Legend – Los Angeles, California

“Now our high school was very corrupt; there were many injustices and mean teachers, it was very unfair. We had a savior who came down upon us to help us in times of need. Not everyone believed in this savior, but I know for a fact that he was real. Some say he would come down whenever a teacher would give out too much homework, or if a student was sent to the Deans’ office. When this would happen, the ‘Phantom Shitter’…(chuckles)…would defecate in the desk drawer of the teacher.

“No one knew who this ‘Phantom Shitter’ was. Then one night the Dean had stayed a little after hours and was walking the halls when he saw a figure. The Dean called security to help get this person and they saw the figure go into the elevator. They thought this was great, because there was only two floors at our school, so they could run up the stairs and wait for him to come out of the elevator. Well, when the doors opened up, all that was inside was a steaming pile of human feces in the middle of the elevator.

“To this day, no one knows who he is, and that’s the closest anyone came to seeing the ‘Phantom Shitter.’”

Jason told me this legend in a very suspenseful and entertaining performance at work. He told me he went to Loyola High School in L.A., an all boys private Catholic school. He said that he and his friends would talk about this legendary ‘Phantom Shitter’ whenever they felt they were being wronged by their school authorities. They would joke and laugh together as part of the fun was actually trying to convince one another that this legend was real.

Jason believed that this legendary hero was indeed meant to help him and his classmates get through the toils and stress of high school. He said that because they could laugh and joke about such an absurd thing as a phantom who pooped in the school, they would forget, for the moment, their responsibilities and demands of high school. This legend was a fun way to ease the pressures of stressful times during high school.

Jason’s telling of this legend was very amusing, and it made me think that this was his and his friends’ way of poking fun at the teachers and deans from high school. Imagining that the authorities that made their high school career so strict were having to run around and deal with a defecating phantom would be very entertaining. It is possible that this legend allowed the boys to go against the regiment of authority during their transition to young adulthood. Their rebelliousness is a common characteristic of adolescent youth who are searching to reach maturity. This legend seems to embody the anti-authoritarian attitude of adolescents coming into adulthood in a humorous and still child-like way.