Posts Tagged ‘Chris’

Miss Martha (at approx. age 45?)

Coop here,

In Wes’s previous interview with the homeless boy, Chris, he mentioned his intention to find and interview “Miss Martha” as a possible resource to help uncover these urban legends. Hunting specifically for that interview, I finally found it hidden away in a CD-ROM file (no thanks to Wes’s lousy organization/file labeling skills). I’ve met people like Miss Martha and they give me the creeps, especially when they claim to know the will of God. Here’s Part 1 of the interview…

After a couple of weeks I located the woman mentioned by Chris during my recent interview with him. Miss Martha (last name omitted) was not exactly what I expected. She is in her late 60’s, quite rotund and holds the distinction of being the only Caucasian woman in a predominantly African-American neighborhood. The interior of her home looked like a Christian gift shop had exploded its merchandise all over the walls and tables. Everything was “Brand: Jesus” and a strong smell of vinegar hung in the air as if the house contained a cellar full of overflowing pickle jars. Miss Martha wore thick glasses, a hair-do straight out of 1938  and a floral patterned muumuu. She very politely invited me into her home and offered me some iced tea.  Since she didn’t seem keen on me taking pictures, I took quick shots of a photo of her on one of the tables and a painting of her on the wall while she was getting the tea.  After correcting a misunderstanding that I was not a Mormon and did not need a hard-sell conversion to Southern Baptist, I explained who I was and she agreed to answer some questions…

Wes: I understand Chris stayed with you for awhile.

Martha: Oh yes, Chris was one of the many troubled children that have been in my foster care over the years. That’s how I get along, you see. I take disability from the state and also adopt disadvantaged children who need a caring and disciplined home life. I’m afraid Chris was one of them hard cases that didn’t stick. He wouldn’t behave, he used vulgar language, blasphemed a lot and he ran away first day I tried to give him an education. He’s living a hard life for a 15 year-old. I have no doubt he’ll end up dead by a bullet or a knife if he don’t hurry up, reform and find the Lord.

Wes: There must be some mistake. The Chris I’m talking about is only 10.

Very quickly we compared notes and determined she WAS talking about the same Chris.

Martha: No, he’s 15 now. At first I though he was a late bloomer but his case worker told me that he had some severe infections in his infancy and it stunted his growth. He tells people he’s 10 so they’ll feel sorry for him and give him extra. He even talks like one. That boy is a little con artist. Looks like he fooled you too, didn’t he?

Wes: Yes, well the reason I interviewed him is because he said he had seen The Boy in the Corner. Are you familiar with that urban legend?

Martha: (laughing) My, my, my… what has you interested in that old tale?

Wes: For research purposes. I’m an aspiring journalist.

Martha continues laughing for what seems like a full minute, even dabbing her eyes with a red handkerchief before she settles down. I’m not sure what amused her more, the idea that someone was asking her about the legend or the idea of me being an aspiring journalist.

Martha: Oh my, that is something. Well, the story of the Boy has been around since I can remember. My Momma used to tell me she would lock me in the closet with him if I was bad or didn’t say my prayers.

Wes: Yeah, Chris said you had said something similar to him.

Martha: Well, the boy is a shameless liar and I reckon if he said he saw the Boy, he’s lying to you once again.

Wes: What do you know about The Boy in the Corner?

Possibly an old portrait of Miss Martha in her youth?

Martha: He was a wicked boy who received the punishment of God… Condemned to sit in the corner forever and ponder all of the terrible things he did until the Rapture.

Wes: So this is like a fable then? A morality tale to scare children into behaving?

Martha: Children should fear the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Not demons in the dark.

Wes: Then you don’t believe in the legend?

Martha: Oh I believe, but I do not fear. I fear the Boy no more than I fear the “Valley of the Shadow of Death”.

Wes: I see, and what is the purpose of the Boy? What does he do?

Martha: He is like the Devil offering the forbidden fruit of knowledge. You may ask him questions, about anything in the heavens and the Earth, and he must answer truthfully.

Wes: Absolutely anything? That is pretty amazing.

Martha: (serious tone) Only God should know such things. Men are not meant to know the Lord’s secrets without paying dearly for it.

Wes: Chris says the Man Behind the Door shows up if—

Martha: —The Man Behind the Door is the right hand of God.

Wes: Pardon?

(To be continued in PART 2)

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Wes’s interview with “Chris” (Part 1)

DarkCornerChris (name changed because he is a minor) is a homeless and orphaned African American boy who frequents the shelter in Memphis where I volunteer. He seems wise beyond his years and has an uncanny knack for avoiding group and foster homes or other various institutions. Occasionally they catch him but he always ends back on the streets fending for himself.

