East Fitzsimmon’s Road

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 20
Occupation: Student
Residence: Madison, WI
Date of Performance/Collection: April 27, 2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

MAIN PIECE

East Fitzsimmon’s Road

“When you want to be scared, you go down East Fitzsimmon’s Road.  It’s become sort of a right of passage for teens in Milwaukee to do.  It proves you’re no longer a baby to a lot of them.”

To walk down East Fitzsimmon’s road is a rite of passage many Milwaukee youths complete when they no longer want to be seen as a child.

BACKGROUND

DA, is from Madison, Wisconsin and has lived in the state all her life.  She knows this right of passage from doing it herself when she was a teen and said that it was definitely frightening and that there is a common belief that ghosts exist on this road.

CONTEXT

DA is a cousin I have that goes to college right now.  We sat down and I invited her for a zoom call.  She seemed a bit stressed about her finals, but she was very elated to talk and take a break from studying for her chemistry exam.

THOUGHTS

Ghosts are very popular in Southern culture, but you don’t hear as much about them in a big Midwestern city like Milwaukee.  It’s been proven, upon further research, that there are no ghosts that roam East Fitzsmmon’s road, yet for the thrills,  the belief they exist is still there.  The rite of passage aspect of this piece of folklore probably perpetuates the belief in ghosts as it gives it a reason why it is so “spooky”.

For a greater understanding of this folklore check out this article…

Hrodey, Matt. “Milwaukee Myth-O-Meter: 5 Local Myths, Busted.” Milwaukee Magazine, 30 July 2018, www.milwaukeemag.com/milwaukee-myth-o-meter-local-myths-busted/.