Tag Archives: ghosts

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.

The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs

--Informant Info--
Nationality: United States of America
Age: 47
Occupation: Freelance Editor
Residence: Fayetteville, AR
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/25/20
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Main piece:

“The Crescent Hotel is a famous building in Eureka Springs with a long history because now it’s a common ghost attraction and makes a lot of local haunting lists. The building which began as a hotel for elite visiting Eureka Springs later became a tuberculosis ward during the plague and there were rumors about doctors who experimented on their patients trying to find cures to diseases like cancer”

Background:

The informant for this piece is a woman in her late 40s who lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She was born in Joplin, Missouri but moved south to Fayetteville and has lived there for almost 18 years by now. Fayetteville is a college town as it is adjacent to the University of Arkansas. Due to the proximity of the town to the Ozark mountains, the Ozark culture influences the town alongside the culture of those going there for college. This specific building is located outside of Fayetteville in an area called Eureka Springs. The hotel is just one of many structures converted to a tuberculosis ward to fight off the diseases in the 1900s. Similarly, in the past there have been similar stories of abandoned and haunted hospitals. 

Context:

The piece was shared with me via a phone call with the informant. This exact topic was brought up in response to my general question looking for local folklore of the Fayetteville area. 

Thoughts:

I feel as though this piece is interesting as it represents an amalgam of other similar haunted buildings. The Crescent Hotel began as a hotel for the elite members of society, but the business went under. This keeps in the theme of haunted buildings having ties to old money, and I feel represents a distrust of those with extreme wealth. This also makes sense in context of the location, which while not poverty-stricken, by no means has a large population of extremely wealthy inhabitants. The hotel is also described as a tuberculosis ward, which while not entirely accurate does reflect a fear of doctors and disease. This is a common fear and is often featured in similar structures like haunted hospitals. In my opinion, what differentiates this building is how the history of the building as both a hotel for the elite and hospital combines these two separate but similar stories into one extremely haunted structure.

Bloody Mary

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 22
Occupation: Pastry Chef
Residence: Napa, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: April 14, 2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Here is a transcription of my (CB) interview with my informant (AH).

CB: “Can you tell me about Bloody Mary?”

AH: “Yes! So I learned about Bloody Mary when I was pretty little. I think that it was one of my friends in elementary school that taught me about it, but I don’t really remember honestly. But, uhhh…. The superstition was that if you went into the bathroom at night, traditionally you’re supposed to do it at midnight. But you go in and you flick the lights on and off again three times, and you say ‘Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary’ and she’s supposed to appear to you and kill you. 

CB: “So what does Bloody Mary mean to you?”

AH: “Bloody Mary was the very first folklore that I remember. I used to be scared shitless of Mary, whoever the fuck she was…. Oh! No! She wouldn’t kill you right away, her bloody severed head would appear in the mirror, and there would be blood in the sink, and then she would kill one of your family members the next night. That’s what it was!!”

CB: “But why do you think that piece of folklore is important?”

AH: “I just always thought it was kinda a way to keep kids out of the bathroom at night. I don’t know.”

Background:

Bloody Mary is a very popular tale or game that many of my friends and I have heard growing up. My informant and I discussed how the game seems to only ever be played by girls, and is very heavily associated with elementary school bathrooms. We compared versions of the story that we grew up with, and laughed at our fears. I had heard that the ghost was based on Mary Queen of Scots, and that she would haunt young girls because she was killed at a young age.

Context:

My informant called me with stories prepared after hearing that I had been interviewing other members of our family for folklore. We had a fun and casual conversation, exchanging versions of stories that we had heard growing up.

Thoughts:

Bloody Mary is a really common childhood game because it reflects young girls’ universal apprehension about blood and bathrooms. The fears associated with the game also reflect modern social portrayals of bathrooms as a dangerous space. Girls are taught from a very young age not to go to the bathroom alone. I grew up hearing stories about men hiding in women’s bathrooms to kidnap, rape, or murder the women who go in their. Because of this, girls begin to internalize this fear of bathrooms, particularly public bathrooms, at a very young age. This game reveals is a way for girls to channel and address their fears associated with a public school bathroom, often with the protection of their friends.

