this is a continuation of my last entry "ghosts and red ink."
welcome back for more korean ghosty goodness!
apparently the red ink taboo is more closely related to ghosts than i previously thought. ghosts supposedly like/hate red ink so it attracts them. some people think they like it, some people think they hate it, but either way they are drawn to it. this vaguely has something to do with the fact that red is the color of blood. ghosts will come and kill someone if their name has been written in red, but anything that is red can potentially attract ghosts. this totally explains why the kids freaked out when i used red ink after the ghost story.
also, apparently only little kids believe in this kind of thing, because little kids are usually the ones most invested in ghost stories, etc. however, it is still best not to write any korean's name in red regardless of their age, because when you do, you are implicitly wishing death upon them.
seems like a lot of koreans have had personal encounters with ghosts. she drew pictures of the ghosts and even used a red marker, so she clearly ain't afraida no ghosts. a lot of korean ghost stories seem to involve bathrooms/toilets for some reason. also, pretty much all korean ghosts are women with long hair that covers their face. so creepy.
also, i found out that the "OIX" drawing was kind of like a make-shift ouija board to ask the ghosts yes or no questions. "O" means yes and "X" is no. you just hold a pencil over the paper and see how the ghost answers by where the pencil moves. the kid who told the ghost story was doing this the next day before class. he was the only one touching his pencil and it was moving, some other kids were screaming like they were really scared. the kid who was holding the pencil genuinely seemed like he didn't think he was moving it, maybe because he wanted to believe that he had skillfully managed to summon a ghost to our classroom 5 minutes before class time. i was surprised that the other kids didn't question it considering how often kids are accusing each other of being liars and cheaters. why would they allow something so suspect to pass by unquestioned?