Informant: My informant is a very good friend of mine. She and I met in my sophomore year of high school. She is currently an undergraduate at Cal State Dominguez Hills. The following transcript is a retelling of a ghost story that she heard from her mom and that has been passed down by the family due to the erie circumstances and she is now telling it to me.
Context: My informant states that after hearing this story from her mom. At the age that she heard it she was terribly scared of it. However, now that she has grown up, she’s not that scared, but still has a strong belief in this story. In fact, she has stated that now rather than fear for this little ghost boy she feels empathy for it. She can not imagine how lonely or how much this child must have been through that they are not able to let themselves go.
Story: So, this is my mom’s ghost story. It was around the 1980’s. At this time my mom was living at Jalisco, Mexico. She was in her friend’s house and was in the kitchen. She looks over towards the restroom and the bedrooms and from a distance, she sees a small child. He was dressed in a small white suit and no older than 5 years old. She saw him walk from the restroom into one of the bedrooms, then he just disappeared. When my mom’s friend came back to the kitchen my mom asked about it. The friends said, “Oh yeah. This is normal. When I clean, I can always hear a little kid laughing.
Analysis: Based on the details of the story, I’m awestruck as to how my informant is not scared of this ghost story but rather how she experiences empathy and some sort of pity for this ghost child. By seeing my friend’s reaction toward this story, one is able to see a glimpse of how younger generation are slowly becoming more intrigued and fascinated by these stories. Rather than ghost inflicting fear, Americans have now become succumbed to the idea of suspension vs. if we go back in time America used to be terribly afraid of anything out of the supernatural.
Informant: The informant is a very good friend of mine. She and I met in my sophomore year of high school. She is currently an undergraduate at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Context: The following transcript is a retelling of a ghost story that she heard from her aunt. Her aunt experienced this in early 1980s in Puebla, Mexico. My informant states that she believes it because this has not been the first time that her aunt has experiences something like this.
Story: “This story was told by my aunt to me, and it was experienced by her in Jalisco, Mexico when she was very young. It occurred one day when she had stayed late with a friend out of school. By the time they left and were walking home, it was dark. She was walking with her friend, and they saw a woman walk into this dark alley. They were confused as to what this lady was going to do because it was a dead-end ally. Curious to see whether the woman might be lost, they approached the valley carefully, but to their surprise there was no one there!”
Analysis: Although, this encounter might seem like a huge misunderstanding, to my surprise I actually believe this ghost story. Although, Mexico is a beautiful place, it is also full of a lot of violence. Most of the violence is experienced by women. Therefore, when hearing this story, I believe it might be the spirit of a woman who is restless and looking for vengeance or peace. I think this is the reason why I believe in this. In today’s lore there are so many more legends that seem to be similar to what my informant’s aunt experienced all around the world.
To read another version of a woman in alley, which might be suspected to be restless ghost refer to the following: S.E Schlosser, 2007, “Spooky Canada: Tales of Hauntings, Strange Happenings, And Other Local Lore”, pp. 117
Background information: IJ is a 20-year-old student at USC, who currently lives in Los Angeles, CA. He often visits family members in Mexico, and learns about different types of folklore and traditions during his visits.
IJ: In my town in Mexico, people often see gnomes. Like in my house over there, we have a smaller room that’s disconnected across the main house and my cousin’s aunt stays there with her husband and her kids. And there was one time where she woke up in the middle of the night and saw her kid laughing and giggling, like standing up in his crib. And she saw the door open to outside, so she got a flashlight, because the light switch was like across the room from her and she switched on the flashlight and saw a small gnome there. He ran out the door into the cornfield behind our house. She stood there absolutely frozen, and like shell shocked and her kid started crying.
Me: Wow, that’s kind of scary! Have you ever seen a gnome when you stay at your house in Mexico?
IJ: No, but there’s been more sightings there of like little gnomes running around, like the real small gnomes with the hats (laughs). Except my aunt said this one looked more real like a doll and it had wide eyes when she flashed the light at it.
I think many people share pieces of folklore in which their child showed a greater sensitivity to something supernatural, and also often the child is more welcoming to it than adults might be. This adds an even more eerie feeling to stories like these, because it almost feels like children or babies are somehow more connected to these beings than us, as adults.
TEXT: “Pelo en la oreja…ni duda deja.”
INFORMANT DESCRIPTION: Male, 58, Mexican
CONTEXT: His mother said this Old Age Proverb occasionally, when referring to someone being very old. His mother learned it from her grandparents who used it with each other to poke fun at their old age. It is a well known Mexican saying that is comically but also points out the Life’s Cycle. It can be said in reference to an elderly person that is not listening, pokes fun and is at their expense. It speaks about the fact that elderly people grow hair in their ears.
ORIGINAL SCRIPT: “Pelo en la oreja…ni duda deja.”
TRANSLATION: “hair in the ear, does not leave a doubt”
THOUGHTS: Although this saying is a bit rude, it is also light hearted and not meant to actually insult anyone. I think it is funny and something rare to point out or notice.
RITUAL DESCRIPTION: This ritual is called a “Limpia” which means a “Cleaning” in English. A woman will grab an egg and fill a glass with water. The person who is receiving the Limpia needs to be naked. Then the woman will rub the egg all over the person’s while chanting Hail Mary in Spanish over and over again. Once the egg has been rubbed all over the body she will crack the egg into the glass filled with water. Then you must wait and watch the glass. If the layer of white that comes up from the yolk comes up in little spikes then you are filled with the evil eye and it is being removed. If not, you did not have the evil eye on you.
INFORMANT DESCRIPTION: Female, 42, Mexican
CONTEXT: This ritual is done when life is not going well for someone and they have reason to believe they are filled with the evil eye. I saw this ritual be preformed life onto another woman. The woman told me this ritual has been passed down through woman for centuries since its indigenous origin. It combined the indigenous shamanistic ritual with Catholicism in an effort to clean someone from evil spirits. She would have it done when her life seems to be filled unnaturally with bad luck and said that after doing a Limpia her life would always turn around for the better. It means a lot to her and she says that she prefers to only have it done by someone who is familiar with the ritual and believes in it the way she does.
THOUGHTS: I was very taken with the performance of the ritual. As it was happening I was apprehensive and was feeling doubt. But as the women looked into the glass and saw the white leaving the yolk, they were so joyful and relieved it made me happy to watch. I figure it doesn’t matter what it is but to change your energy or believe you have been cured from bad luck can only improve your life.