Tag Archives: sighting

Three-foot-high, Solid, and White

Context: The informant is a family friend who relates a story that he heard from an associate he met when he lived in the Philippines. I know the informant personally and have no reason to doubt that his telling of the story is accurate. The story was told to the informant in District 2, Barangay Gamu Centro, Isabela Province, Luzon, The Philippines in November, 2014. The language in which the story was told to him is in English.


Me: Have you heard of any strange or supernatural stories in your life?

Informant: Yes, I have. So, uhh, the last person in the world I would have suspected to, um, tell me a story of that sort is a very good friend of mine, let’s, uh, call him Kay. Kay grew up in a working class family near, uh, the docks in Liverpool. His father and uncles worked in a factory nearby. And, uh, Liverpool is actually the Beatles hometown, and as a teenager he told me that he used to occasionally catch their act at the Cavern Club.

Me: When and where did you meet Kay?

Informant: I met him in, umm, let’s see here, uhh, I believe it was 2014. He was our landlord in the small village on the island of Luzon in the northern Philippines. We lived there for, uhh, a year in a tidy little cottage behind Kay and his wife’s house.

Kay met and married his wife in Dubai, let’s call her, um, Jay. Kay then quit his job as a power plant engineer for the Saudi Arabian national oil company, and, uh, they moved to Jay’s home village in the Philippines to take life easy.

Kay was a big man, a real tough man, who had worked in the murderous heat of the Saudi oil fields for about, uhh, 25 years from what I recall. It’s hot in the Philippines, too, and when we first met him, Kay was dressed in his daily uniform of, um, a pair of loose shorts and flip flops. I remember how *chuckle* Kay bragged that he hadn’t worn a shirt in ten years, and I *chuckle* I never saw Kay in a shirt once during that year we lived in his house.

Me: So what was the story that Kay told you?

Informant: I’ll get to that, but first you have to know that, uh, there was nothing fancy about Kay. He was a westerner, and, um, he prided himself on being tough, belligerent, outspoken, and being able to design and build anything he could imagine in his wonderfully creative mind. You can imagine my surprise, when he told us this story:

Jay, Kay’s Filipina wife, was, um, how should I say it, somewhat superstitious. She wouldn’t wear red when lightning prowled about during the typhoon season, and, uh, undoubtedly had all the supernatural fears and phobias typical of her neighbors. Kay didn’t fear anything, but he loved Jay and wasn’t too surprised when one day she told him about, get at this, the chicken.

Me: The chicken?!

Informant: The chicken! First it was Jay, and then it was their teenage daughter, let’s, uhh, call her May. They both saw it. Not an ordinary chicken, mind you. They had each seen a three-foot-high chicken walk through their house, out the kitchen door and disappear. A three-foot-high white chicken. *chuckle* It didn’t make a sound, didn’t look right or left, just walked from the veranda, through the sitting room, into the kitchen, out the door, then disappeared.

And, um, this didn’t happen just once, mind you. The chicken showed up from time to time, no special time a matter of fact. Not on Christmas or a birthday! First, Jay and May saw it independently; Jay saw it when May was at school, and then, uhh, Jay saw it when May and her sister-in-law were out back scrubbing clothes in the wash tub. But then, Jay and May *chuckle* saw it together at the same time! A three-foot white chicken calmly walking through their house. 

Kay didn’t see it! He didn’t believe in it! But he just went along with it so as to not make waves with his wife and daughter. Let them see whatever they want to see was the way Kay handled it.  He was totally accustomed to the often unusual beliefs of his friends and relatives in the village.

But that all changed the day Kay was in the house alone, tinkering with the ever problematic air conditioner in the, uhh, sitting room. He turned away to grab a screwdriver or wrench from his tool box, and there it was: A three-foot-high, solid, white chicken strolling through the sitting room not ten feet away! The chicken didn’t make a sound, didn’t look right or left. It just, uhh, sauntered into the kitchen and out the door to the yard. Kay didn’t believe it, but there it was. All of his experience working big power projects in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, all his drinking and brawling before he met Jay, all his settling down to his farm and taxi business in the Philippines. None explained the three-foot chicken!

