WISHING STONES – folk magic (sympathetic)

Transcript of recorded audio
“There’s this place out in the woods, um, I think I told you a story about it before, about me finding a bunch of stacked rocks in the middle of the night, and it’s called the wishing stones, and they’re these piles and piles and piles of rocks. And what you’re supposed to do is you’re supposed to write a note with a wish on it. And you’re supposed to put it under one of the rocks. And it’s supposed to grant wishes. And it’s really pretty during the daytime, absolutely terrifying at night. Don’t go at night.”

This person knows of this location because they attend UCSC, and from what I understand they have actually been to this location. The informant is pretty supersitious. They’ve given me a few of these stories, as they are very into ghost tales and magic. However, its unclear exactly who they learned about this place from.

This story was given as a set of voice memos sent to me by a friend. Most of the stories pertain to UCSC. They talk quite quickly, but I tried to match the transcript as closely to what was actually said. Also, it should be noted that for the bit where they say “I think I told you a story about it before” that I have literally no memory of this. She might have told me a story like this before and that I just forgot it, but as far as I know, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this location.

Like the buddha story told to me by another person (which is also in UCSC), this seems to be a pretty classic example of sympathetic magic. And just like the Buddha story, it seems to contain a strange element of fear that you wouldn’t really expect from a tradition like this. After all, you’re literally just writing wishes. What could be more wholesome? But even in spite of this, we get this strange warning: “Don’t go at night.” Almost as if by going at night, one might reverse whatever positive elements the sight brings, and unleash something more sinister.