Background: My informant is a 20-year-old student attending the University of California Riverside (D). D is Catholic and of Mexican descent.
Context: I was talking to my cousin about this archival project and she told me that one of her friends had experienced something supernatural. She reached out to her friend and connected us. This interview was conducted one morning over Zoom. D told me about the haunted house she lived in from when she 11 years old to 14 years old in Highland, California.
Me: So where were you in your life when this happened?
D: I was like 11.
Me: Where was the house?
D: (gives address)
Me: So what happened?
D: At first, not much. The first year was normal. There were these like tsk tsk sounds but we were like “it’s an old house. It makes old house noises.” It really started in the second year. It was super weird because only the guys in the house could see the ghost. Like my brother saw her looking at him every time he walked up the stairs.
Me: Wait what?
D: Yeah he said she was always just staring at him out of the master bedroom. My grandpa and uncle both said that they saw a little girl like 9 or 10 years old walking upstairs. And when I took a shower, I’d always lock the door. But then I’d hear a creeking sound and look back out and the door would be open. The same thing happened to my mom and my babysitter too. We never really felt comfortable taking showers in that house. And then I started having these dreams. This girl would always be chained up to the stairs and I’d always try to fight her. But I didn’t really feel like those were scary. The girl looked sad and tired and the house looked sinister not her.
Me: Wow. So did you ever see the ghost?
D: I just saw her in my dreams. But I think around the third year, I started having these nightmares. It was like I was the little girl and I opened the door. There was this tall man in a trench coat and this woman that smiled at me. I didn’t feel right so I just ran back to the living room but they followed me. The man started taking off his clothes and coming at me and that’s always when I woke up. I had this dream like 18 times.
Me: Holy shit.
Me: Do you think the same thing happened to the girl?
Me: I can’t imagine living like that.
D: We had a priest come bless the house when my brother saw the girl. He told us to get out of there. That’s when my mom started trying to sell it. But I don’t think it wanted us to leave. The first realtor, the first time she came, her car got hit. The second time she came, her husband and her son’s car got hit. The third time she came, her mom was hospitalized. She just told us sorry and that she couldn’t come anymore after that.
Me: Wait so are you still living there?
D: No. We had to foreclose it (silence for a couple seconds). I think the scariest thing to happen to us there was the week we were about to move out. Me, my mom and my brother were coming back from getting groceries. There’s a door connecting the house and the garage. My brother and I were in the house and my mom is looking at the garage when she just slams the door and locks it. She told us not to go look at it. A couple years later she told us she saw a black figure just standing in the corner of the garage.
D: Yeah. We still live a couple blocks away from the house but we never go back around that part.
Me: What do you think about the ghost now that you’re older?
D: Now I feel kind of bad for her. Something really bad probably happened to her and maybe that’s why I kept having those dreams. And that’s why only the men saw her. At least that’s what my family thinks.
I agree with D and her family’s interpretations, but I wonder if there were two spirits in the house. It seemed like the girl’s ghost, while scary because it was a ghost, was just there and did not look to harm anyone. That does not fit with the dark shadow that the mom saw or how the locked doors to the shower kept opening. D specifically mentioned that only her mom, her, and her babysitter felt that way during showers, so maybe there was a second spirit, that dark figure, and that’s what did something to that girl. Or maybe it’s the spirit of the person who did something to that girl. Either way, this was a ghost story that I felt sad after hearing. The girl’s spirit is just there with no where to go.