Tag Archives: ghost

Andy and the Ghost

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 83
Occupation: Retired Professor
Residence: Louisiana
Date of Performance/Collection: October 24, 2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

The Story (Over Zoom):
This story is about a little boy named Andy. And Andy was not very cooperative with his mother. He lived alone with his mother, and his mother became ill. She asked Andy to go to the well and get her a cool drink of water. And it was getting night time and Andy says “Nah, I’m scared to go to the well, there’s a ghost that lives in the well”. And his mom says “No, there’s no ghost that lives in the well”. But he wouldn’t go get her a cold drink of water. So that night when they went to bed, he was juuuuust about to sleep, when he heard this sound saying: “AAAAAAANDY I’m on my first step… AAAAAAAAAANDY I’m on my second step… AAAAAAAANDY I’m on your porch… AAAAANDY I’m in your house… AAAAAANDY I’m by your bed… AAAAAANDY I GOT YOU”. *lunges forward as if to grab me*

Context (as given by the informant):
The first time I remember that being played on me was when some of my cousins were visiting and they were three or four years older than what I was, and we were sitting on the front steps of the house where I grew up, and that was one of my early encounters with a ghost story.
It was told as a way to scare younger children.

Analysis:
This story serves two purposes, both as a joke to play on someone unaware, as the ending is a jump scare usually coupled with someone grabbing the listener, but also as a warning. The story tells us that because Andy didn’t listen to his mother and refused to get her water, he was haunted by a ghost. So there’s an element there about respecting one’s elders in addition to the comedic purpose of the tale.

The Ghost of Chloe

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 57
Occupation: Professor (USC)
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: October 24, 2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

The Story (over Zoom):
There’s a plantation called Myrtle’s that was a South Louisiana plantation outside of New Orleans that General Bradford, who was a famous general, owned. He, like many plantation owners, was sexually assaulting a slave in the house and her name was Chloe. So he had a relationship with Chloe. And Chloe got caught eavesdropping on the family. She was outside a room listening in, and to punish her they cut off her ears. Or maybe an ear. And so to get revenge she slowly poisoned the wife and children of the guy by, in the kitchen, poisoning food. And when she was caught doing that, she was killed, she was hung. And so, Myrtle’s plantation is said to still be haunted by her, if you go to the plantation in South Louisiana and go on tours, they’ll tell you about sightings of Chloe… And she had worn a scarf around her head after her ears were cut off, so y’know, you couldn’t see, and people knew the ghost was Chloe because the ghost has that green scarf on her head.

Context (as given by the informant):
When I was in middle school we did a tour of South Louisiana, a history tour where we went to different places, and that was one of the stories that we heard, that people regularly saw her ghost. If you take a tour there today they’ll tell you the story of Chloe.
The story is a way white guilt about the history of slavery gets manifest. It gets manifest in a way that is indirect, and frames Chloe as at fault.

Analysis:
The story is definitely intertwined with histories of oppression, and it both reflects and documents some of the injustices that occurred in the plantation era south. The use of the story as a tourist attraction is also interesting, as Myrtle plantation (and by association, Chloe) has been commercialized.

Haunted Apartment in Worchester, Massachusetts

--Informant Info--
Nationality:
Age:
Occupation:
Residence:
Date of Performance/Collection: October 24, 2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Burmese, Mandarin, Cantonese

Background: My informant is my aunt, a woman in her late 50s who lives in Henderson, Nevada (L). L is Buddhist and of Chinese and Burmese descent.

Context: This conversation took place one night over Zoom. L’s experience took place in 2003, her second year in pharmacy school, in the apartment that she rented with her roommate in Worchester, Massachusetts. She occupied the master bedroom, where most of the haunting took place. I reached out to L because I knew she had been haunted by a ghost while in pharmacy school, but I had never heard the full story.

Main Piece

Me: Can you describe what happened to you?

L: That happened in 2003 in Worcester. I was in pharmacy school, my second year. Me and my friend, we rented a room, two bedrooms for $1200. The week before we moved out, the apartment manager called us. They had a furnace room at the 26th floor. Really big rooms, really good everything. They offered us $900. I did not have suspicions. We are students, we are cheap, we didn’t have beds. I looked at it: we’re lucky!

