Orphan gets run over by train

Orphan gets run over by a train

In Melbourne, there was this orphanage. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but the orphanage burned a while back and was finally replaced by a school – like, a boarding school – not too long ago. Apparently, there are these umm…(positions arms perpendicular to each other)… railroad tracks nearby, and an orphan went over to the railroads and was run over by a train. The way the story goes you can see hand prints on the windows when the train passes by on foggy nights. It’s probably the first thing the train…you know…the first point of impact or something like that.

My roommate, E. F.,  heard the story from another friend, who was inspired to share after hearing a similar story on the local news, only a few nights ago. Right away, various elements of this story identify it as a legend. The setting, for one, is the capitol of Australia, a geographically distant but nonetheless real location. The events, for another, comprise the untimely death of an unnamed child and his/her haunting the location, which, although a known motif within ghost stories, present obvious challenges to belief as well as common thought – even for an individual who comes from an East Asian culture in which ghost stories are far more prevalent than here, in the US.

Despite the absence of any discernible proof and his usually pragmatic demeanor, E. F. didn’t altogether reject the possibility of the story’s events. He said he didn’t know any others but later mentioned that “at home [i.e., Hong Kong], parents usually tell their kids stories like this to prevent them from doing anything stupid.” As such, my being elder (even if only by a 3 years) likely removed the value of telling the story which could explain the unimpressed tone and lackadaisical gesture E. F. used.

Unfortunately, I find it difficult to form alternative analytical suppositions without more details. However, lack in this regard also limits potential outcomes. Elders clearly aren’t the only people who tell the story, and children aren’t necessarily the only ones who hear it. Therefore, elements are bound to vary based on circumstances of each telling. Furthermore, the abstract nature of an metaphorical approach to analysis is desirable.