Residence: New Jersey
Date of Performance/Collection: 4-22-19
Primary Language: English
Main Piece: “There is a castle off Clifton road, called Cross Castle and it is notorious for being super weird and having some strange stuff happening over there. It is said to be the sight of many satanic rituals and also it is supposed to be super haunted. People went up there one time to investigate it and see if they could find anything crazy, and they were camping outside when they started to hear whispers and chanting coming… from inside the Castle. When the chanting started, one of the members started having a seizure and after a few more seconds the chanting stopped and so did the seizure. They left soon after that, but it is also known that people who entered the castle would have seizures, and only after they exited the castle would they stop.”
Background: KC said that Cross Castle was a staple of legends that he remembers hearing from his friends as a kid, especially the ones who wanted to see the remains of the Castle and see whether or not it was really haunted. KC also mentioned that in the 50’s there was a serious problem with teenagers and drug dealers hanging out in the castle and doing a bunch of things that were either illegal or unsafe. For that reason he tried to stay away from the area, but his friends were very persistent and would continuously ask him to go with them to visit the castle.
Context of the Performance: KC told me this story while we were in my apartment discussing some of our most memorable stories about haunted houses, or ghost stories from our areas that we grew up in. He knew this one very well, and was delighted to tell the story of how creepy Cross Castle was. He wanted me to understand just how much spooky stuff happened in and around the area from which he grew up and went to school and work.
Analysis: I find this story to be intensely creepy, and the meaning behind it seems to be very apparent given the circumstances of what the castle had become to the youth of the present. In Jersey, KC mentioned that there wasn’t always the greatest level of supervisor from parents, and so there were many kids that ended up getting themselves into trouble by doing dumb things. This story seems to scare people away from this specific location, and I would imagine that is mostly motivated by people’s desire to keep young adults and drug dealers away from the location. Seeing as how there was a growing problem at this location with drugs, it would be entirely reasonable to suspect that perhaps this story was meant to scare kids, teens, and adults away from this place. Also the seizures mentioned in the story, could even be linked to showing people the consequences of over using drugs, as again, KC mentioned that there was a serious problem with drugs being bought and used at this place.