Tag Archives: ghosts/spirits

The Faceless Ghost


“This happened back in 2021 and it was when me and my friend were having our own dorming experience up in Santa Barbara. One night my friend woke to a man-like voice. We had curtains in the room dividing the room, and she saw a hand grabbing a curtain. At first, she thought it was me but she looked over and I was asleep. She called my name to wake me up and told me that she saw someone’s hand on the curtain. I said I didn’t see anything and I went back to sleep. She later said that the ghost showed his face and it didn’t even look like a person. It was a really tall figure, almost like monster-ish. It looked at her and it said one word and the one word it said was “shoe.” We didn’t know if that meant a real shoe or shoo, get away. This freaked her out and she started crying and woke me up again. The next day she was so scared and she said that we needed to sage the house. I got an incense-type stick and I lit it and walked through the house and asked any ghosts to leave the house. She didn’t see anything after this.”


The informant was a person in the story. The informant wasn’t the one who saw the ghost but she helped participate in preventing the ghost from coming back by sageing the room. The informant was in the same room as the ghost and the informant’s friend originally thought that the ghost’s hand was the informant’s hand. The informant stated that she felt uneasy being in the same room as a ghost. The informant says that her friend is susceptible to paranormal activity and that’s why the ghost was there. The informant noted that it was just her and her friend in the house.


I didn’t know what to make of this story so I started by researching what a ghost pulling back a curtain could mean. This action is open to interpretation but one of the most popular ways to interpret this is that it’s a way that ghosts are saying they want to make contact with the living. The other thing to note is that the ghost didn’t have a face. Faceless ghosts may represent a fear of the unknown or a sense of loss/disconnect from oneself or others. A faceless ghost may also mean that the person died without receiving justice. The faceless appearance is a sign of their anger. This appearance is usually associated with fear and dread of the unknown. 

The informant stated that this happened in 2021, which was still the COVID-19 time. A lot of people were feeling uneasy leaving the period of quarantine and starting to get back to life as we knew it. There were a lot of unknowns at this point. I’m not sure if this is related to what the informant and her friend were feeling at the time but it could be a possibility. Maybe this is why the ghost was faceless. 

The informant’s friend described the ghost as monstrous and tall. This may tie into how sometimes a faceless appearance may be a sign of anger. If I saw this ghost I would probably think of either anger or fear. Maybe the friend was fearful because she was away from home. It’s hard to say what the ghost meant but the ghost’s appearance is very intriguing. 

La Senora de Blanco

Informant: My informant is my Mexican dad, who grew up in Puebla, Mexico. Although he has had many experiences with seeing spirits or potentials ghost, he retells me an interaction that he had with potential with a ghost on a day that he went to work at the same apartment in which we have been living for the past 21 years. 

 Context: This event happened in 2019. The following transcripts come from a conversation between me and my dad (S). He retells the story of a potential ghost that he might have seen one day when he left to work, and how he recalls this interaction to not have been scary, but rather more of a surprise to him. He recalls that in this interaction, it felt almost as if he knew the woman in white, or at least they had interacted in the past. 


Me: Oye papá, cuéntame algo interesante. Nunca te has topado con un fantasma o has oído de una historia de fantasmas? 

S: Si, si me he topado con uno. No se si te acuerdas pero te había contado tu y tu mama de esa señora de blanco que me la encontre aca abajo de la escaleras donde vivimos. Eran las 4:30am de la mañana y ves que me voy temprano al trabajo. Pos ese dia era como cualquier otro dia. Me bañe, me cambie, y los dejó dormidos. Iba yo bajando las escaleras y luego vi una señora de blanco. Era con una estatura de casi igual que yo, flaquita y como con vibra buena. Bueno y cuando me la tope, le dije buenos días. Y medio me contestó pero no le podía yo ver la cara para nada, porque estaba tapada como con un reboso. Y ves como los que se ponen aya en pueblito. Después, le abrí la puerta, y se pasó. Nomas que vez que yo camino para el carro. Ella se fue de la tercera, y yo me fui para la seis. Ni un minutos paso y ya no estaba! 