Kay didn’t tell Jay and May about it at first. He dismissed the whole thing, until it *chuckle* happened again! Again! And Again! Finally, he had to admit it to Jay and May. They just nodded. They understood. As they said, that’s just the way things happen in the rural Philippines! *laughs*

And after a while, the chicken, uhh, didn’t come back. Kay and Jay and May were all glad about that. Kay especially because the three-foot white chicken was the one thing in his life he never figured out.

Now I, uhh, left out one tiny little detail. Very recently before the sightings of the supernaturally large chicken, Kay’s brother unfortunately passed away. Maybe, just maybe, those dots can be connected!

Thoughts: The story told is an example of a memorate. The informant related a supernatural occurrence as it was told to him by a close friend. The informant also originally wrote down the story to preserve it. I am further protecting the integrity of the story by recording it in the USC Digital Folklore Archives. The story illustrates how supernatural events are perceived differently by persons of different cultures. For example, the wife and the daughter (Filipinos) easily accepted the supernatural events, while the husband and father (Westerner) initially rejected it. The informant told me that this doesn’t suggest that the wife and daughter are not intelligent or perfectly capable individuals. They are simply a product of their rural Filipino culture. The informant himself is at a loss to determine the veracity of the story, and so am I. Furthermore, the informant has no reason to doubt the integrity of the friend who told him this story because he knew the storyteller to be honest and forthright. This is an example of how our credulity is heavily influenced by our personal relationships.

El Chupacabra Sighting

Context: My informant, JP, is my uncle. He grew up in Texas and hearing legends of El Chupacabra from his friends. He has told this story many times in the past to family and friends, and shown the accompanying video. While I’m not sure he actually believes it, he always tells the story as if it is entirely factual and a real account of a chupacabra sighting. This piece was collected over the phone as he told the story to me and his girlfriend. In the text, I am SW and B refers to JP’s son (my cousin) who was approximately 11 at the time.


JP: “Well first of all, you gotta know what the chupacabra is. And literally translated from Spanish it means ‘goat sucker.’ And it came about that, I don’t know, years and years, probably a century or two ago, the farmers down in um… Mexico and south Texas, some of their goats would end up dead in the field, and like the blood would be sucked out of them. They looked to find out what was doing this, and the… the whole tale of the chupacabra. It wasn’t just goats either, there were cattle and other things that were dead and all the blood was sucked out of them. Anyhow, there’s been sightings over the years, a whole bunch of times, of people seeing the chupacabra. And, and various descriptions of them. I used to think that stuff was just fantasy and just kind of make believe, and kind of funny. Until one night, when B and I were going to um… Jack in the crack. We were hungry at about 12:30 at night. So we were going down to go get some tacos and whenever I turned onto the big street, there it was running down the middle, the median of the street, running the opposite direction we were going. It was el chupacabra. It was about the size of a coyote but it had no hair on there, and it ran like kind of like a deer, kind of hopped with the back legs and stuff, it was kind of weird. And I told B I was like ‘oh that’s the chupacabra! I saw him before that is him!’ And it looked just like the descriptions that people talk about, I mean big teeth that are sharp and… and long and um kind of a dog-like face but wasn’t a dog. I mean, kind of looked like it but not a whole lot like a dog. And there was no hair on this thing, and it was kind of a brownish, blackish color. And the ears were set farther back than like a coyote or a dog too. And they were smaller. So anyhow he was running that way so we went back around, and um, pulled into this space – cause we saw him cross the street. And we pulled into the… behind the fire station where we saw him go in. And we were looking, and um… this is whenever the video actually started right about this point. And we were looking and then all of a sudden we saw it! It was there, we just caught a glimpse of it but it took off running. So we had to whip back around and get back out onto the main street, drive down about an eighth of a mile, and then turn into a neighborhood, and then come back towards this big, massive park where we saw the chupacabra. And we um, we turned on the street to see it. And we were looking… couldn’t find it, couldn’t find it, and then B goes ‘there it is! There it is!’ and it was in the park! So I drove over the curb, into the park at 12:30 at night in this big grassy area. And the chupacabras going and we were following this thing and it was running from us. And we have video of this thing because like I said, I used to think it wasn’t true, but then we actually saw him. And… the way it was running it was weird it looked like… it ran more like a deer. But, like I said the size of a coyote but no hair and it was kind of blackish, and big teeth and the eyes were really big too. Yeah the eyes were big. Anyhow so we were chasing, he was running away from us and we were flying in the car going probably about 30 miles an hour through this park trying to chase this chupacabra. And it was zigging and zagging and we were zigging and zagging in the car going left and right. And B is laughing and he’s getting thrown all around and I was like laughing too. I’m like going, I was like ‘oh my god, get this on video! People are going to pay money to see this, this is evidence right here!’ So…  and then we made a, at this point that chupacabra made a hard left bank and took off and there was a whole bunch of rabbits right there. And um, but he was too afraid running away from us that he didn’t go after any of them, he didn’t try to suck any of the rabbits off or anything. So anyway, he took off running into this neighborhood, and we were flying we jumped over the curb, then went back into this neighborhood area and down the alley. And then that’s kind of where we lost it. It… heading over in that area. And then um, B was laughing so hard he wet his pants in the car. But it was, that is the honest god’s truth, and I have video evidence to prove it. And his eyes… it might have been the way that our headlights hit it but his eyes glowed. I mean they were like glowing things, like a yellowish, greenish kind of color. And we’ve seen him two other times, and actually one time we saw him in the daytime. But the other times that I saw it was in the nighttime. And um… even like about a year or two after that we saw it again. And it was, it was the same one because it had the same kind of black um… brown spot on it.”



