Description (What is being performed):
There’s 2 long standing stories about witches and ghosts lurking around a place called Quest Haven, which is apart of Elfin Forest in San Diego, CA. The first states that many years ago there was an insane asylum on the land and that many of the patients died there. Since then some of them have occupied that land as living dead and would scare away and even kill people who trust passed. The second story states that a gypsy lady who used to practice the occult within the forest was killed by her husband. She then came back as a witch who would instigate car crashes and who too would kill those who trust pass the land.
The Informant (Background info about performance from informant):
Me: “I’ve heard the rumors about ghosts and witches around Elfin forest, are they true?
Informant: “They could be…there’s so many versions of those stories that at this point you know only a shade of it is true and it’s probably the less exciting aspects.”
Me: “Tell me a bit about them.”
Informant: “So apparently there was an asylum and an old lady, both unrelated. The former was responsible for the death of many patience which then somehow caused them to come back as the living dead. With the lady, she was killed by her husband and came back as this bitch ghost who would cause cars to collide.”
Me: “How did you learn about these stories”
Informant: “When I was in high school, a group of friends took me to Elfin forest without telling me why. It was nighttime and kind of spooky so that alone creeped me out. We drove up to a gate that said Quest Haven. That’s when they informed me of the stories, which is when I was scared shitless. As being stupid teenagers we broke into the land behind the gate. There was in fact an old dilapated building. We drew the line their though. Definitely didn’t go inside…on our way out a car pulled up flashing its lights at us and it just sat there for a solid 5 minutes. One of us when up to it but it drove away. Later that night we were driving back home and at the light that same car pulled up. We looked over and saw this creepy albino man just staring at us. I’ve never felt so scared. The driver gunned the gas, ran the light and went straight home.”
Me: “So no ghosts or zombies, just creepy albino man.”
Informant: “Yeah, which no one has talked about. It could have just been some weirdo trying to prey on people who explore this mythological place. He probably knew we knew the story…sicko…”
Me: “So you learned about the stories from your friends…how did they hear about them?”
Informant: “Other friends..”
Me: “What sort of meaning do you attach to these stories and your experience?”
Informant: “Well where we live it was a pretty cut and dry run of the mill suburb. Nothing too interesting, so these stories give it character.”
Me: “I can see that”
Me: “Now do you continue to tell other people about these stories?”
Informant: “I haven’t in awhile…at point in my life my friends and I don’t spend our time talking about ghost stories.”
Me: “But if someone were to mention Quest Haven, you’d acknowledge the stories?”
Informant: “Yeah definitely…I mean I’ll probably tell my kids them when they’re old enough. Maybe take them there (laughs). But I don’t take the time to spread them.”
Me: “Why do you feel they are worth holding onto?”
Informant: “As I said before, it live ins up a place that’s rather ordinary. Also it’d be fun to see how your child and their friends react. Brings you back to your childhood.”
The Analysis (My Thoughts):
I took the time to do some digging regarding these stories and they are in fact that, stories. A gypsy did once live in those woods, and the house contrary to being an asylum, belongs to a group of people who used it as a retreat. This information can be easily accessed online so I can’t imagine in this day and age where everyone researches everything, that people don’t know that they are simply legends. The informant, even acknowledges that lack of probability of the matter but still plays along with them for various reasons. It is that very action that I think what holds a lot of myths alive, especially this Information Age. It’s simply fun to think of such things happening and seeing how other people react, but after a certain age it just becomes nonsense. That sense of tradition seems to hold true to as the informant states that she wants to pass down the stories to her kids to see how they’d react. Something else to note is the mysterious albino. Although we don’t know his intentions, his behavior and supposedly how he looked was quite odd. As I said earlier it’s possible that the off colored people off that area may prey on young people based on their knowledge of the stories, which as a result the stories may create for a strange and haunting experience in actuality. The sort of life imitates art ordeal. Obviously this is pure speculation, but it’s something to consider, i.e. the power of legends can cause some form of them to become a reality.