Cougars on the Run


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Belief in the supernatural ranges from person to person.

Halloween has come and gone, leaving behind salivating minds bent on packing pumpkin pie in its wake. But despite the month of scares being over, I asked students about their own haunting perspectives on ghosts and the supernatural and boy did their responses not disappoint!

When asked about her belief in ghosts and why she does or does not believe in them, fourth-year biochemistry major Jessica Nguyen recalled her Vietnamese cultural traditions, saying, “I believe in ghosts because of my culture. We have a lot of superstitions and I grew up with it.”

Nguyen gave a specific example of one of her cultural traditions where “August is known as the Ghost Month. In Vietnamese culture, this is the month they thrive on. In a legend, this is when the gates of ‘hell’ are opened, so the ghosts and spirits come out during this time.” Nguyen then went into how this tradition is similar to the Mexican, Hispanic and Latinx Día de los Muertos, saying that the month, “is when your relatives and friends visit you, so shrines are sometimes set up with offerings. But there is a dark side. If you talk about ghosts or mention ghost stories, their ‘powers’ are intensified. They will follow you around more and haunt you.”

Superstitions also permeate the Vietnamese Ghost month like any other cultural tradition, with Nguyen adding that, “You don’t wear white clothes either, since traditionally they are associated with funerals. The family of the person that died wears a white cloth around their heads. You also should not sleep in front of a mirror because if you look at yourself and go to sleep, they will jump out of your reflection and pretend to be you or you’ll wake up with them in your face. Don’t swim at night because they will pull you down and you’ll eventually drown. These are the superstitions that I grew up with that lead me to believe in ghosts.”

With the advent of the modern hoax and the seeming impossibility of a shortage of horror movies, other students are understandably more skeptical, including junior Hailey Greer. A history major, Greer said that she’s “not sure [about the existence of ghosts]. I believe that anything is possible, so I suppose they could be [real].”

In trying to make up for forgetting about spooky content for the previous two editions of the Chronicle, I also asked students about their supernatural experiences. Fourth year literature and writing major Vanessa Armenta pitched in a very gripping answer, saying, “I used to experience very odd things in my childhood home. I used to see a little girl in a white dress walking through the hallway of my house across my bedroom door. I always thought that I was the only one that could see her until a few years ago after moving out of that house I brought it up in a family conversation and my mom and my older sister said that they had seen something similar while we were living in that house. We all kept it to ourselves because we thought we were just imagining things and there was no way that we influenced each others sightings because we had never told one another anything about that little girl figure.”

As if that weren’t intense enough, Armenta continued with other chilling stories, recounting how, “I experienced other things such as the stereo in the house randomly turning on and off and things falling off the shelves.

But the craziest encounter that I experienced was a glass flying across the room and shattering against the wall. My dad and I both witnessed it but we swore to never speak of it because we were so shaken and distraught by the idea that the supernatural might be real.”

Is your hair standing on end like mine was while writing this?