Whistling at night

BACKGROUND: My informant, OR, was born in the US. Her parents are both immigrants from Grenada. OR often talks about how superstitious her Caribbean family is and this piece is one example out of our long conversation about how her family’s beliefs dominate how they behave. 

CONTEXT: This piece is from a conversation with my friend to discuss the role of superstition in Caribbean culture.

OR: This one, I don’t really know if there’s a story to this or something but we aren’t supposed to whistle at night.

Me: Or…?

OR: Or I guess a ghost will get mad? Or an evil spirit? Like, this one I don’t know all the details but my mom told me not to do this either.

THOUGHTS: This is interesting to me because throughout my collection I spoke to a few other people who brought up the “don’t whistle at night” belief but with different meanings. In OR’s case, whistling at night disturbs restless spirits whereas when I talked to my friend from Ecuador, whistling at night meant signaling for an evil spirit to follow you home. This seems to be the resounding belief in many cultures, that whistling at night attracts evil.