Me: How was your life there?

L: I lived in the master bedroom. The first couple of months were good. In the sixth month, whenever I opened the closet, I just felt like there is a kind of force. Something pushed me! It looked like a wind… I just said I am superstitious because it is snowing, and all windows are closed. Right around 9 months, I knew. My friend slept in a sleeping bag. She said, “L, last night someone pulled my sleeping bag.” I said, “No you studied so hard that you don’t sleep well.” She said “No, it pulled my sleeping bag down six inches.” I said, “put the night light on and sleep.” The second night she told me again. “I saw the guy! He is white, not too tall, 5”2, 5”3. He pulled my sleeping bag to the waist.” I said, “You need a good sleep.”

Me: Did anything happen to you then?

L: After two days to her, the third day happened to me. I finished studying. I did not sleep yet. I put my books on my bed at around 4:30. I pull my blanket to my chest. My blanket is a king size blanket, 7 or 8 pounds. I did not close my eyes. Then the blanket got pulled up.

Me: Like floating?

L: (Eyes wide) Yeah.

Me: What the—

L: The blanket get pulled up four feet high, and you know your aunty is not out of mind, him and me we were pulling and then the blanket was pulled towards the corner of the room. I pulled it back three or four times, and my feet kicked to that corner. And I said “Come! Show me who you are!” and when I kicked, the blanket fell down. I did not see any person walk out, but I was so angry. I just went all over the house. My mouth is yelling. I said, “Show me, show me! Come out!” After that, I came back to the bed. This guy is so crazy! My hands just pulled from me forcefully! I said, “Come out! You come out!” It looked like I saw somebody walk out into the closet. I cannot sleep anymore. From that day, whenever we got home, it looked like panic, you know? I cannot sleep. I’m too tired, but my eyes were wide open.

Me: Wow.

L: I went down to the apartment manager the next day and I said, give me the room story. She pretends to be innocent; you know because we’re Asian. I said, “me and my roommate, we got haunted. You need to disclose the history to me.” And that girl said, “A guy hanged and died inside the room.”

Me: Oh my god.

L: I straight said to her, “Is he hanged inside the master bedroom closet?” She said yes. That’s why I said, my bedroom, in the closet, I feel it. And I said, “is that the white guy approximately 5”2 or 5”3?” She said it’s that guy. Hanged in the closet and die.” I said, “I need the return. I can’t stay in that room.” And she said, “You signed the whole year contract. You cannot.” Our school is sponsor, so the case go back to the school. I insisted to get a refund. The dean called me. He told me I cannot break the contract. We just have to stay there for three more months.

Me: How’d you even survive for three more months?

L: That professor at my school helped us. He is Catholic. He said, “L, you just invite that guy to the church on Sunday. At church tell him to get peace. He is in limbo.” I called my cousin and he called the Burmese monk and sent me a cassette and the holy water. And the Buddhist monk just teach me “don’t fight with him. He is already in the bad stage.” We went to the Walmart and bought the recorder and we played the monks chanting the Dhama. When it stopped we had to flip the tape (laughs). Then we sprayed the room with holy water.

Me: Wow. You tried everything huh.

L: (laughs) Yeah. After that the ghost did not bother us anymore.

Me: What do you think about it now that you’re older?

L: I feel sorry for the ghost. It was in limbo. You know now I am praying more and more religious than back then. Now I pray for those type of people that are stuck in the limbo.

Interpretation:

I was surprised at how extensive and scary the haunting was. I have always known L to be a very confident and logical woman, so the fact that she was so terrified of this ghost scares me. While I do not doubt the authenticity of her experience, I wonder if stress played any role in heightening her fear. She was attending pharmacy school while working at a restaurant, only getting around 5 hours of sleep every night. I also wonder why she did not sue to get out of her contract. As we learned in class, failing to disclose a death on a property can get a realtor in legal trouble. Nevertheless, it was an interesting story from someone that I would have least expected this kind of story from.

