Author Archives: Vanessa Acatitla

The Little Ghost Boy

Informant: My informant is a very good friend of mine. She and I met in my sophomore year of high school. She is currently an undergraduate at Cal State Dominguez Hills. The following transcript is a retelling of a ghost story that she heard from her mom and that has been passed down by the family due to the erie circumstances and she is now telling it to me. 

Context: My informant states that after hearing this story from her mom. At the age that she heard it she was terribly scared of it. However, now that she has grown up, she’s not that scared, but still has a strong belief in this story. In fact, she has stated that now rather than fear for this little ghost boy she feels empathy for it. She can not imagine how lonely or how much this child must have been through that they are not able to let themselves go. 

Story:  So, this is my mom’s ghost story. It was around the 1980’s. At this time my mom was living at Jalisco, Mexico. She was in her friend’s house and was in the kitchen. She looks over towards the restroom and the bedrooms and from a distance, she sees a small child. He was dressed in a small white suit and no older than 5 years old. She saw him walk from the restroom into one of the bedrooms, then he just disappeared. When my mom’s friend came back to the kitchen my mom asked about it. The friends said, “Oh yeah. This is normal. When I clean, I can always hear a little kid laughing. 

Analysis: Based on the details of the story, I’m awestruck as to how my informant is not scared of this ghost story but rather how she experiences empathy and some sort of pity for this ghost child. By seeing my friend’s reaction toward this story, one is able to see a glimpse of how younger generation are slowly becoming more intrigued and fascinated by these stories. Rather than ghost inflicting fear, Americans have now become succumbed to the idea of suspension vs. if we go back in time America used to be terribly afraid of anything out of the supernatural.

The Bull that Leads to Gold

Informant: The informant is a very good friend of mine. She and I met in my sophomore year of high school. She is currently an undergraduate at Cal State Dominguez Hills. The following transcript is a retelling of a ghost story that she heard from her mom and that has been passed down by the family. 

Context: This story took place in Jalisco, Mexico, around the late 1980s. It was an experience and encounter that the informant’s mom had. My informant states that this story is a little hard to believe yet based on how there is evidence of such occurrence, she has now been obligated to believe it. The informant states that the reason why she believes this ghost bull might have appeared in front of her mom was because children are innocent, and unselfish.

Story: This is another story from my mom that took place in Mexico when she was a kid. She was at home with her younger brother, just playing and her mom was out. They saw this full-sized bull that ran from one wall and ran to another wall straight through it and disappeared. The bull looked dark gray and a little bit of dark gray. A regular bull-like light reflects off of it. She and her brother were scared out of their minds, and they ran out of their house. They went looking for their mom and ran around the small town and told a few people about what they saw. No one believed them. Present-day today, that house has been torn down and the wall where the bull had appeared from years ago was found out to contain a lot of gold.” 

Analysis: I find this ghost bull, a little hard to believe myself. It might be because I haven’t seen this wall of gold which my informant says to exists or because the individuals who experienced this where children. However, I think it’s important to note that children do not lie. Well at least, in Mexican culture, children as taught to not lie. Therefore, when my informant stated that the townspeople did not believe her mom demonstrates just how much children are not relied upon. If whoever at that time had listened to the informant’s mom, then they could have gotten away with so much gold/riches. I think it is important to have faith and trust children a little more. Although, a child might have a crazy imagination, children do not make up stories to scare themselves.

Lady in the Alley

Informant: The informant is a very good friend of mine. She and I met in my sophomore year of high school. She is currently an undergraduate at Cal State Dominguez Hills. 

Context: The following transcript is a retelling of a ghost story that she heard from her aunt. Her aunt experienced this in early 1980s in Puebla, Mexico. My informant states that she believes it because this has not been the first time that her aunt has experiences something like this.

Story:This story was told by my aunt to me, and it was experienced by her in Jalisco, Mexico when she was very young. It occurred one day when she had stayed late with a friend out of school. By the time they left and were walking home, it was dark. She was walking with her friend, and they saw a woman walk into this dark alley. They were confused as to what this lady was going to do because it was a dead-end ally. Curious to see whether the woman might be lost, they approached the valley carefully, but to their surprise there was no one there!”

Analysis: Although, this encounter might seem like a huge misunderstanding, to my surprise I actually believe this ghost story. Although, Mexico is a beautiful place, it is also full of a lot of violence. Most of the violence is experienced by women. Therefore, when hearing this story, I believe it might be the spirit of a woman who is restless and looking for vengeance or peace. I think this is the reason why I believe in this. In today’s lore there are so many more legends that seem to be similar to what my informant’s aunt experienced all around the world.

To read another version of a woman in alley, which might be suspected to be restless ghost refer to the following: S.E Schlosser, 2007, “Spooky Canada: Tales of Hauntings, Strange Happenings, And Other Local Lore”, pp. 117

“El Que Come y Canta Luego Loco Se Levanta”

Informant: My informant is a current sophomore at the University of Southern California. Her parents are from Jalisco, Mexico. However, she grew up in Denver, Colorado. 

Main Piece: “El que come y canta luego loco se levanta”

Transliteration: “He who eats and sings later crazy he wakes up”

Translation: “He who eats and sing later gets up crazy” 

Context: My informant stated that this proverb was/is usually directed to her whenever she sings at the table during dinner or at breakfast. She stated the following “I think my dad was trying to calm me down because out of respect you know you don’t want anyone to be humming while you are eating. Another reason, which I can think of why he would quiet me down was just for cautionary because I could choke or something. As for where he got this proverb, I believe, he got it from his parents as well. Honestly, now that I think about it…him and I are very similar. I’m more than sure that he also hummed at the table when he was younger. “

Analysis: Although it is sweet that my informant’s dad might say this proverb to her as means to be careful. I interpreted it in another way. I think when this proverb was told to my informant’s dad, it might have been to silence children and make them behave by presenting sort of like a threat/excuse that they would choke. I for one also have parents that come from Mexico, but I never have heard this phrase from them, but the rule at the table for is to eat with very little chatter. It comes to no surprise that maybe this proverb was drive by the desire to quiet down children, because sometimes children can be extremely chatty.

I Like your Cut-G

Informant: The informant is my sibling, a Mexican American boy who is 14 years old and currently an 8th grader at a charter school in Los Angeles California. 

Context: The following transcript is a conversation between him and me and his explanation of why he got hit on his head that day at school. I will be referring to him as J in the following transcript of our conversation. 


Me: Can you explain what exactly was done to you today?

J: Today I got hit on the back of my head by one of my friends. He said he did it because I got a new haircut and he liked it. This is usually done to someone who gets a new haircut at school. What happens is that when someone has a new haircut they get hit in the back of the head. The person who hits the person with the new haircut, yells: “I like your Cut-G! I think it’s sort of like meaning that they like your new haircut, but instead of coming upfront and telling each other, we hit each other. Most of this is done with only the guys because the girls don’t hit each other, nor do they come up to us guys to hit us. There are also even videos on Youtube, and I think it even became a trend on TikTok reactions or something. Like even there are sounds for this.

Analysis: I really didn’t find this meme to be all that interesting, but upon analyzing it a bit more, I noticed that this meme stems from stereotyping of boys/men. Men/boys are always taught to never really reveal much of their feeling or talk too much because “that not what men do.” This meme demonstrates how instead of kids and male adults telling each other that they like their haircut, there is this “touch love idea” or more of bro code that is being made when they out of a sudden hit their heads. There is this idea that because it is tough that it is cool.