J is an 18-year-old from Canada who has parents from the Philippines.
This conversation took place over a discord call with my friend group when I brought up old games from our childhoods. We talked about club penguin and were discussing the club penguin “secrets.”
J: I remember like… when everyone was playing club penguin, there was this one rumor that you could flip the iceberg if you had enough penguins standing on one side of the iceberg. I think it was… the left side? I can’t really remember.
Me: yeah yeah, I remember that! I tried so many times.
J: Yeah exactly! But then people started thinking that like.. you needed to use the- the, what was it called. ummm…. the- Oh the jackhammer. I think.
Me: The one with the like orange hard hat that you got in the mines right?
J: Yeah that one! Everybody was convinced that like the reason it wasn’t flipping was because you needed to do that on a side of the iceberg with enough people. But it just like, never like flipped. BUT! I think on the final day of club penguin when the servers were getting shut down, I’m pretty sure it flipped over and there was like… a dance floor or something like it was a huge deal because everybody wanted to flip it so bad. And it like- finally happened.
Me: No because I like remember that happening and I like lost my MIND!
Like many childhood games, there were many rumors and secrets that were propagated over the internet and the game community. I think it was nice that at the end of the game, the developers were aware of the rumor and made it actually happen as a nod to everyone finally getting some closure to it. Rumors and secrets like this help to distinguish the game and make it more interesting for children. Especially when children could not get club penguin premium accounts, the secrets and rumors helped to make every player feel like they were part of something exclusive.
Description: There are rumors of a cult developing within a MMO game that no longer has a large enough player base. People believe there to be a recruiter and people have reported strange content appearing in certain areas of the game.
Background: The informant learned about this from browsing Reddit.
BD: This one I don’t remember in extreme detail, but there was a rumor that there was a cult in worlds.com. It was an old mmo from I think 90s era where it had just like a bunch of “worlds” you could go to and eventually lost the majority of its player base. But the servers were kept up (and I think still might be up?) despite having no players. The reason why cult started to float around was for a few reasons; one that there was a user that would float around and try to recruit you (this is the one that was debunked) ((also tbh I think this started bc the guys avatar looks like a goat iirc)). Another being that there were worlds floating around that had questionable content.
Me: Questionable as in illegal?
BD: Not illegal, but weird. It was naked photos of people in a room with their names under photos I believe. Actually it might have had some personal info on them too. But not 100%.
Surprisingly, video games are considered by some as some of the most effective ways of secret messaging. For example, someone can shoot massages in the form of bullet holes. Looking at the circumstances, it’s interesting to think about a cult being created inside of an abandoned server. There is a level of creepiness in being in a server with so few people when they are meant to be filled to the brim. This rumor, while debunked, is not unthinkable especially since the server is still operational despite having no players. Of course, the reports of questionable content furthers the narrative. Seeing strange things on the internet often leads to extreme speculations because of the crazy things that happen on the web.
The following is transcribed from dialogue between myself and the informant, DH.
DH: Up in Mount Shasta, there is a rumor that there is a Lemurian society living there. If you didn’t know, Lemuria is rumored to be a lost continent that was located in the Pacific Ocean a while back. Along with Atlantis, the continent was the most advanced in the world, and housed people who were supposedly 8 feet tall. This belief grew stronger as some people who have climbed Mount Shasta have claimed to come across the Lemurian people. For example, there was one guy who claimed to find an underground city inside the mountain, and got to meet some of the Lemurian people. Because of this strong belief, there have been some cults created and they claim that the Lemurians went to war with Atlantis, and were forced to build a secret society inside Mt. Shasta because their continent got destroyed.
Background: The informant is a 57 year old man who is really into outdoor activities. He in fact climbed Mt. Shasta when he was 25, and had heard about these stories from his father before the climb. However, he claims to have never came across any Lemurian people.
Context: The informant and I discussed this Legend face to face.
My Thoughts: I personally do not believe in the secret societies up in Mount Shasta. I say this because there haven’t been too many witness accounts, and I feel like the people who claimed to see them only said so in order to profit off it. It is, however, a pretty interesting legend. There have been a couple of books written on the subject. One of them is titled, A Dweller on Two Planets, which talks about survivors from the sunken continent and how they are living in a series of complex tunnels beneath Mt. Shasta. Another one is titled, Lemuria: The Lost Continent of the Pacific, which talks about the battle with Atlantis and the road to Mt. Shasta. Despite the fact that I do not believe any of this to be true, I can’t help but feel the desire for it to be proven true. This is because having another culture of humans could lead our culture to more innovation and let us know what we are lacking in. It also makes me want to some day climb Mt. Shasta, and see if the rumors are true for myself.
The informant and I both attended the same high school. I had the opportunity to visit him in San Francisco, and we talked a bit about our time in school. We remembered a couple of stories that were passed around about the dormitories and the school chapel.
Interviewer: I remember that there were rumors of a ghost that haunted Merritt House’s basement and bathrooms, but I think the most popular rumor was that of the chapel ghost.
Informant: Ah yeah yeah… you mean the blue boy right?
Interviewer: I think that’s what he was called. Do you remember how it went?
Informant: Somewhat, it’s been a couple of years since I graduated… But if I remember correctly it had something to do with the chapel’s underground passage. It’s haunted by a ghost of a blue boy, and it’ll appear if you go there during Winter by yourself. I think.
Interviewer: People said that sometimes the blue boy would show up in the lower levels of the school buildings as well. Never ran into him though.
Informant: Neither did I. None of my friends did either, I’m pretty sure it was just a stupid rumor.
Interviewer: Do you remember how it came to haunt the chapel? That’ll probably be good for the report.
Informant: Uhh… I think he’s called the blue boy because he was stuck outside during a snowstorm and froze to death. And, supposedly, they found his body in the chapel. And after that they started seeing his ghost in the chapel crypts.
“You can only eat 2 hotdogs per year, because they take a long time to digest.”
The informant is my sister, a sophomore in high school. She does not remember where she heard this, but she claims that she hasn’t eaten a hotdog since 2012. She told me, “I save my 2 hotdogs for 4th of July every year, but even then I don’t eat hotdogs.” When I told her that I ate a good amount of hotdogs last year, she jokingly responded that I should refrain from eating more hotdogs for another five years. I think this belief comes from apprehension of Genetically Modified Organisms and non-organic food in recent years. More and more people want to eat naturally grown meat and vegetables, and are starting to question what exactly is in their food. With hotdogs especially, it is hard to tell what type of meat (or meats) is in them. Whether or not this belief is true, it is understandable for people to think twice before ingesting something they can’t identify.