Tag Archives: Spirit

Ghost of Minecraft

Background: The informant is a 25 year old male who lives in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. He was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. The informant has been playing video games for about 15 years, is on video game chat platforms, and watches videos reviewing games over the year.

Context: The informant was talking with me about the new minecraft updates. He has not played Minecraft in a few years but still remembers the story.

Text:

MC: Yeah, it reminds me of when I used to play Minecraft, which hasn’t been for years. Well, there were these Youtube videos that came out about random structures being built in a server, or tunnels randomly appearing. Eventually, there was a picture taken of the culprit, named Herobrine. There was a big myth that Herobrine was the… ghost of the Minecraft creator’s dead brother, somehow having infiltrated his way into the game and wreaking havoc in servers. There’s no evidence of this, though.

Me: What does he look like?

MC: Just like the Steve skin, looking like a human. I believe he has white eyes though, which isn’t normal for the game. That makes it seem more like a ghost coming to life.

Me: So, there were a lot of stories that came out?

MC: Yeah, a lot of streamers and Minecraft players started sharing about how they would encounter someone in their single player world — which isn’t supposed to happen – and he would always quickly run away. Whenever they would explore their world, they would find tunnels, and leaves cut down from trees, and more. It just kept spreading that some uncoded entity was in the game. I know a few streamers did fake encounters with Herobrine to get views.

Me: Did you ever encounter Herobrine?

MC: Not me, but, yeah, it was all over the place. It’s faded out of popular consciousness somewhat, but Herobrine is still alive in the Minecraft world.

Analysis:

Informant: The informant seems unsure what to believe in regard to the Herobrine story. They have never seen Herobrine, themselves, and cannot confirm if it’s true or not.

Mine: Herobrine’s story incorporates many different ideas. For one, the concept of the creator’s dead brother entering the game and embodying Herobrine is the equivalent of a modern day horror story. It is haunting but not in the real world, which asks more questions about how ghosts work, especially if they can inhabit any space, even virtually. It may signal that the brother has something left to do on the Earth, or wants to message his brother and the best way is virtually. It’s the equivalent of a ghost texting. Herobrine also demonstrates how folklore can be utilized for one’s personal gain. Streamers used the ghost story in order to boost their own views, taking advantage of a lot of people’s real beliefs in the existence of Herobrine. By making a prank out of it, they essentially mock the entire belief of hauntings. However, their mocking of the game may be a way for them to beat their fears, almost like a modern day exorcism.

A Unique Passover Tradition

Background Information: 

The informant is a friend of mine. They have been born and raised in Southern California, but his family has familial roots in Israel and Morocco. Their grandmother emigrated from Morocco to the US. 

Main Content: 

ME: So can you tell me about your family’s unique Passover tradition? 

YS: So during Passover dinner, we leave an extra table, or not an extra table, an extra chair, at our dinner table and we leave the front door open when we do the Haggadah, which when you tell stories. And we use the extra chair as a way to signify our dead family members being there with us. So whenever, we like pray, at that time at the table, we like bless our dead family members.

ME: That’s really cool, is it a common tradition or is it just something that your family does?

YS: I’m pretty sure its just my family, my grandma like grew up doing it and taught is to do it too. 

ME: Do you believe that the spirits are really there or is it more just for symbolism?

YS: Yeah, we believe that the spirits are really there. One year, when I was younger, there was like wind happening and our door like flew open and it was really windy in the house. My grandma told us, “That’s my husband!”.

ME: Wow, really crazy, thank you. 

Context: 

This interview happened at my apartment. 

Thoughts: 

This tradition is really interesting because it takes a formal religious tradition like Passover, and adds its own touch to it. It is even more interesting because the informant’s family actually experienced the ghost or spirit of the informant’s grandmother’s deceased husband, which really cemented their belief in the tradition. The informant told me that their grandmother grew up practicing this tradition in Morocco, before she moved to the US. I am not sure if this is widely practiced in Morocco or not, but my informant claims that it isn’t. Regardless, I think that this is a really great way to honor dead family members and still feel a connection with them, and even physically interact with them, as in the case of the informant. 

A Spirit Still At Home

I am interviewing my uncle, who had a son (my cousin) that died last year to an overdose of pills. The informant believes that after his son’s untimely death, strange sightings occurred that made him believe he was seeing signs of his son’s spirit from the dead.

Me: How exactly did your son die?

Uncle: He passed away from an overdose of sleeping pills. He was having trouble sleeping for many weeks and one morning, he didn’t come down for breakfast. I went up to his room and he was in his bed unconscious. The ambulance came right away but it was too late.

Me: Do you think it was suicide, or rather a mistake?

Uncle: my wife and I believe it was a mistake. DJ was having a hard time in his freshman year of college and came home in a state of depression, but we don’t think he was trying to take his life.

