Collector: Ghost stories?
Informant: I have so many fricking scary stories. Um, let’s see… There’s one, where, I don’t want to go into super detail because it’s really annoying when it’s told that way, and it involves singing.
MR: No, do that.
ML: I fucking hate you. Okay, fine, fine, fine. So, um, there’s a little boy and one day his mother gives him some money and says, “Go buy some liver from the market.” And he takes the money and says okay and goes off to the market. When he gets to the market, he realizes that he doesn’t really want liver. He wants this toy water gun from the store. So he uses the money to buy the toy water gun from the store, and then he realizes he can’t go home empty handed, so for reasons unknown to me, I mean, known but disgusting reasons, he decides to find this liver by digging up a human corpse and taking his liver. Any way, he gets home; he takes the liver and gives it to his mother, who for some reason doesn’t notice any difference between human liver and, you know, like, the liver of an animal, and they cook it and they eat it. And that night, they, uh, this little boy is in his bed, and he hears a voice that says, I think the kid’s like, Johnny, [singing] “Johnny, I’m outside your house.” And then he’s like okay this is weird, but I’m just like hallucinating because he’s trying to sleep. And he hears again, “Johnny I’m inside your house.” And again, “Johnny, I’m inside your room.” And then, “Johnny, I’m in your bed.” And then lastly all he hears is, “Johnny, I want my liver back.” That’s it. That was told to me by my sister because she’s a jerk.
Informant is a freshman at the University of Southern California. She is studying animation in the film school here. She is from New Orleans, Louisiana. I spoke to her while we were eating breakfast in EVK one morning. We were sitting together with her two other friends, Ashley and Madeleine. Much of what she told me was learned from her sister or her own experiences.
It’s very interesting to see how many ghost stories people know and can recall from their childhood. Some might originate from books and some people made up to scare their younger siblings. This is interesting because it involves singing the voice as if you were the ghost, and involves quite a bit of suspension of disbelief. We can see that ghost stories often just boil everything down to this character did something just because we needed a reason for the story to continue. Often characters make dumb decisions we all know we wouldn’t make for the sake of the story continuing.