My uncle loves telling this story as his firsthand encounter with a legendary monster. I’m fairly certain the animal in the video is actually some kind of coyote or even a large rabbit, and I have a feeling he knows that too. However, it makes a very engaging story to tell at parties or to friends. The way my uncle tells the story with so much gusto and detail shows his love of being seen as an engaging storyteller and the life of the party. The traditional legend of El Chupacabra is fairly common in Texas because of its proximity to Mexico and high population of Mexican immigrants. The fact that my uncle has his own story shows the intermingling of folklore between traditionally separate national folk groups. It also shows humanity’s propensity for using supernatural stories to explain things that they otherwise can’t, even if a normal animal would be a much more logical explanation.

For another description of the chupacabra, see Lewis, Robert. “Chupacabra”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 18 May. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/topic/chupacabra

The Well of Lost Souls

“My second ghost story umm happened just only a few years back, maybe about three years ago. When my children and my sister decided to take a visit to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Umm it was around Halloween time and they do a umm haunted ship or a haunted Queen Mary tour. Umm I’m kind of a scaredy cat and a chicken, so I went ahead and I sent my sister, who loves to be frightened and scared, with a portion of my family and I went ahead and decided to take a tour of the ship by myself with my two younger children.
So as we went ahead, and we started walking up and down the different floors, we decided to catch the end of a tour on one of the upper decks. So, as we were walking through, I guess it was the main deck to the back side of the ship, or which I believe is called the stern. We saw the tour enter this back umm entrance of the ship, so I -we- happened to be held back, because I think one of my children, her shoe was untied, so I went ahead and tied that. In that lapse of time, we kind of lost the group that we were following, but we know what area that they were going to go ahead and tour.
So we started walking down these red steel steps and my daughters were first and I was following behind them and as I made it to the bottom of that landing, I look up to my left and I see a sailor dressed in, I guess, its nautical clothing or a sailor’s outfit, but very dated. And he looked like he was behind a boiler, so I kind of shook my head and continued to walk through this what looked like an empty office with a lot of windows, a panoramic view basically of the bay. As I was walking through this area, I had a very uneasy feeling and at the same time, my middle daughter, she turned to me and she said “we need to get out of here and we need to get out of here now.” So I asked her “what happened, what happened?” And she says” we just need to get out of this place right now.” So we left that area of the ship and we went back to the main deck to catch some air. And when we arrived up at that upper deck, I asked her what happened and she said while she was there and even though we were the only ones now that were touring that area, because we had lost the other group. She said that there was a hand that or this pressure that came across her neck and was squeezing her neck very tightly and making sure that she understood that there was a presence there with her, but not a good presence, a bad presence. So between my daughter’s incident and what I saw and the sickening in my stomach, I was convinced that I needed to go and either find a historian or talk to somebody who knew of the sightings of the Queen Mary.
