Tag Archives: ghost story

Loira do Banheiro/the Blonde in the Bathroom


SS: Loira do Banheiro, which is the Blonde in the Bathroom. There are a couple clips online to demonstrate what happened, people acting it out. Basically the story goes that there’s this blonde who went to public school, but she was pretty and kind and had all these nice characteristics, but she got bullied a lot: there were a bunch of people who gave her a hard time, who were rude to her, who didn’t treat her well. The story goes that she went to the bathroom, and that was especially where she got bullied. Something happened where she got in a fight, and the girls who were bullying her were like, pushing her around, and she hit her head. So she died in the bathroom. The idea is that she stays in the bathroom ready to haunt all the bullies and taunt them. So what happened is that my cousin and I tried it. It’s super similar to the American Bloody Mary: there are all these things you can do online. Go to the bathroom, like spin around three times, spin around three times, say her name three times. My cousin and I said every single one trying to summon her. But then as soon as we left, our aunts were like—I’m positive they were messing with us—but they said we saw her, that everything we did worked. And it’s a super popular story.

Loira do Banheiro

Transliteration: Loira → blonde / do → of / Banheiro → Bathroom

Translation: the Blonde in the Bathroom

Context: SS is my roommate and close friend, a recent graduate of USC who was born in Brazil but moved to the United States soon after. She frequently flies back with her parents and brother to visit her family in Brazil. She learned this particular legend from her cousins, not her parents, while she visited Brazil and decided to test it out.

Analysis: When I went to elementary school, we had our own version of Bloody Mary, which was activated by saying her name three times in our school restroom. Even in this analysis, I find myself wanting to make sure I don’t say her name too many times… obviously, it’s text, so the question is whether or not it would count, but I find myself not wanting to take too many chances. SS was the opposite, purposefully seeking her out in order to test the limits of the legend—a legend quest. The Internet definitely affected her perception. While she initially learned of the legend from her cousins, researching on the Internet became a large part of proving the ghost story’s validity. Her testing of the ghost story in this way could have only occurred in modern day—it veers into the realm of creepypasta and other online forums for ghost stories. The proliferation of information on this ghost story via the internet changed the way that future generations will interpret it. Knowing both Brazilian and American cultures gave her a unique perspective because she was able to recognize the similarities for herself, affecting the way she interpreted the legend’s validity.

Hanged Mom in the Basement


GJ: I was in fourth grade. That summer, we moved into a bungalow. The very first day when we were moving in, there was a ring at the doorbell. I opened up the door, and there was this little girl who asked “is there a little girl here?” She had seen my little sister. They went up to play, and I joined them… I was only a year apart from my sister, so we were pretty close. This neighbor from down the street, she proceeded to tell us how her best friend had lived in this house before us, but on the day of her birthday, after her birthday party, her mom committed suicide and hung herself in the basement. Of course, we were really freaked out by this, so we were like maybe she made this up. So we go downstairs, and there were all the streamers and birthday decorations still hanging downstairs. Needless to say, we were scared of the basement. It was an unfinished basement that was very dark, and there was a big part of the basement that you couldn’t see from the bottom of the stairs, and that happened to be where the laundry room was. The laundry room was in front of where the stairs let out, and the rest of the basement was just dark. We… of course, this might have been led by fear, but we were convinced we heard sounds in the darkness, maybe even bits of light, enough to make us race back upstairs. It was quite some time before we worked up the courage to turn the lights on and start playing in the basement. Gradually the fear went away, but that was what it was like when we first moved in for several months.

Context: GJ is a Canadian immigrant who moved to Los Angeles from Toronto, Ontario when he was in his thirties. He grew up in Alberta. Because of his parents’ divorce and his father’s work flipping houses, he frequently moved around. His family prides themselves on being logical, and as such, when I first asked for folklore, he said that he didn’t have any because all of the things he was told were either “religious or true.” It took some pressing before he told me the ghost story detailed here.

GJ: “There had been a teacher’s strike right before that, so I was at a different school. Months passed and it went into the summer so I never got the contact information from my previous friends that summer, so I didn’t have any friends.”

Analysis: This legend of a ghost became a memorate… the story GJ heard about the death in his basement became translated into his own personal experience when he began experiencing things that verged on paranormal, such as the blinking lights and darkness. His avoidance of the basement could be read as ostentation. The fact that GJ was isolated moving in might have contributed to the way that he interpreted the story. He went from being in a large social circle to having no one. The fact that the very first person he meets in a new, unfamiliar neighborhood tells him a frightening story about the very place he lives in might have made him even more scared of it. The girl telling him this story caught him at a vulnerable time in which he was scrambling for security and belief, similar to how college students find themselves questioning whether or not they believe in ghosts. It’s a moment of turmoil in which he had to reinvent himself and redefine his own beliefs. Later, he regarded the story with more of his self-defined rationality, but the evidence remains that he thoroughly believed it at that point in his life.

Bloody Mary – ghost story origins


“This is the Bloody Mary legend that I learned when I was a kid. So, she was a woman who lived in this big beautiful Victorian house. A man was planning on marrying her and she was very very beautiful, and she always wore this ribbon around her neck. On the night of the wedding, he goes ‘can I take the ribbon off your neck?’ and she says ‘no.’ Every night she says no and then one night while she is sleeping, he pulls the ribbon off her neck and her head falls off. And because she was Bloody Mary, if you stand in the mirror and you spin around three times and say ‘Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, come and haunt me’ she’ll come and cut your head off.”


B is an informant from Southern California. This is a story she learned when she was a child from her friends. She never performed the described ritual because she was always too scared that it might actually happen. I gathered this story from her while we collected ghost stories from each other.


