University of Southern California
Marshall School of Business
Spanish, English, German
25 April 2011
Following is a Séance, reported to me by CB.
“The reason we had a séance in my grandmothers home was because some of the family believed that the house was haunted. Over the years um my family had seen a lot of things. Like hearing footsteps and see weird floating lights. 13 years ago we had the séance. A man came over to the house, some kind of um spiritual guru or something. He was dressed in normal clothing, a suit I think. I can’t really remember. I was sitting on the couch watching what was going on. There were six of my family members, the guru guy, and then some guy from UCLA I think he was a professor who studied urban legends. We turned off all the lights and only had a candle light in the center of the table. So sitting around the table, with their hands held, the guru man started chanting in English. Cant remember what he said, but it was like he was holding a conversation with someone we couldnt see. So ten minutes into this thing, the table suddenly jerks back about three inches. The shadow of the chandelier above the table also started to rotate in circles. After the guru stopped chanting, he said he talked to and confirmed the presence of four ghosts in the house. One was supposedly a little girl who had been murdered, another was an old man.”
He explains that this is story is now told whenever at family meetings He states because the house is so old, that many people have died in it over the years possibly making the house haunted. He also mentions that this is not the first time that things like this have occurred and that many members of the family have their own particular stories. While the story is constantly brought up to within his family, CB states that he doesnt really believe in ghosts, neither does any of his male relatives. He did mention that he does believe that there is some type of weird energy that is flowing through the house. He stated, “We are all kind of straightforward guys. My Dad’s a Marine, my uncle a cop I grew up in a no nonsense household.”
From what I can gather from CB’s story is that first and foremost it serves a marker for their family, and a part of the family’s personal lore. By being a member of CB’s family, one would know this story even if they were not present at the event. I think CB’s stance on this event is that of a skeptic. He obviously saw something at this particular event, which can be verified by other family members present at the time, but he doesnt necessarily buy into the notion that this is somehow related to ghosts. As an individual, I find CB to be very level headed. He is currently in Marine Officer Candidate School, training to be a Marine Officer. I interpret CB’s hesitation and skepticism of the event as a result of his upbringing in a rigidly structured home (his father was a Marine Sergeant). Séances seem to operate akin to the Ouija boards. And that the people present expect some kind of weird happenings, and then when it “occurs” it verifies what they thought. I think of it as similar to a self-fulfilling prophecy.