Me: And what is it that seemed strange after his untimely death?

Uncle: After DJ passed, I had multiple situations where I saw signs of him. We put an electric candle that turns on at night in his bedroom window. One morning on my way to work a few weeks after his death, I peered up at his window and saw the candle flickering on and off, which is not supposed to happen during the day.

Me: What else has been strange since he has passed?

Uncle: The other thing that happened which made me believe DJ was still here in some way was with my cameras I have in the backyard to watch birds. There was one beautiful, rare bird that I had never seen in my camera after decades of watching. A few days after DJ’s death, the bird not only came across on my camera, but perched up on the branch next to it and sat there staring for minutes at it.

Me: What do you think the message or sign of this was?

Uncle: If you ask me, I think it was a final way for DJ to say “fuck you” for being bad parents. My wife just thinks it was a sign from him to get our attention.

Me: Has any other sightings happened?

Uncle: Every once in a while, as I’m walking up to my room for bed, I pass by DJ’s room and look in quickly. There have been a few times where I hear his voice or get a flash at him in his room, but every time I run in quickly the room is empty. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve had too many drinks, or if I really do hear and see him still in his room.

This story has a place in my heart because it was my own cousin, who I never imagined would try to commit suicide. Looking at some of these strange occurrences that my uncle has dealt with, he seems to think that DJ wants to be seen or heard from his parents still. He claims that part of this may be because of his untimely death, or perhaps because they don’t believe they treated him right. He says in the interview that he believes it’s a final “fuck you” to him and his wife, and I can verify that DJ was the type to show hatred, but I don’t believe that this was the reasoning for these signs. His father also acknowledges that he may just be forcing these signs on himself to try and remember DJ, or to deny the fact that he is gone. Sometimes when he sees a glimpse of DJ or hears him from upstairs, he convinces himself that he’s too drunk or crazy, but it is not unlikely that DJ’s spirit is still within the house. After all, he did die in that bedroom in a way that is untimely. My uncle is not a religious person, but he agrees with my take that DJ’s life may be gone, but his spirit could still be with them in their home. The description by my uncle of the bird sighting he had was especially intriguing to me. The one bird my uncle could never capture on camera for decades gives him minutes of video staring directly into the camera, almost trying to be seen. This makes me wonder how much of a connection this has to how DJ wanted to be seen, heard, or felt by his parents. I’m not saying he reincarnated into that bird in his afterlife, but I would like to think that DJ’s spirit would have the power to create a situation that would make his father happier in such a hard time. Seeing someone that myself and many others loved for his strong will, maturity and sense of humor leave so suddenly (potentially through self harm) was very hard on our family, especially my uncle. Whether my uncle truly did have connections with DJ’s spirit through these sightings is a mystery to us all, but I still have reasonable belief that these were no coincidence. The untimely death, the way he passed, and where he passed all cause me to think that maybe DJ’s spirit is still in the comforts of his home, watching over his parents and enjoying the peace he always wanted.

The Spirit of Chipeta

Background

The Ute Native Americans are in three reservations in Colorado and Utah: Unitah-Ouray, Southern Ute, and Ute Mountain. They have their own sovereign nations that have their own tribal leadership. Within reservations there are different bands of Ute Natives. The story told takes place in the Ute Indian Museum Montrose, Colorado. There Chipeta and her brother John McCook are buried. Chief Ouray, Chipeta’s husband, is said to be buried in Utah.

Chief Ouray was designated chief by the U.S. since he spoke English. He was Apache and Ute, he belonged to the Uncompahgre Band. He had one child with his first wife Black Mare, however she passed away unexpectedly. Since Ouray spoke English, Spanish, and Ute, the U.S. government decided to make him the proxy for treaties, regardless of how the Ute governed themselves. Nevertheless, Chief Ouray always strived for peace.

When gold was found in the San Juan Mountains, settlers began to encroach. The lands of all natives got smaller and smaller. The Utes were moved to what is now known as Montrose County. A settler was ploughing land near the reservation assigned to the Utes. The young Utes, as accustomed, raced their horses. However, they had raced on some of the ploughed land. This dispute eventually exploded, but no one knows who shot first. The incident did lead to the involvement of Nathan Meeker, the Indian agent at the White River Indian Agency that managed the Utes. Meeker did not care about the culture and customs of the natives, he was predisposed against Utes. The small dispute led to more conflict and eventually Meeker called on federal troops. The Utes viewing it as a threat rebelled, and took Meeker’s wife and daughter. After, finding out what had occurred, Chipeta wept for Josephine Meeker and her daughter. She showed kindness. The U.S. successfully negotiated to have them released and they went to Ouray and Chipeta’s ranch.

