The Lady

So when I was in 5th grade there was this lady that we called her, “The Lady,” but really when I got older I found out she was only 16 but because we were in 5th grade at the time, she was older to us and she was scary so we called her “The Lady.” Umm… but when I was in 5th grade we had finished recess and we were all lined up getting ready to go back into class at umm… at St. Hilary and all of the sudden people started umm… Running into the classrooms and one of the teachers was like, “GET INSIDE HURRY UP RUN!” And they all swarmed to this one specific area like where the third grade class was lined up. But none of us really knew what was going on so it was like this mass chaos. We all just ran into the classrooms and I remember like we were in the classroom trying to barricade the door, there was no adult  inside and we were in 5th grade and umm… we were all scared and someone kept closing the doors um… “Hide, Hide, Hide!” Everyone, you know there was a lady on campus but we just were scared and we didn’t even know why and I remember specifically Anne-Marie Maizer was like, “I’M TOO YOUNG TO DIE!” And so that made me scared because I was like okay something’s happening and I might die and so I just remember we kept closing the windows and stupid Marco Martinez kept opening them back up and we were like, “NO, MARCO NO!” and he… we would close them back up but to be a bunch of 5th grade kids in a classroom by ourselves without the teacher… well our teacher was one of the few male teachers on campus and he was one of the ones that told us “GET INSIDE” and ran over to “The Lady” and so come to find out there was a lady that the… the rumor was that there was a lady on campus who was a devil worshipper and umm… she was there to kill us and… because we were a Catholic school and so she wanted to kill the kids in the Catholic school. And she lived in the apartment building behind the Catholic school and so it was around the same time that Richard Ramirez was in the news so we were already scared of “the night stalker” who was also a… a satanic ritual kind of, you know, into that thing, yeah serial killer and so… I just remember being terrified like I literally would umm… she had… one of the teachers told us that he… she had said to him, “COVER YOUR CROSS!” Like she couldn’t look at his cross because it was too religious for her and she was a devil worshipper so it was like evil to her and so I walked around with a rosary because I wanted a cross with me at all times. And I kept it under my pillow along with like a kitchen knife because I was just terrified. I mean for that entire year even into our 6th grade year I remember people were like, “Oh the lady, we saw the lady, the lady’s coming on campus.” And instantly I would just like remember getting uh… so nervous about it and we were  terrified and we remember that like she was umm… there to kill us like we were scared about that, about “The Lady.” What’s interesting about that story though was that when I became an adult, I ended up working with Art, who was the teacher that was my teacher at the time. So I got to ask him as an adult like, “So what was going on with this lady, like the legend of the lady, and what really happened?” and he… come to find that… so she was… she did live in the apartments behind the school, she was 16 years old, she… she was high on PCP is what he said. She was definitely on some hallucination of her drug and she did umm… she did say stuff that was umm… that made her sound like a devil worshipper and that umm.. They had to call the police on her several times. I mean but the… the story was out of control, there was a story about her having a machete, a bazooka, and like you know, I’m sure kids embellish along the way, yeah definitely. But I just remember that he did say there was weird things that were happening in the church and that umm… that they ended up going to her apartment to like arrest her and that she had like a goat’s head altar and he was like, “No she was really a devil worshipper and on top of that she was on drugs.”

My informant experience this horror story firsthand and was quite traumatized by it. She never even found out “The Lady’s” real name. She told me this story, while everyone else of our family and friends were telling ghost and horror stories. This folk narrative was interesting to me because it consisted of several elements and genres of folklore. There was the “The Legend of the Lady,” that began as just a rumor but ultimately, as my informant found out later in life, turned out to be true. In the story my informant uses relics and objects that she believes will protect her from this “Lady,” such as a rosary or kitchen knife. There is also an element of children telling each other rumors and over exaggerating the truth and of course there is also belief in folk magic and rituals such as “The Lady” and her devil worship or belief in Catholicism in the story.