The Vejita

--Informant Info--
Nationality:
Age:
Occupation:
Residence:
Date of Performance/Collection:
Primary Language:
Other Language(s):

Background: I was FaceTiming a couple friends from high school, and I mentioned my ghost story collection project. One of them said that their roommate at Baylor had a good story. I then Facetimed her and her roommate and asked her roommate to tell me her ghost story.

Statement: “So when I was younger I apparently used to talk to a spirit in my grandma’s house. My grandma would catch me talking to a little Mary statue. Then later I found out that the statue has a vejita in it, which means old lady in Spanish. She goes around the house and just tries to take care of everything. If we leave the door unlocked, she’ll lock it and stuff like that. The vejita really likes clean around the house and do dishes and make sure that everything is like nice and tidy. I used to try and like see her, cause my grandma used to claim that she does it all at night when we’re sleeping, so she doesn’t disturb us during the day. To catch her, I used to sleep over in the living room so I could catch her walk in the hallways. I allegedly claimed that I saw her walking to the bathroom and clean it when I was like seven. But I definitely saw it. But then like three years ago, my family was moving my grandma out of that house and into an apartment, and my parents made me and my siblings help like pack everything up. I was alone in the house packing shit up cause my brothers were both busy and I packed up the statue in some box, but later we couldn’t find it. Like we searched every fucking box twice. But like when we were unpacking everything in the apartment, I shit you not the statue was literally in the first box we opened. Everybody saying I didn’t see her when I was seven can go to hell cause that literally proves she’s real.”

Context: My informant is from Midland, Texas. She is Christian and of Mexican descent. She is currently a freshman at Baylor University. She used to spend a lot of time at her grandmother’s house while her parents were busy at work.


Analysis: The theme of ghosts in Christianity is obviously an integral element to this story. The vejita appears to be a “friendly ghost”, going along with the fact that the spirit stems from the statue of Mother Mary. I believe this ghost is meant to serve as a symbol of Mother Mary’s caring and maternal nature. My informant and her siblings viewed this spirit as one who helps with chores around the house, one who helps wherever help is needed. She also mentioned that the spirit only tends to the house at night when everyone is sleeping. That fact could serve two purposes. It could help to explain why no one has seen the ghost (except my informant), or it could help to describe the character of Mother Mary, as one who considers the feelings of others and does not seek recognition for her good deeds. Her grandmother could have possibly fabricated the existence of the vejita in order to create physical proof of the benevolence of Mother Mary. Thus, as her grandchildren became older, they will always remember the helpful vejita that lived in their grandmother’s Mother Mary statue. I believe that my informant did in fact see the ghost due to the tone of her voice and the correlation between Chrisitanity and ghosts.

Ghost Paralysis

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Mexican American
Age: 17
Occupation: Server, Waiter
Residence: Marysville, WA
Date of Performance/Collection: October 26, 2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish

Informant: One night around 9:00 I am talking to my mom at the top of the staircase. There is a door at the bottom of the stairs, and I look down to see a full figure standing in the doorway. I looked back at my mom, and told her that I just saw someone. She asks what I mean, and I tell her that I saw someone looking at me right there, but when I look back and show her it’s gone. 

Later that night in my bedroom, which is right across from the doorway to the stairs. I am in bed, trying to sleep but I can’t, I feel something, like something is watching me. I look around the dark room, and at the corner of the bed you see a shadow standing with its head tilted. I flip over to try to ignore it, and I grab my phone to distract myself from being scared. But then I feel the presence right next to me and in the screen of my phone I see two shiny, bright eyes in the reflection right to the left of me. I then flip over to my back and feel the presence right on the side of my face, and I see the two eyes. Trying to ignore it I close my eyes, and try to fall asleep. But at three in the morning I wake up with sleep paralysis, and I see the same figure standing at the foot of my bed. I can’t move, talk or wake up.

Collector: So what do you think happened? What do you make of this situation?