Translations of the text: 

Me: Hey dad, tell me something interesting. Have you ever encountered a ghost or have you heard of a ghost? 

S: Yes, I have come across one. I don’t know if you remember but you and your mom had told you about that lady in white that I found here downstairs where we live. It was 4:30 in the morning and you see that I leave early for work. Well, that day was like any other day. I showered, changed, and left you guys asleep. I was going down the stairs and then I saw a lady in white. She was about the same height as me, thin, and with like-good vibes. Well, and when I ran into her, I said good morning. And she half answered me but I couldn’t see her face at all, because it was covered as if with a shawl of some kind. You know like those in my little town. After, I opened the door for her, and she walked outside. You know how I walk to the car. She left through third street and I left to the other side of our street. Not even a minute passed and she wasn’t there anymore! 

Analysis: I believe this ghost story because there are so many people who have claimed to have seen a woman in white as well. Although it is of course not with the same textures of clothes or in the same place, it all just seems to be really due to the fact that my informant remembers every detail of it. Due to the fact, that my informant states that they weren’t really scared of it, but much more felt some sort of warmth to this spiritual being came to a surprise. If I had been in the shoes of my dad, I would have tried to not even talk to the woman, due to the fact that she was stranger. However, based on his spiritual encounter it proves to see that not everyone is prone to be scared of these experiences.

“무망” college predictions.

B is a 21-year-old Korean male originally from Busan, South Korea. B is currently a college student in Los Angeles, California.

B informed me of this folklore while I was in a college dorm chatting with him about the college admission process. I did not approach B with the intent of collecting folklore, but after he brought it up naturally in conversation, I requested B’s permission to record his folklore experience. The following is B’s story.

B: So there’s like this thing called “무망” (mudang) it’s kinda like an exorcist. Exorcist? Or whatever. But they’re not not really exorcists, but, they’re people who can like talk to ghosts and.. well, these ghosts are more like Gods who can like guide people, like.. like show visions you know? And I talked to them and I wanted to like um know what college I wanted to go to. Like what actually fits me really well. It’s like a fortune teller kind of thing. And I gave her a list of like all the schools I wanted to go, and like what schools would be the best. And the list had like USC um… Cornell.. what is it, Colombia or like anywhere, Carnegie. And she pointed to like these-uh, she divided the schools into like “O” “triangle” and “X” and the “Os” signified-like, they signified that I would get into that school. “Triangles” would be like, she wasn’t sure because there’s like a… waitlist-like waitlist thingie in America and.. it’s not exactly the same in Korea so like she didn’t know what it was. And “X” would be, um, I wouldn’t get there sadly laughs. And surprisingly, she got like seven out of nine guesses correct. And the last one was Columbia, and she put a “O” there. Or it was a “triangle,” no, I think it was an “O.” And I was expecting that I would go there but I failed, so like I was really disappointed with that. But, she got everything right, and she pointed to like USC.. or somewhere and she told me that I would go somewhere like, somewhere warm instead of like the cold areas which is like normally the east side, East Coast. Like the, all the Ivy Leagues. And, well.. I wanted to go to the East Coast but she told me that I would go somewhere like warm and I though it was uh.. bullshit. But, here I am laughs.

Reflection: At least in terms of practice, the Korean mudang in B’s account sound quite similar to American fortune tellers who both read cards and speak to spirits to predict futures. I am admittedly skeptical about the legitimacy of fortune telling, but it is hard to believe that the mudang was able to successfully determine seven out of the nine colleges correctly, especially without previous knowledge about the colleges . This odd and difficult to explain occurrence has at least made reconsider my stance on fortune telling. Based on B’s story and the continued popularity of Shintoism in Japan, it seems that shamanistic practices are still able to fulfill a need within modern East-Asian societies.

Curses and Ghosts

The interlocutor (JG) has moved into different houses and buildings with their family, taking note of strange occurrences happening in each location. Documented below are some of their experiences with the paranormal.