However, the Utes were forced to relocate, after a final battle, to Utah and further away from their lands. Chipeta didn’t have children, but she loved them and adopted many. Chief Ouray was blamed for the relocation of the Utes, and labeled a traitor, but given U.S. history, Ouray also saved his people from genocide, he saved the children of the tribe and their future.

It is extremely important to recognize that the entities and spirits in the Ute Indian Museum are not malicious

The museum has been here since 1956. It closed down in 2015 to remodel, and expand the museum. The original structure is still present. The staff has reported viewing orbs of light and shadow-people. When they watch the cameras, they move around quickly. They move around real fast, and trigger sensors, so they do get a police officer. He was scared of coming out to the museum.

The Story

We sat in CJ’s office at the Ute Indian Museum. Flute music played in the background. Photographs of the museum and her children lined the walls, along with Ute artifacts. Two words describe CJ, spiritual and calm.
My name is CJ Brafford. I am the director at the Ute Indian museum, I am Ogologo Lakota. I was born on the Pine-Ridge Indian Reservation and have been the caretaker of the Ute Indian Museum for 24 years. When I came here for the job, the doors to the museum were locked, and no one gave me a key. I wandered the grounds and met Chipeta. I didn’t know yet, who she was.

Being Native I have been around many things, and seen many too. I have been here for 20 years and I have traveled and researched the Utes. So, I think I about gathered as much information as I can. I have seen many archival records, but one day a community member of Montrose called. She wanted to see me and share something with me. When she arrived at the museum she came in and she showed me a picture. I had not seen this picture, and I got so excited, like oh my gosh, I’ve never seen this picture. Chapita is buried here, she died in Utah in 1924 but she was brought back to Montrose in 1925. The Ute were removed in 1881, but nonetheless Chipeta is here today. On the museum grounds next to her brother John McCook. So, when she came in, I thought she was showing me a picture that she found at the archives or found somewhere else. It’s a picture she took just the night before on the museum grounds. She wanted me to identify the person in the picture. She knew it was an Indian woman, but I knew it was Chipeta.

Another time, I was at the front desk when somebody in the gift store said, “I don’t want you to think I’m kind of strange, but Chipeta’s standing right behind you”.

Questions

After the story I had two questions, why is Chipeta still on the grounds and why is Chief Ouray not buried beside her, CJ provided answers.
Chief Ouray went to go sign another treaty, but he got sick and passed away in Utah in 1880 away from his home. The Southern Ute did not allow his body to be taken back with the agent from the White River Indian Agency. A year later, two Ute bands in Colorado were forced to relocate to Utah. The Ute at that time placed their deceased in caves. Chief Ouray was placed among other chiefs. Chipeta was with Ouray when he passed, and she knew where he was buried.

A federal troop account said that they saw Utes and a horse with a body over it. It is believed that Chipeta brought him back and buried him in a disclosed place. Utes have come by and said he is in the Black Canyon. There was an attempt to bring Ouray to Chipeta’s burial ground, and Chipeta to Ouray’s.

CJ heard was that after the Ute bands were removed, Chipeta would travel from Montrose to Dragon, Utah through train. Chipeta befriended a wealthy man, who had the first car. His employers would pack Chipeta a picnic lunch and he would drop her off here. She would sit here to do her choosing, and she would cry. I think part of her spirit is still left here, even when she journeyed over. This was her home, and up there it was foreign. The place given to them was barren, we had mountains. There was greenery here, they were given a desert.

Chipeta is a guardian, consoling all who are tied to the land where her history is in the landscape. When it was taken from the Utes, she came back to Montrose, rueful that many of the Utes would not return.
Chipeta and her brother John McCook remain buried in Montrose, Colorado.

Sources
CJ Brafford Ute Indian Museum Director
Platts, Henry. “Ouray.” Colorado Encyclopedia, https://coloradoencyclopedia.org/article/ouray. Accessed 29 October 2020.

Korean Sink Ghost

Text:

Informant: There’s this nice ghost who lives under the sink and if you leave leftover food in your bowl it will go down the drain and it will choke the ghost. The ghost will be miserable. It’s a happy ghost that brings joy and luck to the household, but if you leave food on your plate and it goes down in the sink then the ghost, it’s a very tiny spirit, will be choked. The spirit will die and it won’t bring any happiness to the home. I think it’s told to keep kids tidy because it’s very clean in Korea. Like we don’t even put food in the sink. That’s not something we do. We dispose of food separately, and I think parents tell their kids this to help them to learn to throw things away right. 

Context: I asked a group of friends to share any superstitions they were raised with. This was one of their replies. The informant is of Korean descent and was raised in both Korea and China.

Thoughts:

This is clearly a very modern superstition, but it feels old. It seems cleat to me that it was made by a parent to keep their child from clogging the drain.