Informant: After I woke up, I tried to not pay any attention to it to avoid fear. And I told my grandma about it, because I didn’t know what it was. She said that when sleep paralysis happens a dead person is laying on top of you. My grandma told me that if I feel like I am being watched or that there is a shadow in my room, to cuss at it and tell it to go fuck itself, because it scares them away. Ever since that night whenever I feel a presence I tell it to go fuck itself, and they don’t really ever come back. Also the more this stuff happens, the more you get used to it. But since the shape was a tall dark shadow, that means it was an evil spirit, and the fact that it got onto me tells me that it was not a good one. It was a bad spirit that I brought home from somewhere, I went to a cemetery before this and I didn’t wash my clothes, and that’s when I started noticing shit. But definitely since it was a dark shadowy spirit, I think it was trying to harm me. 

Context: The informant, is a Latino male, who was born in Los Angeles, California, and now lives in the Seattle Washington area. 

Analysis: The informant suggests a lot of compelling ideas, and mythologies about ghosts. Ghost belief, and interactions with the dead are much more prevalent within Mexican culture. The informant mentions taking spirits home with you from cemeteries, and washing your clothes after visiting a cemetery. Also what an evil spirit behaves, and looks like, and even how to ward off a spirit that is unwanted. I have never heard of the idea of sleep paralysis relating to a ghost encounter. But sleeping is a very liminal time, especially sleep paralysis. Are you asleep? Are you awake? Are you dreaming?  In regards to warding off spirits if the informant claims that this encounter has not occurred since he has yelled at this spirit, and ignored it, this it may point to evidence that this idea could be effective. An angry ghost wanting to haunt may not bother with someone who is not scared.

Ghosts and Murderers on a Bus

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Chinese
Age:
Occupation:
Residence:
Date of Performance/Collection: 04/15/2020
Primary Language:
Other Language(s):

Background: The interviewer and the informant recall a ghost story that circulated in their primary school in Qingdao, China. 

Interviewer: Can you retell that Beijing bus story?

Informant: Yep. There’s umm there’s a guy, and he went on a bus. umm and then the bus got to a station, and then several people came onto the bus, and then suddenly there’s an old grandma walking towards him. And she sort of forced him to get off the bus. He said, this isn’t my station yet. That grandma didn’t give a damn and was like, pulling him off of the bus. And then after they got off, she said to him, those guys that just got on, they were ghosts, you see, they don’t have feet……and then the next day he picked up a newspaper, he found that the bus rushed into a mountain valley, and everyone on that bus died. He felt like he passed the gate of hell ‘cause that grandma literally saved his life.

Interview: Ohh I remember those guys wore Qing Dynasty robes too, like the ones Qing zombies wore on TV!

Informant: Yep yep yep, and oh yeah then the next day when the police found the bus, they opened the gas tank and it was filled with blood…

Interviewer: whooo I still get chills listening to this story…

Informant: Yeah and I heard it was adapted from a true crime story. 

Interviewer: Oh really? I think xxx told me that story the first time, but then two years later I saw something very similar on Baidu Tieba [note: a popular blog site, the Chinese equivalence of Reddit]. 

Informant: Yeah yeah I saw the post too. It really blew up everywhere hahaha. I forgot where I heard about the true crime version, but it was actually a murder case. I think it was a guy, he also was taking a bus ride, and then a few other guys went onto the bus too, and then it was still an old woman who pulled him off of that bus. It was like she saw blood on those guys, and they probably just killed somebody, and they were trying to ditch the body or something like that. Anyways the next day the bus rushed into a valley too. Basically they controlled the bus driver and hijacked the bus, but it lost control and fell down the road.

Analysis: This was a very popular story among fourth and fifth graders in this primary school. I think the reason its horror works particularly well for this demographics is because that bus was the most common form of transportation for students at that age. It serves as a metaphorical cautionary tale to alert the young students of the danger with riding the bus alone. 

This is also interesting, because the ghost story is created on the basis of an urban legend. The two versions are essentially the same story, but with slightly different elements. This shows that folk tales are very prone to variation and multiplicity.

New Orleans Haunted House

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 61
Occupation: Retired
Residence: Atherton
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/25/20
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Context: The informant is my father (DM) who grew up in California. He told me about how his father, my grandfather, grew up in a haunted house when he was young. The house is located in New Orleans and was supposedly home to the pirate Jean Lafitte, who now haunts the house. The following excerpt is from a passage written about the house that my dad showed me.

