The Nanny

“Ok so there is this husband and wife and a kid, but the wife died so the husband hired a nanny.  She took care of the kid because the dad had to work and didn’t want to take care of him.  You know, he was kind of a troublemaker, but was just being a normal kid, but the nanny hated him.  Actually, she just hated kids in general, so I’m not really sure why she was a nanny.  But anyway, one day the kid was being really rowdy or something and the nanny just couldn’t take it anymore, so she drowns the kid.  So then the dad comes home and the nanny just makes up some excuse where she just says that she’s innocent.  So the dad is sad and like wishes that he had spent more time with his kid and stuff and they have a nice funeral.  The nanny keeps working for the dad, but I guess she is more of a house cleaner now or something because she killed the only kid she had to take care of, and that’s what nannies do, right?  Well ok so anyway, one day she is working and she keeps feeling this like heaviness on her shoulders, like pulling her down.  And she really has no idea what is going on, but it keeps happening for a couple of days.  And then one day she stays really late, and the husband comes back and sees that the nanny is in pain.  So he asks what’s wrong and she says she knows something is wrong but she’s not sure what is going on.  So he tells her that she had better go home and get some rest.  So she goes home and she goes into the bathroom to take a bath and she looks into the mirror and she sees the kid she killed hanging onto her shoulders and that was the heaviness she had been feeling.”

Yun Hwa is from Korea and told me that she had heard this story from two people and she thinks she remembers reading it in a book when she was younger.  She explained that this story was told less as a “typical sleepover story where everyone screams” but more like “oh my god can you believe that this actually happened?”  Yun Hwa isn’t sure if she believes this story to be true, but she told me that she thinks it could be true because “that’s just so terrible to think about a nanny killing a kid, and if that really did happen, she would probably be haunted.”  She told the story with an even tone, and when she was finished she gave me a very grave look.

This was an interesting story because it seemed that Yun Hwa was not trying to get a reaction out of me, but was telling it to me in terms of morality.  It was clear through the words she said and the tone she used that there seemed to be a lesson in this, and that my reaction should be to think how terrible it was that a child was killed after his mother died and the father wouldn’t take the time to care for him.  When she revealed that the child was hanging around the nanny’s neck, she indicated that she felt the nanny got what she deserved, through her facial expression and tone.  This is a very clear instance of a “haunting” wherein someone who has committed a terrible crime is confronted with what they have done in the form of a ghost or spirit.  Although I was not able to find this story from any other source, I feel that it exemplifies the kind of ghost story that has moral underpinnings and speaks to larger issues, such as abandonment of children, wrongful deaths, and consequences for sins committed.