For another interpretation of Bloody Mary see “The Psychology of Extraordinary Beliefs” published by The Ohio State University. https://u.osu.edu/vanzandt/2019/04/17/bloody-mary-from-the-bathroom-to-the-laboratory/

Old Stage Road Ghost

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 48
Occupation: Driver
Residence: Salinas CA
Date of Performance/Collection: April 23, 2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Here is a transcription of my (CB) interview with my informant (CH).

CH: “And so it is a very long old sort of dark road. And it’s kinda windy. And it is super quiet out there, it is creepy quiet. But I sorta always thought that it was peaceful, so I don’t know why they always get freaked out by it. And a lot of kids actually used to go out on this road and drink and party because you just couldn’t hear it and there’s nobody around to call the cops. So there’s tons and tons and tons of stories of this thing that actually seems to occur and happen there. So there’s this woman who walks along the road there, and its supposed to be if you’re out there between 1am and 3am in the morning. And you will see her in a nightgown or just a billowing white dress and her hair is sort of hanging down and flowing, but yeah it was basically the classic tale. But almost everyone says that she’s looking down. And uh… uh.. She will literally appear out of nowhere, and if you pull up next to her she will either disappear, or she will turn and look at you with these sort of sunken eyes. And others have said that if you’re driving she will just all of the sudden appear next to the car, like going as fast as the car. And then she turns and looks at you and disappears. Other people say that their radio gets staticy, and they hear someone just screaming, this blood curdling screaming. Sometimes even over the music, it was just so loud in the car and outside the car at the same time. And they’d see this woman in the middle of the road, you know just right in front of the car, and they’d literally just drive right through her, and she’d disappear. And so the story goes that its a woman who had accepted a ride from a stranger, and he had raped and murdered her brutally and just left her in the field. So, um, yeah.”

CB: “Why do you think people tell the story?”

CH: “I think they tell it to keep young women from walking the streets at night or sneaking out of the house. Because that very well could happen, it has happened, and, uh, it will probably happen again. I think it’s just to keep kids inside their houses at night, instead of going out and walking the roads, you know. It keeps them from partying” 

Background:

My informant grew up in Salinas, and was raised by her mother and grandmother who grew up in the area as well. As a kid and teenager she spent a large amount of her time at or around Old Stage Road. The ghost stories surrounding the road are so notorious that I’ve heard many of them without having lived in Salinas, or ever even been to the road. Old Stage Road was a very popular teenage hangout spot, particularly in the 80’s for cruising. 

Context:

I interviewed my informant over the phone, and we had a light and casual conversation. I had heard of the road and that it was haunted many times before, but this was the first time I heard the details of some of the stories associated with the road.

Thoughts:
I think that it’s most interesting that the stories surrounding Old Stage Road are often associated with a car. I think this association reflects the importance of teenage car culture as my informant was growing up. This ghost story in particular places a heavy emphasis on proper ways to behave within car culture. It acts as a warning for young women against getting into the car with strangers. My informant cites the story as acting as a warning for all kids against going out. However, I think that ghost stories often encourage young people to go exploring. I think it’s more likely that this story was spread as a warning to women about accepting rides from strangers, and gained popularity through its appeal and connection to the younger generation.

For another variation of Old Stage Road haunting see Reddit post “Old Stage Road” posted by u/moonriver7811. https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/2op9ed/old_stage_road/

Driving around Scary Dairy

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 20
Occupation: Cashier
Residence: Camarillo, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: April 17, 2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

MAIN PIECE

Driving around Scary Dairy

“Scary Dairy is what you do when you wanna pass the time as a teenager, but also don’t want to spend any money.  It’s not really that scary or haunted, but younger kids like to believe it is so that they get a thrill from it.”