In my head, I kept on hearing this… this… I don’t want to say a voice, but I kept on hearing “the well of lost souls.” It was repetitious in my head. And the more this was happening the more I was desperate to find somebody who had answers for the way I was feeling and the incident that happened to my daughter. So when I finally got to the entrance, mind you, of the Queen Mary, which is also on the main deck, but kind of I guess it’s the lobby, they directed me to a historian who was in the bookstore. And I had told him of my account and what I had seen and what my daughter had seen. They had confirmed that yes the sailor that I saw is a frequent spirit that is always there and is always seen. That the ill feeling I had in my stomach and this word of “the well of lost souls” umm because what happened in that area that we were touring happened to be behind the – in front- of the infirmary umm and below that was the morgue. They had told me also that their main offices was in that portioner that area of the ship, but because there was so many sightings and incidents they had to relocate all the Queen Mary corporation offices off of that area and actually on to the main land. So, that was a little strange.
They also told me that the ship in itself had actually 49 deaths that happened on the ship and it was also called the Grey Ghost. Because Not only was it a luxury liner, but in World War II, it was a transport ship, so that’s why it was called the Grey Ghost, because they had painted it grey. During that time that it was a transport ship, there was an incident in the atlantic as it was crossing the atlantic with a sister ship, where the sister ship was sinking and the Queen Mary was zigzagging through the debris of this fallen ship and they had left behind 300 survivors in the water, of shark infested waters. So here you have also a guilt I guess, of these 300 people -I’m sorry- ya 300 people that were suffering in freezing cold water with sharks that were left at sea and either got eaten by the sharks or drowned. So since then, I do not go back to the Queen Mary and will not go back to the Queen Mary even though it is a tourist attraction, because I will never want that experience or wish that experience on anybody. I hope you enjoyed my second story and thank you for listening.”


Firstly, this story shows a harmful and unfamiliar ghost. In the sighting and incident, the ghost appeals to the senses. In the case of the storyteller, she sees him. In the case of her daughter, she feels a pounding on her neck. It is important to notice that ghosts can be perceived in different ways and not solely through sight. Secondly, this story draws a line between official and unofficial history. Most people are not aware of thew massive and horrible 300 person death in the seas. The Queen Mary tries to bury this secret and the ship is haunted by its guilt in a sense, because the ship has frequent sightings. Lastly, it is important to notice the way in which the Queen Mary staff talk about these stories, because it shows that ghost storytelling is a business in which money can be made.

UFO Sighting

Both my mother and sister claim to have witnessed a UFO several years ago while driving home from a Target store which is only about a mile from my house in Marietta, Georgia.  It was late and dark outside.  Through the front window, my mother saw a pair of white lights approaching the intersection outside of the Target.  She recalled that the object, which she definitely believed was a craft, was extremely low in the sky – she said maybe the height of a telephone pole.  She could make out a boomerang shape as it moved overhead, where to her amazement, it hovered in absolute silence.
While my mother will admit being uncertain as to the craft’s identity, she suggested that it was some form of secret military technology; in particular she indicated that the craft she saw resembled the stealth fighter she had seen in photographs.  This is one popular interpretation of unidentified flying objects, and it is a viable explanation for many such sightings, perhaps including this one.  Together with this idea of futuristic military (human) technology, it seems the idea of super-advanced alien technology forms the overwhelming majority of the public sentiment on the subject of UFO’s throughout the US and most of the free world.  Though many UFO witnesses (and many who hear second hand) ascribe a spiritual nature to their experience, these interpretations and others are far outnumbered by those that focus on the future and progress of the human race.  While my mother does not believe in aliens and simply gave an honest account of what she witnessed, people of other cultures would probably have provided vastly different explanations.