Tag Archives: ghost

Turkish Haunted House

Background Information: 

The informant is an older person who grew up in Central Turkey in the 40s and 50s. They have now been living in the US for the last 30 years. They are describing things from their childhood. The informant remembers part of this story and was told the rest by her siblings and parents. 

Main Content: 

ME: Could you tell me about the haunted house that you lived in?

NA: Yeah, so when I was a little kid we used to live in this house. And after the lights went off at night, they would hear something on the walls, it also sounded like there was something in the house, and my father used to get up and get the, those days, there was no electricity I guess, and would get the lamps and go around the house. He couldn’t find anything, the windows were closed, the doors were closed, nobody was there. They used to tell this to the Imam, and the Imam, they know everything (laugh), they say “Oh, these are Jinn (Evil Spirits from the Quran)”. And then you know Uncle Jengis? Uncle Jengis’s mother she used to tell us that she was seeing the Jinn and spanking them, but it didn’t work. How could this happen? I’m thinkinking now that she must have had a nightmare. 

ME: Yeah, who knows? Did you guys do anything else to try and get rid of the Jinn. 

NA: Well, I mean, I was very young, and I hardly remember, but they were very scared. They couldn’t get rid of them, so we moved. They couldn’t take it anymore and moved. And then I think after that, my father used to rent out the house. 


This conversation happened over a Facetime call.


It sounds to me that these stories are very legitimate, especially if the informant’s family decided to move out because of the Jinn. Especially in a small town, this would be incredibly unsettling and scary, and I understand why they would want to leave, especially after the Imam couldn’t get rid of the Jinn. I also think that its interesting that the Imam described the ghosts in the house as Jinn, which are included in the Quran, but they originated as Pre-Islamic Arabic folklore. The actions of this Jinn fit the bill of what is described in the Quran. In the Quran, Jinn are often described as possessive beings that will take over houses and start occupying them, causing terror on it’s inhabitants during the nightime. It also makes sense that the Imam didn’t really try to do anything to get rid of the Jinn, because there are no described ways to get rid of them in the Quran. 

Century Apartments Ghost

Um, ok so, here in Century Apartments, um, there was a woman, who um – now this was heresay, told to me by someone at a pool party, uh when we first moved in, and my roommate and I looked it up, and there’s, reported in the newspaper, more specific details confirming that this was true, there was a woman who lived in this apartment and did not know she was pregnant, um…

ME: Wait this apartment?

Not this apartment, but this apartment complex, and she did not know she was pregnant, and the legend goes that she gave birth in her shower, um, and the legend goes she didn’t know she was pregnant, but she gave birth, and uh, I keep saying “as the legend goes” but the story is she strangled the baby, or like suffocated it, and then tossed it down the trash chute, um, but, there, there was a baby found by a custodial worker in the bottom of the trash chute, um, and uh, she definitely get in legal trouble for this, um, and now we believe there’s a ghost in this apartment building somewhere, um, my neighbors did a pendulum thingy to uh … I believe the ghost is named Melvin with she/her pronouns, that’s what I recall, that was the name and … but there’s allegedly a ghost in the building and it’s allegedly the baby.

Background: I was, admittedly, one of the people who had contacted the ghost via pendulum, prior to being aware of the death of the baby in my apartment complex – we connected our prior belief that there was a spirit in our apartment to the new knowledge that an infant had died there. My informant had heard about these happenings secondhand, and this was his recollection.

Context: This piece was collected during an in-person conversation in my informant’s apartment, which is in the Century apartment complex.

My thoughts: This piece is an excellent example of a memorate. A group of people (of which I am one) noticed unexplained things happening, such as doors slamming, things not being where they were placed, and other such phenomena. This group initially fit this into a framework of belief in which ghosts are often the cause of these things, going so far as to engage in a pendulum ritual to try and communicate with it. Upon learning about the death of a child in the same location they already believed a ghost inhabited, they group fit that death and their ghost belief together.