“What it is specifically is an old building on the CSUCI campus that used to be used to kill Mental hospital patients, so people drive past it or even sneak into it when they want to be frightened.”

BACKGROUND

SM is from Camarillo, California and has grown up in the area since he was born.  He says he remembers Scary Dairy from driving past it and even going inside.  He says he and his friends would make up ghost stories and talk nonsense when they were around it.   He also says that he has done this with many other friends and  that people that grew up in Camarillo always talk about it when they are in high school.

CONTEXT

SM is an old high school friend of mine.  I invited him to a  Discord server and I watched him play The Witcher.   He was open to talk about folklore of the area we grew up in during cutscenes he said he had already watched when he had played the entirety of the game before.

THOUGHTS

Ghosts are a very popular folkloric trope and it’s not surprising to hear about one in a suburban town like Camarillo.  What I believe is that, like many other “haunted” places in suburban towns, it’s  purpose less so is the straight fact that it is haunted, but instead the thrill that believing it is gives to young people.  To go drive around Scary Dairy must have some sort of rites of passage meaning as  well because SM specifically mentioned teens, but not younger kids like middle or elementary schoolers.

Little Girl Ghost in House

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Mexican American
Age: 21
Occupation: student at college of the canyons
Residence: San Fernando Valley
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/25/20
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish

SR: Okay, so like I went to Virginia and then, like I think I was 7 but um it was a two story house. I was sleeping and I woke up because I was thirsty and I didn’t know where everything was because it was my second day there. The only light that was there was like a Christmas tree light, so I went downstairs to go get water as I was getting water I noticed my cousin was following me and I was like, “oh, do you want some water” and she kind of like nodded. I drank my water and put my cut back in the sink and then I went upstairs and then I saw my cousin go into the part downstairs. They had two living rooms and she went into the smaller living room and I was like that’s weird but whatever. So I went back upstairs and my cousin was like in her bed and I was like that is so weird. The next day, it was so funny, the next day my grandma was talking about this little girl they see often and then they are like, “oh yeah , she is like always around here. She looks like Stephanie.” Stephanie is my cousin. 

CA: She looks like your cousin that is still alive?

SR: Yeah 

CA: Why do you think there is a girl there?

SR: I don’t know, I think honestly maybe she died in the house. In Virginia their backyards are basically open land and it’s like foresty. Maybe she like died somewhere there and her body is still around. It was crazy my grandma told me she would forget that the girls were at school and she will see the girl and then offer her like food not knowing that it’s not my cousin. The only one that she doesn’t appear too is my uncle. She has appeared to all my cousin’s and even my guy cousin, and my grandma and my nina, but she has not appeared to my uncle like at all.

CA: Why do you think that is?

SR: I don’t know maybe the way she died or I don’t know. 

CA: Is he the head of the house?

SR: Yeah, he is definitely the head of the house. 

CA: So he is the main male presence?

SR: Mhm

Context

SR is a 20 year old student who attends college of the canyons in Santa Clarita. This conversation took place over a casual FaceTime call where I asked her is she had any folklore I could use for the database. She comes from a Catholic Mexican household and has lived in Southern California her whole life. Also, many of her family live in Virginia and she visits there on occasion 

Analysis

This is a memorate surrounding a haunting of a house. The nonchalant attitude of those who lived in the house was surprising because most of the stories I have heard surrounding ghost stories have been meant to inspire fear. However, in this case the girl did not seem to be bothering anyone and it is something that had all gotten used to. It was a story that everyone involved believed to be true and did not find it a ludicrious notion that there was a spirit in their house. 

It is also interesting that the only person the girl has not appeared to it the male authority figure in the house. Thus, showing that she only appears selectively and that she may have animosity against males. 

Disneyland’s Haunted Haunted Mansion

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

An interview with a Disney Cast Member, KS, about the Haunted Mansion Attraction at Disneyland.

