Um, ok so, here in Century Apartments, um, there was a woman, who um – now this was heresay, told to me by someone at a pool party, uh when we first moved in, and my roommate and I looked it up, and there’s, reported in the newspaper, more specific details confirming that this was true, there was a woman who lived in this apartment and did not know she was pregnant, um…
ME: Wait this apartment?
Not this apartment, but this apartment complex, and she did not know she was pregnant, and the legend goes that she gave birth in her shower, um, and the legend goes she didn’t know she was pregnant, but she gave birth, and uh, I keep saying “as the legend goes” but the story is she strangled the baby, or like suffocated it, and then tossed it down the trash chute, um, but, there, there was a baby found by a custodial worker in the bottom of the trash chute, um, and uh, she definitely get in legal trouble for this, um, and now we believe there’s a ghost in this apartment building somewhere, um, my neighbors did a pendulum thingy to uh … I believe the ghost is named Melvin with she/her pronouns, that’s what I recall, that was the name and … but there’s allegedly a ghost in the building and it’s allegedly the baby.
Background: I was, admittedly, one of the people who had contacted the ghost via pendulum, prior to being aware of the death of the baby in my apartment complex – we connected our prior belief that there was a spirit in our apartment to the new knowledge that an infant had died there. My informant had heard about these happenings secondhand, and this was his recollection.
Context: This piece was collected during an in-person conversation in my informant’s apartment, which is in the Century apartment complex.
My thoughts: This piece is an excellent example of a memorate. A group of people (of which I am one) noticed unexplained things happening, such as doors slamming, things not being where they were placed, and other such phenomena. This group initially fit this into a framework of belief in which ghosts are often the cause of these things, going so far as to engage in a pendulum ritual to try and communicate with it. Upon learning about the death of a child in the same location they already believed a ghost inhabited, they group fit that death and their ghost belief together.