Cutting Nails at Night

Background: Stella is a 55-year-old woman living in Cerritos, CA. She was born in Seoul and has lived in South Korea for the majority of her life until she moved here for college. She stays at home. Before that, she worked at a hair salon as a beautician. She is married and has two grown children.

Original script: “You must never cut your nails at night because if you do, spirits will come after you and your life will be shorter.”

Background Information about the Piece by the informant: Her mother told her about this old Japanese superstition when she was younger. Apparently people thought nails contained a part of your soul, so by cutting it at night you were releasing parts of your soul into the darkness where spirits rest.

Thoughts about the piece: I found this superstition to be very scary when I was younger. Surprisingly, I still do not cut my nails at night because this superstition scared me so thoroughly. It has stuck with me through the years and now I avoid cutting my nails in darkness.