Horror story: students share their supernatural encounters


Graphics by Hannan Waliullah

Ilena Peng

It’s the time of year when the leaves fall, leaving behind the skeleton of a tree to make creepy shadows that catch people off guard. It’s the season of cheesy horror movies and scary pranks. Somewhere between the buttery popcorn and the neglected chocolate Whoppers, we realize something — these horror movies might have a glimmer of truth. The blood and gore of those movies leave eerie thoughts swirling our mind, causing us to lose sleep. Yet some individuals know from personal experience that not everything in those horror movies is fictional. In their eyes, ghosts and other supernatural beings do exist and will forever exist.

“It’s not like a movie. It doesn’t get really cold when a ghost is there. It’s just I saw something, got goosebumps, turned around and nothing was there.”

sophomore erin carlin


Pulls from a poltergeist

When people think of ghost encounters, they think of seeing a ghost. Sophmore Michelle Wong knows that’s not always the case. Some only feel the ghost’s movement.

“The ceiling light was burnt out so I couldn’t turn on the lights and then it felt like some sort of invisible force pulled on the towel and it dropped to the ground,” Wong said. “I got really scared and I ran away.”

While her friends burst out laughing, saying that maybe she’d accidentally dropped the towel, she insistently denied it.

“I was literally just standing there and holding it!” Wong said.

After the frightful encounter, Wong tried to convince herself that there must have been a scientific explanation for it. Her voice is still a little shaky discussing the incident, yet she manages some nervous laughs while insisting that her clumsiness that her clumsiness was not to blame for the fallen towel.

Duck, duck, ghost

Duck feet are weird. Ghostly duck feet are even weirder. When freshman Glen Chen was eight years old, he was staring at the stairs one day when he saw the ghostly apparition of duck feet.

“I saw faded duck feet coming down. It was really weird,” Chen said. “Just the feet. No body. It just went down the stairs to the second floor where I was and disappeared.”

Chen didn’t get chills or feel scared. Initially, all he could think was “What did I just see?” Reflecting back on it, he’s still not sure what he saw but he knows it definitely wasn’t a hallucination and still finds it just too weird to be a figment of his imagination.

Mirage in the mirror

Unexplainable encounters have become something sophomore Erin Carlin is no longer surprised to hear about.

“[My aunt] was playing with a Ouija board when she was young and in that house she was haunted for years after that,” Carlin said. “There was banging on the doors that my cousin heard all the time.”

Carlin considers the existence of ghosts to be fact, influenced by both her families’ stories and her own encounters. Imagine waking up each day wondering if you’d see a ghost every time you looked in a mirror. To Carlin, every mirror offers the possibility of seeing a ghost, as most of her encounters have occurred while glancing in a mirror. She thinks back on a time where she saw the ghost of her grandfather in mirror at her old house in Arizona, where her grandfather passed away.

On this occasion, the image of her grandfather was one she knew. But other ghosts she has seen have not been quite so familiar to her. She has seen ghosts of complete strangers, whom she doesn’t know anything about.

“I went and looked into the mirror and I saw a blue boy standing behind me,” she said. “When I turned around there was no one there.”

Most people try to dismiss the encounters they experience as hallucinations. On the contrary, Carlin is resigned to facing the reality of ghosts and the emotional havoc it causes. Having watched the typical slew of horror movies, she deems nearly all the depictions in those movies to be stereotypes.

“It’s not like a movie,” she said. “It doesn’t get really cold when a ghost is there. It’s just I saw something, got goosebumps, turned around and nothing was there.”

Originally published in the Oct. 2015 issue of El Estoque