.  A constant breeze came through that same window, and a scratching noise, even though there was no tree or bush outside to create such a noise. We both thought the other was pulling a prank, until we noticed more weird shit.

We loved Guitar Hero; so did Stanley. That’s what we named him. We would set our guitar controllers down with the game on pause and walk away. When we returned, a song of Stanley’s choice would be scrolling across the TV screen; he wasn’t very good: missed most notes, but occasionally scored petty points.

As we got a bit older we stopped believing Stanley was a real presence, but continued to reference and joke about him. In an eerie sort of way, he was an old friend. He must’ve realized he was missed and returned.

We heard a humming in the empty bedroom. How the hell is the air conditioner on? It was off, unplugged and behind a locked door.

Our dad looked to us but we knew…  STANLEY.”


Holly’s/Personal Analysis:

The house itself was ghostly: curtains, walls, carpet, tile, shutters- all white.  It was a blank slate because the family before us absolutely destroyed this house. We don’t know why, but it was fixed up before we moved in. The audacity of the ghost implies it was there long before we were.

I think my sister and I noticed him because he was all we really had. We were rather young and the divorce started right when we got this house. I may be taking the easy way out by “blaming the divorce” but it really makes sense. Madison and I both felt sort of estranged in the middle of a tense environment; Stanley became our escape. We never feared him; he was like a secret we had that kept us together as our family ripped apart. He kept our spirits young and playful when they so easily could’ve become cynical and corrupted by the destruction of our family.

Stanley was off the radar during the three years my sister and I lived apart, but came back once we were together again.

That house is no longer ours, but I hope whatever family inhabits it now, or in the future, will have the pleasure of meeting our ghost.

José the Alien Mexican Ghost




José the Alien Mexican Ghost

Interviewing:  Jacob Grodnik and Gill Williams


Jacob and Gill are in my apartment. Jacob is wearing a long, brunette wig.  Why?  I don’t know.


Transcript begins:

Jacob:  “Hey, uh, Gill…let’s tell this jabroni about José, the Alien Mexican Ghost”

Gill:  “Yeah, bro. He ain’t never heard nothin’ like this before.”

Me:  “Are you gangsters in this story?”

Jacob:  “Thug life. Listen up, kid. So it’s our friend’s birthday, and we decide to drive up to the Redwood forest and camp there.”

Gill:  “Originally we were going to sleep and then leave at 6, but it ended up being 4 a.m., so we just said screw it and started driving.”

Jacob:  “It was terrible, Gill was driving – swerving all over the place like a madman.  Took about 8 hours, but we got there.  By the time we got there and napped, it was like 5 p.m., and we decided to embark on our adventure.  Now we were joking around, having a wild time, the sun was setting through the trees, and all was well.  But it wasn’t fated to stay like that.  All of a sudden, as though he sprouted from a tree, a small Mexican man popped into the road.”

Gill:  “He couldn’t have been taller than 4’9”.  It was kind of amusing…until he started talking.”

Jacob:  “Oh…my…God…it was straight out of an acid trip.  Half of his words were in Spanish, half of them were in English, but all of it was completely incoherent.”

Gill:  “We really couldn’t understand a goddamn thing.  However, he seemed like a nice guy.  He seemed like he wanted to give us something…or tell us something.  Unfortunately, the latter was definitely not an option.  There was more saliva than actual words.”

Jacob:  “I think he told us that we were ‘his children’ and that we should ‘be careful when feeding the chickens’.  Then all of a sudden he was gone.  All of us looked at each other, and looked around, and he was nowhere to be found.”

Gill:  “Then…all of a sudden, this weird Swiss Alps trumpet music started playing from somewhere in the forest.  It kept getting louder and louder.  I think we all felt that this was what José was trying to show us.  So we followed the music, and found ourselves in this strange, off-the-path bar or inn place.  We all walked in and sat down at a table.”

Jacob:  “Yeah, so we order a round of brews, and then I hear this gibberish, high-pitched voice from over near the bar.  It’s goddamn José, raising a toast to us.  I turn to Gill to ask him who the Hell this guy is.”

Gill:  “Yeah, I feel Jacob tapping me on the shoulder and he points to the bar.  I look over, and there is no one unusual to be found.  Let alone a 4’9” Mexican alien ghost midget man.”

Jacob:  “I ask the bartender if he saw José, and the bartender doesn’t know him.  I described José, and the bartender DEFINITELY doesn’t know him.”

Gill:  “And so goes the story of José, the Mexican alien ghost.”


Jacob/Gill Analysis:

He was completely incoherent, but he definitely wanted to tell us something.  Somehow the music from the inn became audible right when he disappeared, so we know it has to be connected.  His appearance and disappearance were too sudden.  There was nowhere he could have been hiding; he must have just been utilizing his “invisible ghost form” before we saw him.


Personal Analysis:

The sudden, unexplained nature of José’s appearance suggests an ethereal, inhuman nature.  He had nothing on him and no reason to be in the forest.  And the signs they got from him seemed to be leading them to a certain location.  Maybe he was a lonely traveler in life and was accosted by a robber in the Redwood forest.  Perhaps the robber beat him very badly in the process, and José had suffered major brain trauma before succumbing to his injuries.  Thus, his ghostly spirit came back, embodying the state he had been in right before death.  His damaged, ghostly self would stay in the mortal realm and try to warn travelers away from dangerous paths.  He would forever try, despite his communication difficulties, to lead travelers instead to the safety of the inn he often frequented.