Text:

KS: The Haunted Mansion is the second most Haunted Attraction, the first is Winnie the Pooh. In the Haunted Mansion there is a legend of some old lady. Some dead grandma. These people brought Dead Grandma’s ashes and chucked them on the ride, and we just sweep them up and get them out of there. It’s not our problem. But, anyway, apparently Old Lady decided to stick around in the building ‘cause you’ll see some lady who’ll walk through the queue. You won’t see her in the elevators, but she’ll appear in the hallways. She’s like this old lady in old tiny clothing. I don’t know what era, but old clothing. She’ll go on the ride, wait in the queue, she’ll get on the buggy, she’ll go all the way around and then that buggy will come back empty. We can tell when a buggy was left empty both on accident and on purpose, it’s never either when it comes to the old lady. She’s picked up on the cameras as getting in the buggy, but at some point during the ride she’ll disappear. 

Me: Do you have any experience with the Old Lady?

KS: I work in the loading bay. It’s this little hallway where we store wheelchairs and it feels super haunted. I was standing right in front of that hallway and I felt this cold wind push me back even though there’s no way wind could be there. I started to feel super nauseous. Then the winds came from behind me again, then suddenly the wind stopped and I felt fine. I’m not saying it was the old lady messing with me, but it makes sense to me. Old lady dies, we sweep her up, and throw her away. She see me and is like “oh you got rid of my dust. I’m gonna mess with you now. 

Me: Were you the one, specifically, to get rid of her? 

K: Oh, no. This happened in like the eighties before I was born. We all just look the same. The costumes haven’t changed much.

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.

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.

The Haunting of the Lorenzo

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Residence: Glendale, California
Date of Performance/Collection: 3/2/19
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Main Piece

JS: “Yeah, dude! The Lorenzo is haunted! You’ve never heard about this?”

Collector: “No! I guess I don’t know enough people who live there.”

JS: “The Lorenzo used to be a hospital, which was abandoned for a bunch of years before the developers bought out the land for the apartments. A bunch of people died in that hospital, so obviously some parts of a place that big have got to be haunted. They try to gloss over it, but the carpets in there still give it away. It looks like The Shining! People get lost in the hallways all the time, and never come back.”

Collector: [laughter] “Has this happened to people you know or is it just something that you’ve heard about?”

JS: [laughter] “No, it’s never happened to anyone I’ve known. It’s probably all just made up. You can never be too careful, though. The place still gives off the creepy vibes and I am not making up that it used to be a hospital…look it up!”

Analysis

Buildings that have taken on lives beyond their original intention or original owners are often claimed as haunted places. The inevitability of death and pain in places like hospitals and prisons adds a very convincing layer to many that there are still souls who cannot escape the earth trapped in these locales. Many people are uncomfortable thinking about the harsh lives of those in the same spot as them, even if they did not know them directly. The legend is known to students of USC because of how many end up living at the Lorenzo after they lose their spots in student housing. To this very day, people consider ghosts as considerations when deciding where to live, which demonstrates how strong the belief in after life and spirits are in the US.

Ghosts in Banana Trees in Malaysia

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Chinese
Age: 20
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 2/12/19
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Cantonese

Description

Informant reported that their mother told them, “Don’t hang near the banana trees in Malaysia because ghosts live there.” Their mother grew up there and heard it from her Aunts. She describes the origin of this piece of folklore as having come about due to the amount of plantations in Malaysia, therefore people created this story to ward kids off of them, as they would play near the trees.

Context

Informant is a secondary receiver of the folklore, whereas their mother experienced this in action — she would be taken near plantations and told not to stick around, while my informant only received the warning when about to go outside and play with other friends. It was less of a warning while in Malaysia, but rather a general warning before going outside.

Analysis

I think this is an interesting anecdote that had to have started way back when, perhaps when children were hanging out too much in Malaysian plantations. It could have started due to malicious circumstances with a landowner getting fed up with children stealing from the plantation and therefore killing him, or it could be more lighthearted than that. I think a lot of different cultures have sayings such as these.

