Dangerous Albinos on Hicks Rd, in Saratoga, CA

There’s one time in high school, there’s this huge myth. There’s this hill called Hicks road, Saratoga, there’s lots of hills and houses. Apparently there’s this albino community that lives there, and if you go on their property they’ll shoot you and you’ll never be found again. So a lot of people like to go on this road that has no street lights for 30 miles, and you can’t see anything in the middle of the night, and that’s where the albinos are with their shotguns. It was like a cool thing if you survived, but everyone survived. I think it came from some man who actually got shot by an albino, and they say it happens to a lot of people, but I think it’s just stupid kids going on their property. But the albinos hate the outsiders, it’s a whole community of albinos, so they say. We’d go cuz you didn’t know if you were gonna get shot. Like curious, mysterious things, because they’re intriguing, even if you know you’re not going to get shot. But it’s like what if you see somebody, an albino with a gun. Then it’s like, ‘it’s true!’ You’d go to say you did it. It’s fun, exciting.

My informant enjoyed this particular piece of folklore because for her, it played on the ‘what if’ factor of the legend: you never really knew one way or another whether there were dangerous albinos around unless you went there and experienced it yourself. She also enjoyed the dangerous aspect of the possibility of facing death at the hands of a scary creature because she found it exciting, even if everybody always made it out okay.

This piece of folklore is a good example of a Legend quest, in which one faces their fears by going down a dark road and encountering dangerous murderers to prove one’s courage and to test the truth behind the legend. This story also feeds into the ‘us vs. them’ mentality of the Others: albinos are societal outliers, and this is scary because it’s a group of marginalized oddities who hate and have it out for the ordinary inhabitants in the surrounding areas, and who will jump at the chance to harm the ‘normal’ people if they cross the property boundaries. The legend quest also involves a way of retaliating against authority: you have to drive down a long and scary road and maybe even sneak onto the bad guys’ property in an act of defiance that shows one’s courage in the face of danger and monsters.