Informant: There’s this nice ghost who lives under the sink and if you leave leftover food in your bowl it will go down the drain and it will choke the ghost. The ghost will be miserable. It’s a happy ghost that brings joy and luck to the household, but if you leave food on your plate and it goes down in the sink then the ghost, it’s a very tiny spirit, will be choked. The spirit will die and it won’t bring any happiness to the home. I think it’s told to keep kids tidy because it’s very clean in Korea. Like we don’t even put food in the sink. That’s not something we do. We dispose of food separately, and I think parents tell their kids this to help them to learn to throw things away right.
Context: I asked a group of friends to share any superstitions they were raised with. This was one of their replies. The informant is of Korean descent and was raised in both Korea and China.
This is clearly a very modern superstition, but it feels old. It seems cleat to me that it was made by a parent to keep their child from clogging the drain.