This story, collected on November 11, 2013, comes from my roommate and is an account of his father’s encounter with the supernatural world in his early child hood. My roommate, Wei Dong, has lived in the United States for less than three months and thus speaks very poor English. When collecting the story, and in everyday conversation for that matter, it is clear that a lot of what Wei Dong wishes to communicate is lost in translation. Oftentimes I had difficulty understanding what he was trying to say and as a result the story does not read very smoothly.
Okay… so… The time is maybe forty years before and you know my father lives in the China countryside and there is a lot of the mountains and trees and forest things and one day it was… it was… My father was maybe six or seven years old and my father’s mother is my grandmother want my father to cut the trees. Do you know what I mean? To cut the trees? [Me: Cut them down?] Yeah cut them. Cut them down and fire them. [Me: Fire them?] [Wei dong makes some non-transcribable sound of agreement] [Me: What do you mean? Burn them?] Yeah burn them. Bring the trees to home and burn them. [Me: Okay] Alright. And that was a day is almost dark. The sky is almost dark and my father finished his work and he has a lot trees on his back. He just walk along the mountain’s road. It’s not a real road. Its just a road on the mountain. And he saw a light on his right or left… I forgot that. Its just a light. The light is jumping. Like this… jumping… yeah [He makes an up and down motion with his hand.] The light is jumping so my father is so… um… interesting about what’s that. He then follow that light and the light go just jump to the… um… that… that place… uh… that people died… the people in the countryside they always put the died people in that place. [Me: Oh, like a graveyard?] Oh yes, a graveyard. And he saw man in a [incomprehensible.] [Me: In a what?] In a [incomprehensible– sounds like shuttle] [Me: In a shuttle?] Yeah in a shuttle. [Me: What do you mean?] I mean my father can’t saw his face. But this man’s face to my father like I said but he can’t see. [What do you mean he is in a shuttle though?] Just a man stayed face to you… [Me: Yeah…] and my father can’t see his face. [Me: Oh shadow] Yeah [Me: Oh okay] And this man just sit. And my father said he feel this man is look at my father. My father is so scared and then… he go home. He run to home. That’s umm… [Me: That is a ghost story. That’s trippy.] That’s trippy? No its just… I think it’s a ghost story.
This story comes from my friend’s girlfriend, Cheyenne Kastlie. She is a small nineteen-year-old girl with dreadlocks who currently lives in San Diego. She told me this personal story regarding a haunted house she lived in while I was at my friend’s apartment on November 3, 2013.
The summer after fifth grade I got evicted from um like this place and then so me and my dad and her grandma went to live with her coworkers. And they lived in Sun City which is like when we were going up to Lancaster [referring to a trip I had taken with her and a couple other friends several weeks prior] its like past Temecula. So it’s out in the middle of nowhere. And then um… So the first couple of nights were fine and then one time like I was playing video games and me and my dad slept on the pull-out couch we turned into a bed and then in the backyard I heard someone walking cuz there’s like gravel instead of like dirt and then so I paused my game and I woke him up and I was like I think there’s someone in the backyard and then he sat up for a little bit and then out of nowhere we heard like a loud like a really loud bang on this fence and then so he ran out there so he was like ‘alright I’ll be right back’ and after like two minutes he came in and he was like ‘oh its fine lets go to sleep.’ So then I went to bed and then he went to work and the roommates weren’t there and then my grandma woke me up and she’s like ‘do you want to run some errands with me?’ And I was like no so I stayed there by myself and I heard a knock in the kitchen and I thought it was just the fridge popping open cuz you know it does that and then um so I ignored it and then it did it a couple more times and it did it on the table that was next to me. And I was like oh here we go because I’ve like been around that shit all my life so I knew. So just started like talking to it like [Me: The ghost?] Yeah I was just like hey like… I don’t know why and then um so I was like talking to it. And then um… like it didn’t say anything back obviously but and then out of nowhere I heard the toilet seat in the bathroom bang down and it kind of like freaked me out so I was like no. That had to be the neighbors. I was like no but it did it a few more times and it started like freaking me out a little bit and then the toilet flushed and I was like ah no that’s in this house. And so I just like stood still I was like uh… And it kept doing that like finely like after a couple more like flushes and banging down the seat I just went outside and waited for my grandma and she came and I told her what happened and she was like ‘no you’re just afraid.’ So, but my dad came home and I told him and he was like ‘oh I know’ and I was like how do you know? And he was like ‘well cuz last night when we heard that bang I went outside and something was like pushing me towards the door.’ [Me: Somebody was what?] Not… like something was pushing him towards the door [Me: oh] and he was like really sensitive to this stuff too. And I was like ah like and my grandma was like alright well cuz she slept in the spare bedroom and she was saying like she didn’t want to say anything to freak me out but like the speakers would turn on and off like for no reason and she would just try to ignore it. And then um we told the roommates and they tried to convince us it wasn’t haunted. And then um my dad he was diabetic and then he put this light thing on like a thing over the light in the bathroom and like tied… like screwed it to where it wouldn’t turn anymore and then like he was checking his insulin and it fell on him and like that close from his head and he just like yelled at it to go away. And then um like my grandma was afraid so she slept on the bed with us so it was like three of us on one bed and my dad didn’t care nut me and my grandma were freaked out. And then like one night he went to work cuz he worked at this um bakery but like um factory pretty much and then um so we were like laying there and we kept hearing stuff and then like I had my eyes closed but she said she saw this white thing go past and I was like no just close your eyes. So she like turned on the light and closed her eyes and she eventually fell asleep. And then like my dad’s arm would like lift up and then like… like it would just drop when I looked over. And then the last night we were there um like the mattress is like really flimsy on the pull-out couch and then so like the end of it was like lifting up and we were like kind of freaking out and then so we left and then like after we left the people who lived there… they’re like ‘yeah this place is haunted but we didn’t want to freak you out but like… like one of the first nights we were here…’ like cuz they were brothers and one of them was sleeping got picked up and thrown against the wall and so we said fuck that and we left and yeah that’s it.