Sarah Jinee Park, a storyteller from Queens, tells us creepy stories from her haunted apartment in Ridgewood, NY.

Creepy stories from a haunted apartment

Creaking doors, creaking floors, and the feeling that you’re being watched may make you think you have a ghost in your home, but what would really convince you? What would it take to make you sit up and say “yes, this place is definitely haunted.”

Our guest today could almost dismiss all the signs of her haunted home until she saw something unforgettable. And you won’t be able to forget about it, either, after you hear her story.

In the Korean-American communities of New York, the culture is even more steeped in tradition than what you’d find in modern-day Korea. Sarah tells us how Korean-Americans hold on to and celebrate their cultural heritage, specifically around death and spirits. Expect some classic bathroom ghosts, virgin ghosts, polytheism, animism, Buddhism, Confuscianism, shamanism, superstitions, ancestors, and more. Then, she tells us her own creepy story of what happened in her 1930’s apartment.

Apartments in Ridgewood, Queens, the neighborhood where Sarah’s story takes place
Photo copyright Adobe Stock

Episode Promo

Today’s episode podcast promo is by The Salty Speculation Podcast.

About the guest: Sarah Jinee Park

Sarah is the executive editor of, a writer for Peach Velvet Mag. She uses her journalism powers to advocate for and amplify the narratives of Asian-American women and other minorities. You can also find her on Instagram @fragile__things. Also, keep up with her writing via her website:

Korean death ritual: What is a bu-dung?

A bu-dung is a shaman that mediates the “passing-on ritual,” essential for successful reincarnation. They will also mediate communication and rituals between the spirits and the living. There are lots of these in Korea that you can call to cleanse a haunted space. Unfortunately for Sarah, she doesn’t know of any in New York.

Famous Korean folklore figures

Dokkaebi Creature

The dokkaebi or dokebi is equal parts ghost and goblin. It is created by an object tainted with blood. According to the books Sarah grew up reading, it also stalks and punishes greedy people.

Kumiho…is it like a Kitsune?

The Kumiho is a 9-tailed fox spirit that poses as a beautiful woman and eats the livers of men to gain longevity. This concept is also very gendered, and in Korean culture, calling a woman a fox is associated with slut-shaming. Feminists are reclaiming the term, as Sarah demonstrates in her short story, The Kumiho’s Song in Truancy Magazine.

Why are there so many creepy stories about bathroom ghosts haunting Asian schools?

School can be a scary place. Apparently, due to ruthless competition and pressure to succeed, Asian girls’ schools can be doubly so. There are plenty of stories of creepy bathroom hauntings and occurrences across Asia. In some stories, vengeful bathroom ghosts grab onto the long hair of young girls and kill them. Therefore, it’s traditional to cut one’s hair when a girl starts school. All of these bathroom hauntings have something to do with tradition and regret.

Death Days

There are incredibly elaborate rules and rites surrounding the observation of death days, or Gije. Like a birth day, a death day is an annual celebration commemorating the day an ancestor or loved one passed away. Gije is a private ceremony held on the anniversary of the death of a family member within 5 generations (anything beyond that would be a Sije, which are all observed at the same time). There’s also an intricate feast prepared the night before, including traditional dishes like tteokjeon, and jeok.

Spooky Etymology

Do you love words? Do you love knowing the origin of words‽ Do you love comparing words in different languages‽ Do you know how to use an interrobang‽‽‽ Us, too. We had a lot of fun making up words for specific situations. Do you like our new words (wraithalaith, nobsquasher, and twabble) and plan to use them? If so, let’s build a conspiracy together: suggest them to Urban Dictionary with your own version of the definitions. Keep an eye on our blog for an ongoing series, Etymology for Goth Polyglots.

P.S. Thank you Podraland for introducing us to today’s guest Sarah! She had some truly creepy stories from a real haunted apartment, and really helped us have a spooky day!