Residence: New Jersey
Date of Performance/Collection: 4-22-19
Primary Language: English
Main Piece: “On this stretch of road theres a long and old looking bridge. Apparently back in the early 1900’s this was a place where some kids would constantly play on and such. One day a little boy was playing on the bridge, and a car came across the bridge going mad fast, and it didn’t see the boy until the last minute. The car tried to steer out of the way but it hit the kid and sent him flying off the bridge and into the river below. It is said that to this day that bridge is haunted by the little boy, and sometimes people have said that they see him at the edge of the bridge, however the most common story is that if a person goes to the bridge and throws something into the water, like a coin or a rock… the item gets thrown right back at you.”
Background: KC doesn’t necessarily like this piece, but he said that it is so popular in his community and in the people that he is close with that it is a story that he heard all the time. He mentioned that one time his friends went to the bridge and were trying to see if they could see any weird happenings, and that they didn’t see anything in the water but at the far end of the bridge they thought they saw the shape of a small boy walking down towards the river below the bridge. KC also talked about how his friends would try and get him to go and check out the bridge with them, but he never wanted any part of that, but he admits that to this day he is still wildly curious about the bridge, albeit very hesitant to visit it.
Context of the Performance: KC told me this story while we were talking about some of our favorite ghost stories. After we had talked about there being some very questionable drivers on the road in LA, he remembered this story about the bridge and felt that he had to tell me, especially cause he know that I liked scary stories.
Analysis: This is a super creepy ghost story and one that I found to be very tragic and dark as well. Seeing as how this revolves around a careless driver killing a child, in an area where children have been known to play, it seems to function as a warning for two very different types of people. Firstly it seems to be a warning for careless drivers to make sure that they stay paying attention while they are driving on the road. And secondly, it appears to be somewhat of a cautionary tale for children as it displays the consequences of playing in dangerous areas. KC mentioned that in New Jersey, there isn’t always the most parental supervision, at least where he was from, so I think that its very possible that this ghost story can double as that cautionary tale in order to try and keep children and young adults safe.