Paranormal Activity Talk with Alessandra 🔮

1. “hablas ingles?” 

The last time I went to Peru I was 7 years old. I was hanging out on the roof with my childhood friend Brunella, in the same home my mother and all of her siblings grew up in. Something was always weird about that house to me. I always felt as if I was being watched. The energy felt…heavy? It was overwhelming to be there sometimes, I guess. All of the walls were like that one crayola crayon robin egg’s blue but a little less saturated and chipped. The roof was the only place I felt kind of safe, I think. Or maybe it just felt a little less evil up there. Anyway, I was there one day playing with Brunella. We were dragging around a cinderblock on a leash and calling it our mascota. An old man wearing something like a golf hat and tattered clothing was up there with us at one point. Nothing really seemed off about him at the time. He was very friendly up until one point. He points at me and says to me “hablas ingles?” I told him I did and he sucked his teeth at me and waved an arm up in the air at me, as if saying “screw you” and disappeared. I went back downstairs with Brunella and we told our mothers about it. I’ll never forget the look on my mom’s face. She told me right then and there that that same man used to live in the house before her and my grandparents. I remember crying for a while after that but also being really excited about the fact that I saw a ghost. I bragged about it at school a lot when I came back to the states.

2,  my mother’s ayahuasca experience

My mother went to a desert somewhere in Peru to visit a brujo with her friend one time when she was around my age (19-20) and while she was there she drank some ayahuasca for some type of ceremony. After, my mother looked at her pregnant friend and said she saw something in her friend’s stomach that she described as “un bulto negro.” [I find it hard to describe in english…black cloud figure demon thing?] Shortly after, I guess it manifested into reality somehow because her friend had a miscarriage. My mother thinks that maybe she was cursed.

3. face in the wall

This happened sometime around the 70s. My mother grew up with three other sisters and two brothers in a two-story home in Balconcillo, Lima. Her younger sister, my tia Milagros, once drew a cartoony ragdoll-like figure on one of their walls in pencil. She would talk to it sometimes as if it were alive. She called it her “papo.” My mother and another sister of hers, Amelia, were curious about it one day and, while Milagros was away from her “papo,” they approached the drawing and got very physically close to it. My mother and aunt Amelia swear that there was something within the wall behind the drawing – a humanoid with an animal-like face with sharp teeth growled at them both. My mother always described its eyes as menacing. I didn’t believe her for a long time, but whenever I would bring it up to my tia Amelia, she would get really nervous and tell me she didn’t really want to talk about it. They never found out what it was.

4. “slappy” 

When I first came to the US I came with my mother and we moved into an apartment in Paterson, New Jersey with her sister, my tia Amelia, her daughter and son, and my abuela. Amelia’s daughter, named Alicia, claims to have heard a noise in our abuelita’s room one day and walked in only to find a very tall clown-like dummy sitting on our abuela’s bed. Alicia always described its appearance as “Slappy from Goosebumps” (the book cover dummy though, not the one in the TV episodes.) She told me that its feet were tapping on the ground rapidly, which she thinks was the noise she heard, and that its shoes grew and grew and grew bigger and bigger. She was pretty young, probably about 6-7, and in a terrified state called my tia Amelia over. My tia also freaked out, but after splashing holy water and cursing at it and telling it to bother someone else it disappeared. Alicia is only a few years older than me and loved scaring me as a child so of course I didn’t believe her when she first told me but her mother can attest to what happened. To this day my entire family swears that prayers and cursing out spirits or any kind of evil entities works. All of the women in my family seem so desensitized to some of these paranormal things that the only piece of advice they seem to give me when it comes to things like that is to show that you are not afraid…by cursing and yelling back at them.

to find more about Alessandra: ig | @rosettetoe 

[Interview facilitated by Mari Santa-Cruz & Alexandra Butrón-Landviar || Photos by Alexandra Butrón-Landivar]