The Banyan Tree Ghost

Folklore/ Text:

TM: “When you [post author] were about four years old, we took you to an Italian restaurant in Lahaina, Maui called Basil Tomato. We were seated at a booth against a large window facing a courtyard with a grass field and a banyan tree, and you were closest to the window. Out of nowhere, you screamed ‘ghost!’ at the top of your lungs, which we attributed to your recent obsession with the tv show Scooby-Doo. We kind of brushed past what happened, until the waitress came to our booth and said ‘What did your son just say?’ Then your Mom had to explain, ‘So sorry for the disruption, our son is just being funny and thinks he saw a ghost outside…’ and the waitress’s face dropped. She continued, ‘That’s interesting you say so, because that’s not the first time we have had a guest see some kind of figure or apparition out at that Banyan tree recently. Apparently, someone who visited that tree often has passed away, and seems to be visiting that tree still in the afterlife.’ And then the whole table and restaurant went silent.”       

Explanation/ Context: Whenever my family tells me this story, it gives me chills. I actually vividly remember seeing a sort-of transparent/ holographic/ shimmery/ glowing figure at the Banyan Tree that night; it has sort of been ingrained into my mind because I was so taken aback by the experience. But it’s interesting to consider how this same story has traveled through my family, to my cousins, aunts, and uncles. It’s an anecdote people love to re-tell. And it’s especially interesting considering there’s this notion that young children are more susceptible to seeing paranormal activity because of their innocence. And my story, as told by my family members, confirms that belief to some extent.

Hatchet Annie and the Banana Man

Folklore/ Text: Hatchet Annie and the Banana Man

KM: “Basically, the banana man is a person dressed in a yellow rain suit. He was known for sneaking around below the intermediate girl’s shower house (bathroom cabin). He would grab their feet and toes through the gaps in the floorboards and occasionally stab their feet. Allegedly he was an old counselor who was fired for sneaking around and stalking girls, so he would break into camp during rainstorms with his yellow rain jacket and stick his fingers through the floorboards of bathrooms to scare them. Hatchet Annie was an old camper who had gone for many years, but was bullied by her fellow campers. Eventually, she stopped returning to camp, but grew up and returned to camp with an ax to kill the campers. She needed a place to hide the bodies, so she would tie rocks to the bodies of the victims, and she would throw them into a swampy marsh by the old shed that she had taken over as her base of operations. Forevermore, this swamp would be known as Lake Anne.”

Explanation/ Context: Despite being scary stories to tell around a campfire at night, they also serve as a way to ensure that campers are behaving. Because of Hatchet Annie and the Banana Man, campers are less likely to be misbehaving out in the woods late at night or act recklessly during storms. Likewise, it would keep campers away from Lake Anne, where younger kids may be likely to drown. If they think there are bodies at the end of the swamp, they won’t swim in it! These scary stories employ immense fear for the young campers especially… because they don’t know better than to understand they are fictional. They are examples of camp lore that have been passed along to generations, including my mother and my sibling. I certainly remember being freaked out by the prospect of stumbling upon Hatchet Annie in the woods, or seeing the Banana Man peak up at me from beneath the floorboards of a cabin. And it was always fun to speculate about whether one of these monsters were spotted around the camp property, too.

Sleep Paralysis Demon

Folklore/ Text: Sleep Paralysis

SM: “Do you know what sleep paralysis is? It’s basically when your mind is awake in bed, but your body is still asleep. I used to get sleep paralysis a lot, and I would open my eyes and see a figure. Sometimes it would scream at me, and it was so scary because I thought it was real… Like someone was trying to attack me. To remedy this, my mom used to tell me “if you sleep in these certain positions, the sleep paralysis demon is going to get you!” But she would say this to combat the way I would sleep in positions that are bad for my body. I would always get sleep paralysis when I was sleeping pin-straight on my back or stomach. Legend has it that if you see a demon when you’re having sleep paralysis, the demon is coming back from hell to check on you… And now I still avoid these sleeping positions to this day, because I don’t want a visit from the sleep paralysis demon.”      

Explanation/ Context: Sleep paralysis is not incredibly common, but it’s something that is widely feared because of those who have experienced it. But the element that is folkloric about it is the alleged sighting of the ‘sleep paralysis demon.’ People who have endured this kind of paralysis almost always report seeing some kind of hideous, frightening, threatening figure. And its sightings date back to Why don’t people experience nice things during sleep paralysis?