Haunted House (Native American Burial Ground)

“I grew up in Rancho Penasquitos, CA, which is apparently built on an Indian burial ground. There were often stories about strange sightings or occurrences in the neighborhood that we didn’t really pay attention to until we started experiencing strange things ourselves. They always involved water. One time, I walked into my bedroom on a warm summer day and stepped into a freezing puddle of water on the carpet. There was no apparent cause or source. I blotted it up and forgot about it. This happened around the house from time to time with no logical explanation but nothing scary that would make us consider moving. It all culminated one night when my step dad bolted up in bed because he felt cold water on his feet. He turned the light on to see that the comforter wasn’t wet at all. When he threw back the comforter, he saw a puddle forming on the sheets under his feet! That was the last occurrence I remember in that house.”

Context: The informant, 61, grew up in Rancho Penasquitos, California; these events occurred during his childhood.

Interpretation: The association of haunted places in the U.S. being built atop Native American burial grounds is a popular trope used to explain supernatural events. This likely stems from a collective guilt-fueled fear that modern Americans will be repaid for the atrocities of colonization (by the spirits of Native Americans killed by colonizers). Even if the strange events themselves aren’t violent in nature, they are more easily confirmed by this belief shared among residents of Rancho Penasquitos, perhaps strengthening a sense of identity and belonging within that group.