DESCRIPTION: (told over the phone)
(JG): “The houses and apartments that I’ve like, lived in have been very active with ghosts. If you can’t tell, we have a lot going on in the family.” (They laugh).

“So the house I lived in before this one [their current home], I lived in an apartment before that one, before that one. So like, three household…residences ago. That one was like, really, really active. There’d be a lot of stuff going on, like doors would open and close by themself. At that point, my brother was a baby and that was when my uncles had just passed away. And so there was a lot going on with that. Like, he would sit in the middle of the living room and babble to himself. And-he-my dad and my uncle, like as [my brother] was talking to seemingly no one, would feel, like, rushes of cold air. My mom had sent up like, a little altar for my first uncle that passed away and we put like a little beer thingy there. And somehow all of the beer that was in that cup disappeared in a few minutes, but the only person who was there was [my brother], but [my brother] was a toddler, like he couldn’t even walk at this point, or reach the thingy. We never told him my uncles’ names either, but when he grew up and got old enough to talk, he knew their names and that’s because we think that whoever he was babbling to as a baby was my uncles.

There was also, whenever it would rain, if you went all the way to the back, you could hear heels. Like heels heels. Every single person who went over to our house heard them at least once and they would come up to the back door. There was that. Yeah. Stuff here and there, doors opening and closing, napkins floating around, aprons moving, wind always passing around, lights and the TV turning on by themselves. There’s been a lot of things in every single house we lived in but those are some examples. From every place we’ve lived in.”

Personally, I have never had an experience quite like JG’s with the supernatural. I found it interesting how JG notes that their baby brother (at the time) was the only one who had the ability to “communicate” with who their family believed to be the recently passed uncles. It’s even eerier how JG said how their family never told their brother about the uncles’ names, but he grew up and was able to recall them. I don’t understand how exactly, but it is definitely worth mentioning! JG stated that they’ve moved houses a lot, so I’m curious about whether or not other residents of the homes or apartments felt the same ghostly presence.

The Blue Light


My informant for this piece grew up in rural, northern Wisconsin. I know from personal experience that living in an isolated area such as this one can cause serious boredom, especially during adolescence. Because of this, people who grow up away from the city often make their own fun, creating games and exploring the landscape. Occasionally, in the dark of night, strange things tend to occur.


As a teenager, looking for “the Blue Light” was both an exciting pastime and rite of passage in my informant’s hometown; everyone knew about it. On late nights, those individuals who thought themselves daring enough would go out in an attempt to experience the lore themselves. Luckily–although I may never get to experience it myself–I was able to live this tradition vicariously while he told me about it during an over-the-phone interview for the USC folklore archives.

Main Piece:

“When we were in high school… It was called the blue light. And there was a bridge on a country road, and you would go park on the bridge at night and people would go there all the time. And if you look out off the bridge sometimes people would see a blue light moving through the woods, and I saw it once, and my friends did too. The rumor was that there was an old farmer who hung himself off the bridge and his ghost haunted those woods.”


A few years ago, I remember hearing about some kind of phenomenon similar to the Blue Light that was supposedly proven false. Instead, these strange colors that people were seeing in the woods at night were reasoned to be the release of natural gas from a swamp, which would have a luminescent glow for a few seconds before dissipating. While this seems a more likely explanation, it hasn’t stopped the legend hunters who, apparently, continue to go out in search of the Blue Light even to this day. Though I would like to believe in the story and to pursue the Blue Light for myself, this continued interest in the phenomenon as the embodiment of a ghost is probably due to the human tendency of belief perseverance. In other words, teens in that region may have been given the information to know that the Blue light is probably just swamp gas, but they continue to believe in the story because it’s what they’ve always known.

For a Similar Narrative, See:

Carlisle, John. “Mysterious Light Draws Thrill Seekers to a U.P. Forest.” Detroit Free Press, 9 July 2018, eu.freep.com/story/news/columnists/john-carlisle/2016/09/04/mysterious-paulding-light-upper-peninsula-michigan/89275134.