Bloody Mary is a very interesting ghost story because the name always stays the same, but almost every single time I have heard the reason or story behind the name, it is different. Some are more involved, like this one, and sometimes the there is no story just the ritual on how to summon her. The legend of Bloody Mary is often utilized as a kind of dare amongst children to see who is brave enough to complete the ritual. However different the stories tend to be, many aspects are similar across the different versions, such as saying the name three times, standing in front of a mirror, and the fact that Bloody Mary will harm you in some way if you summon her. She is never perceived to be a nice spirit, so these reoccurring aspects likely appear in the original legend of the Bloody Mary ghost. This ghost story is considered a legend because of its wide proliferation, the potential truth factor, and its real world setting. Although many brush it off as a just silly game for children, many do believe in it. Some might claim to not believe in it, but still will not preform the ritual “just in case” or out of fear.

The Wolf Spirit


PS: So, I went to the college bar and it was really late at night, and I was obviously okay to drive back to school, and um, it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere, so it’s a lot of farmland for miles–there’s this open space, but it’s really dark, there’s not many lights and so I was nervous about driving home by myself. And then, as I was driving out of the bar, there was this open field, and I was driving forward, looking ahead, making sure I didn’t hit any deer or any wildlife, and all of a sudden I see this white blur–it looked like a running white wolf from my peripheral vision on my right side. Immediately, I turn to see like what animal was running beside me, and it disappeared. It was too short to be a deer and also, you can see for miles, so if it was actually there, I would be able to see it running away, but I didn’t see anything–it just disappeared. But after that moment, I felt like that family friend’s spirit was with me to support me in a time where I felt really unsafe–I felt lonely and vulnerable, and then I actually felt comforted after that moment driving the rest of the way home because I felt like he was watching over me somehow.

I stopped the recording after she finished performing her folklore, but she had more to add right afterwards.

PS: So, I felt like his spirit was with me for about a month after his passing, and another spiritual event happened. Our grandparents were still living in the townhouse and there wasn’t parking close by, so I had to park like way across the street of the busy road and I had to park in a parking lot over there and cross over. It was again, also at night with lots of heavy traffic and cars that might not be able to see you while you’re crossing the ways, so I just sprinted from point A to point B to the other side. And it hadn’t been windy all day, so after I finished running across to this street–there were like leaves from the fall, and it started like circling around me as I crossed the street, saying like “Hey, good job for being brave. You made it. You’re going to be fine.” So it felt like another experience where he was there watching over me. I think after those two things, after a month had passed, I felt like he wasn’t there anymore, but in a good way, like he moved on.


These encounters take place a few weeks after PS’ family friend passed away. She used to tell these more often, but now they only come up when people are talking about tattoos and that if she were to get one, it would be a “tribal outline of a wolf running on my right forearm.” She also has decorated her house with a framed drawing of a wolf that hangs over her front door. This loved one was a really influential role model in her life: “if I were to describe him, he’s like a human Jesus because he was so selfless. He was always looking after other people–he never had any money in his bank account and would give it away to someone who needed it.” PS is certain that she’s not the only one he was spiritually watching over.

We were spending time together with the rest of the family when this story resurfaced. She decided to go to a more private room to tell me this piece of folklore, mostly to get away from the noisy mahjong games going on in the background.


Sensing the spirits of loved ones can be a form of comfort, as if they are still guiding us through difficult times until we can let go. With wolves, there is this protective aura that creates the feeling that we are watched over by a cosmic being that is beyond our world. There are an infinite number of stories where a loved one’s spirit arrives in animal form. When we lose someone’s physical presence, we tend to see them in other people, objects, or animals–animals in particular are similar to humans in that they are sentient, living beings that can transmit emotion, but they are different enough where communication with them is almost magical. Grief can place us in a liminal realm between the present and the past–in this dreamlike state and altered consciousness, we may try to verify the existence of spirits. PS mentioned how gracious this family friend was–we often associate goodness with upwards movement, as if there is a higher plan beyond life for good people. Not only does what we do in life speak about our character, but maybe how we communicate through death does as well.

Tattoos, as a permanent mark, often carry deep, symbolic meaning associated with a truth that’s more complex than its external manifestation. In fact, I’ve asked people what tattoos they’d get if they were to get one, and it usually leads to a personal story because most people want to choose something that holds weight and significance in their lives. If you want to know someone’s folklore, ask about what they’d turn into tattoos; the story is often inseparable from the tattoo itself.

Legend: Haunted Classroom

When I asked my informant M about any stories they might have had about surrounding legends, they thought of the time when their high school English and Creative Writing teacher was sure that her old classroom was haunted. M said that she would always stay late after school was over to finish work, and suddenly one day, people started asking her if she was at school when she wasn’t there because they saw someone in the window of her classroom. The description of the figure was always the same, a woman dressed in white. She told them that it wasn’t her that they saw and that they must have mistaken her for someone else, but it kept on happening and people would joke that a ghost was haunting her classroom. She was staying late one night, as usual, when she suddenly encountered the womanly figure that everyone was talking about. M said that nobody knew exactly what had happened, but apparently, things started to fall over in her classroom. The experience spooked their teacher enough that she made the administration give her a different classroom the next year and now she always leaves the school as soon as the bell rings. 

I found this story funny, but I also felt bad for their poor teacher. I’m not going to deny that her classroom was haunted, but she might have also been especially tired after a long day of work that day and her brain conjured the figure up. I also don’t think people telling her that a woman-like figure dressed in white is always inside her classroom when she is not there helped her imagination. It sort of reminds me of Sydow’s term, memorate, where she is relating a personal experience to a spoken narrative. I never thought a classroom of mine was haunted, but a lot of people, including myself, in elementary school thought that our language teacher wasn’t human. She was not a nice person and she had a way of smiling and staring through to your soul that frightened many of us and we thought that she was a creepy alien in disguise as a human.