Main Text: “Legends are many of this old Pirate House. One has it that a secret tunnel runs from a sub-cellar into the Gulf, and through this tunnel, pirates transferred their booty from ships to their strongholds beneath the house.”

“This old house at one time sheltered Jean Lafitte. It was more than a century ago that Lafitte, during the historic days of private terror along the Gulf Coast, captured and scuttled ships form almost every country.”

Analysis: This haunted house in New Orleans that my grandfather lived in interests me because a “pirate ghost” seems like a blend of two outdated beings. Pirates are a thing of the past and the belief that the ghost of Jean Lafitte still haunts this house in New Orleans pays homage to his historical significance and notoriety. My grandfather also supposedly searched for the tunnel underneath the house but was unable to find it. It is still important to note the presence of Jean Lafitte and his legacy in this location regardless of the factuality of him haunting the house.

Haunted Winnie the Pooh Ride at Disneyland

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 20
Occupation: Cast Member at Disneyland
Residence: Fullerton, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/28/2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

KS is a cast member at Disneyland.

KS: Allegedly, in the New Orleans square/ Critter Country group of attractions the most haunted one is Winne the Pooh. You’ll hear little kids running. Winnie the Pooh, the whole building itself is super haunted because someone actually died in it. A cast member did. She was like crushed between two panels. (Upon my reaction) Yeah, it’s gross. So we hear like little kids running around. You’ll hear like laughter and shit. Sometime you’ll feel things like tugging on your clothing when it’s pitch black. Specifically in the Tigger scene, which I think is super ironic ‘cause he scares me in the daytime. Winnie the Pooh is the haunted building in that area.

Me: Do you have any experience with the hauntings in Winnie the Pooh. 

KS: One of my good friends was closing, and when you close a ride you have to do a walk through the ride. She was by herself for that part, and she felt something pull on her shirt. The shirts are billowy but not enough to even come close to getting caught on anything. So she looked over her shoulder and there was no one there, and then she heard laughter up ahead. The whole ride is completely powered off at this point. Only the lights are on so someone can walk the ride. There’s no reason or way she could’ve heard laughter, but she heard it. Then she ran out of the ride like a bat out of hell. She came back out and everyone was like “where the hell did you go?”, and she was like “there’s demons in there”.

Context:

Context:

I asked a friend who currently works at Disneyland if the Haunted Mansion was actually haunted, and this is what they had to say instead. 

Thoughts:

I find it very interesting that the “Haunted” Mansion, despite having a well known ghost attached to, is not regarded as the most haunted attraction. I’ve heard of the Haunted Mansion ghost, but never of the Winnie the Pooh haunting.

Livermore’s Rockboy

--Informant Info--
Nationality:
Age:
Occupation:
Residence:
Date of Performance/Collection:
Primary Language:
Other Language(s):

Main Piece: There’s a place near where I live called Livermore. There’s an old highway which is closed now. Apparently there was a boy who sat on the overpass of the tunnel of the highway. He sat there and threw rocks at cars but one day some guy got mad at the kid and murdered him. Now his ghost haunts that overpass called Rockboy. It takes a lot to go to that place. You have to go through many alleys and stuff to get through and to hear Rockboy. What you have to do to see him you have to first go and turn off all electronic devices like your phone, car and anything like that, normally people go with a group cause it’s pretty scary. So once everything is off, everyone who is there has to be connected in some way and then someone has to say something along the lines of “Rockboy we come in peace.” when my friends and I did that I swear that I heard rocks being thrown.

Context: The informant moved to San Ramon in 2007 and heard about the myth from upperclassmen at his highschool. When learning about this ritual, he and a group of friends decided to try it.

Thoughts: This legend seems to be one that reflects the fear and eeriness of the overpass that’s abandoned. With abandoned sites like this, there seems to be a story behind it for why it was abandoned in the first place so that people can have a sense of thrill and excitement in a completely normal place, whether it is real or not.