I did some research and found something called the “pontianak,” which is a female vampire ghost in Malay mythology. These are said to be spirits of women who died while pregnant, and my informant thinks this saying about Malaysian banana trees has roots with this mythical figure. Further reading can be done at the citation below:

Skeat, W.W. Malay Magic. New York, Macmillan and Co. Ltd, 1900. Print.

The Bay Area: The Toys R Us Ghost

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 2/21/2019
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Context:

My informant is a 21 year old student from the University of Southern California. This conversation took place in a university dining hall one evening. The informant and I were in an open space, and the informant’s significant other was present and listening to the conversation, as well. The SO’s presence, is the most likely reason that the informant was much more dramatic and told the legend quite jokingly, as if for the purpose to get laughs out of both me and the SO. In this account, he explains a legend of a ghost in his town that he doesn’t remember who he learned it from: “Everyone just seems to know about it.” This is a local legend, and has also been reported on Mercury News, SFGate, and a series of blogs. This is a transcription of our conversation, where he is identified as A and I am identified as K.

 

Text:

A: Before the bustling suburb of Sunnyvale grew to its imminent heights that now houses Amazon and Google offices, it was once a sleepy little farm town in Silicon Valley, where tech was replaced by fields and farms and orchards. One day, this man (as it was explained to me) was out in the field, in one of those like, you know, he has some kind of labor agreement with the farm… So he’s hacking away with his hoe, and this guy injures himself. Turns out he bleeds out into the field and dies. Decades later, there’s now a Toys R Us here… long story short, this guy who self-maimed himself with a hoe and bled out… he hunts, this uh, Toys R Us. Even though Toys R Us just got bought out, before that, all the ghost hunter people would come into Sunnyville to see this ghost. He would come into the aisles at all hours of the night, pretty crazy stuff… You can say Sunnyvale’s not sleepy anymore!

Don’t sleep on Sunnyvale….

K: Ok, what did you take away from this story?

A: Um, I think especially in areas like suburbs, when there’s not traditionally a lot of culture, people latch on to certain stories, just to impart some kind of history onto a town that otherwise wouldn’t necessarily be that notable.

K: What effect did this story have on you?

A: I still shopped at Toys R Us, but honestly I heard it after I stopped shopping, but I still do play with Legos just as a disclaimer.

 

Thoughts:

I thought this story was particularly interesting and ended up looking it up to find out more about this ghost. As it turns out, this ghost has made quite a name for itself in the Bay Area. Just like my informant said, this ghost worked the land as part of a labor agreement, where he would have housing in exchange for his work. However, what my informant didn’t mention was the fact that this ghost fell in love with the daughter of the family that owned the land; she eventually ran away with a lawyer, breaking his heart. Distracted by the pain of his broken heart, the ghost ended up hurting himself with one of his tools and slowly bled to death, thus leaving his unsettled ghost to roam the land.

Years afterwards, many people came to the newly built Toys R Us that was constructed on top of the land that he worked to ghost hunt for him., but it seems that this story has re-emerged under the new context that Toys R Us is now shutting down. It seems that this story has a new relevance, where people can now interpret this story in the death of people, but also in the death of companies. Many of the new articles wonder whether or not the death of Toys R Us will also result in the disappearance of the ghost. However, the ghost’s story is separate from Toys R Us’s: he was clearly wronged by a member of the family that owned the land, and his haunting is meant to instill guilt in the owners of that land. Furthermore, ghosts are believed to be tied to the soil, not the structure that they resided in, so it’s most likely that the ghost will remain and that for those that were hopeful that he would leave, they will have to continue to remember the wrongdoings of the daughter that broke his heart.

 

For more on this ghost story, please refer to this article below:

Dowd, Katie. “Will the Death of Toys R Us Kill off This Famous South Bay Ghost Story?” SFGate, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 May 2018, www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/haunted-toys-r-us-sunnyvale-ghost-store-12750779.php.