Original Script: “Most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me in my life. My friend, before she was officially moving out, she invited me to stay the night at her grandparents house. The house use to be a brothel and I have always felt that her family has something that has really negative energy around it. Anyways, when I walked into the house I like got the weirdest feeling ever. The first thing that happened, happened in the nieces room. You know like how small storage rooms have that little door? Well, apparently none of the family even knew that that door was there because it was painted over and plastered. But, like, the family was looking for the niece so she could come say hi to me but they could not find her. An HOUR, later, they found her playing with her ‘imaginary’ friend, the room was just plain sketchy. But, it was creepy because she had never had an imaginary friend before. Apparently, the imaginary friend would tell her a lot of weird things and things that happened in the house, like women coming and going. She also described her imaginary friend as being this tall man, nothing any cutesy stuff about it. Anyways, I was getting bad vibes from the minute I stepped into the house and especially after the whole imaginary friend scenario. Later on in the day, that night we slept in her guess room, which was not even a bedroom to begin with, it was the extension from the garage and the family had made it an extra room, like a new room…we both stayed in that room…And when we were asleep, I woke up to hearing a bunch of things outside…because we were by the boarder I just thought it was some animals or construction outside but then I saw a figure pass by the window, like, a silhouette of a man walking passed the window, to get to the backyard someone would have had to sneak in because the backyard was gated and made of high bushes around a brick wall…we got so freaked out both ran to the grandparents room…the grandfather checked the backyard and did not see anyone so he checked the cameras—which they had because they lived so close to the boarder and saw that no one had passed and sent us back to the room.
I was freaking the hell out but my friend fell asleep…an hour later, I saw the man again!!! But this time, the silhouette just stands there, like it was staring inside the window…and the lamp turned on by itself! I scream, my friend wakes up and see what’s happening and she runs out and finally I was able to move…I ran back to the grandparents room, and the grandparents said it was probably a ghost because they knew the place was haunted. Like really? Thanks for telling me. I could not sleep at all that night and the next morning before I left I went to the fridge outside and felt like someone was behind me…I was felt terrified in that house.”
Background Information about the Piece by the informant: Kamilah and her mother have always been spiritual people. The belief in witches, demons, and angels is strong to Kamilah’s mother however, it is even more so in her home country—Nicaragua. Kamilah has always believed that spirits and demons haunt people that are surrounded with negative energy.
Context of the Performance: Visiting a friend’s house in Chula Vista
Thoughts about the piece: Re-writing the story word for word from a recording, gave me a different thought process than the first time I had heard it. After reviewing the story a second time, I saw how Kamilah’s spiritual belief the unknown made this story so terrifying for her, in terms where it became a product of cultural relativism.
To begin with, most people hearing this story would think that it was either somewhat scary or that Kamilah’s child mind had interrupted something from out of its context. However, given the fact that Kamilah was a sophomore in high school as well as her spiritual background, it gives this story a whole different meaning—a meaning where imagination becomes a dangerous game. In a second follow up with Kamilah, she explained how she thought of spirits and demons as completely separate entities: spirits were more of an ancestral background, that guided you, while demons were very dark spirits that fed off the negative energy from people. The fact that she felt negative energy around the house, and not a very friendly feeling from the figure outside the window, as well as the creepy feeling she got when the niece talked about her imaginary friend, and the very label of “terrifying,” Kamilah associated this story with that of a more demonic presence.
Furthermore, this story would not fall under a legend quest because Kamilah did not know about the grandparent’s house being haunted. It would not of been just a legend because this pertinent information was also kept from Kamilah. Instead, this story was more of a memorate for Kamilah, in which a memorate is a personal experience that is translated into a traditional narrative. After discussing the story with her mother, when she came to pick Kamilah up, her mother told her it must have been a demon. Thus, as Kamilah told her story, the social atmosphere labeled the unexplainable (i.e. the man at the window) as being a demon.