One day over lunch I overheard him teasing another young boy that the “Boy in the Corner” was going to get him. When I asked him about it, he told me a freaky urban legend that has made the rounds in the area. It harkens back to some familiar territory as urban legends often do, but I had never heard this one before. The creepy thing is that the more I looked into this story, a bigger, more ominous mythology emerged from this simple, yet inventive urban ghost story. As the bigger picture began to emerge, I decided to start up this blog to record what I had found for all you people who are interested in spooky folklore.

Part 2 of the interview HERE…

Chris agreed to let me record him in an interview. Here is the story he told me:

Wes: Okay, Chris. First tell me who you are and how old are you.

Chris: I’m Chris. I’m 10 years old.

Wes: How long have you been living on the streets, Chris?

Chris: I don’t know. Forever.

Wes: Couldn’t be forever, right? Where did you live before?

Chris: Social Services kept putting me in foster homes. I just run away.

Wes: When’s the last time you were in a home?

Chris (shrugging): Awhile now.

Wes: How do you live out there?

Chris: People give me stuff. They tell me, “We don’t want you starving or nothing,” and they give me stuff.

Wes: Like?

Chris: Food and money… and clothes.

Wes: And they don’t try to turn you in to Social Services?

Chris (LAUGHS): Sometimes they try. They can’t do shit though, you know. I just run away.

Wes: Chris, the other day you told me about the Boy in the Corner.

Chris: Yeah.

Wes: Tell me that story again.

Chris: Again?

Wes: Yeah, that’s why I’m interviewing you. C’mon, tell it again.

Chris: Man, it’s just this thing folks on the streets say.

Wes: What people?

Chris: You know, folks that other folks don’t like talking to. They say shit, like the Boy in the Corner shit.

Wes: Alright, tell it to me.

Chris: There’s this boy. They said he was a bad boy, like always getting into trouble.

Wes: Like how bad?

Chris: He was the worst boy ever. He so bad his parents sent him to the corner forever. Like he should be an old man or dead or something now but he ain’t cause he’s still sitting in that corner.

Wes: What did he do to get sent to the corner?

Chris: I don’t know, like the worst thing in the world. Something so bad you can’t even talk about it.

Wes: Where is he now?

Chris (shakes head): Different places. Like places where fools don’t go like basements or attics or rooms that only got one way you can get out, but he always in that corner.

Wes: How does he get around?

Chris: It’s just like ‘pop!” and he’s there. You walk up and he surprise you. Just sitting in that corner, staring at you.

Wes: So he’s a ghost?

Chris: NO! Ghosts is like Casper and shit. That’s baby talk man.

Wes: You ever seen him?

Chris: I did one time but I got out of there. Nuh uh. I’m not going to mess around with that bad “Qwatha” (spelling?) mojo.

Wes: What is a “Qwatha”?

Chris. They ain’t no joke. That’s all I’m saying. You ain’t supposed to talk about them and shit. They real bad. Like badder than anything.

Wes: Okay, what did the Boy look like?

Chris: Like black. Not like black like black folks, he’s dirty like he ain’t ever had a bath. He’s so dirty, he look black. I only see his eyes, looking at me. It was real dark.

Wes: Where was this?

Chris: This old house nobody was staying at down off of Poplar. Well, there were some bums in there, like some black old bums but the bathtub don’t work so I made a bed in there and they leave me alone. I gone to Beale to get money and I came back and they all gone. I go looking around and this one room had trash bags over the windows. It’s so dark I couldn’t hardly see. I see him moving in the corner and I thought it was that bum Rodney, but it was the Boy. I saw his eyes looking at me and I ran.

Wes: Were you scared he was going to get you?

Chris: No.

Wes: Why did you run then?

Chris: Cause the Man Behind the Door.

Wes: There was another man there?

Chris: No, but if you see the Boy, the Man Behind the Door be there too. You have got to run fast. He will get you for sure if you don’t.

Wes: Is the Man a Qwatha too like the Boy?

Chris: Naw the Boy ain’t and he ain’t neither. You ain’t listening to me. He’s like a cop. He gonna get you if you don’t follow the rules. I don’t care. I just run cause I can’t do nothing else.

Wes: You ever see this Man Behind the Door?…

In the 2nd part of the interview, Chris explains the rules these specters operate by and gives me a lead on another source to interview that knows a lot more about it than he does. What I learned sent a chill down my spine. I’ll post it next week so either check back then, or – better yet – subscribe so you won’t miss any new info!

Wes.

(To be continued in Part 2)