AMHS Students on Haunted Houses, Aliens, Hypocrisy, and more


Taking direct inspiration from the New York Times, I wanted to assess what AMHS student responses would be like when asked to respond to different picture prompts. In other words, I provided pictures with associated prompts for students to respond to in any way they insightfully desired. The topics presented allow us some insight into the theoretical minds of our students. Since this is kind of an experimental approach to an article for me, I gave 10 different options for students to respond to in hopes of having something that each person could connect to in terms of their response. Students did not have to respond to every prompt so that their insights could be focused. Today, I will be publishing 5 of the 10 prompts. Here are some responses AMHS students of all grade levels when asked about their belief in ghosts; positive social change; aliens; scary stories; hypocrisy.


Do you believe houses can be haunted?


I’ve taken it upon myself to separate this into non-believers, centralists, and believers. 


“I mean they can make haunting noises but they can’t be haunted by ghosts or anything.” – Talia Barsness


“No, I think people only believe in them if they have no other way to explain something.” – Keerthana S.


“I believe houses cannot be haunted. While I would love to feed into the age old concept of ghosts and supernatural poltergeists, I simply can’t wholeheartedly believe in them. Sure, horror movies scare me, but not because I think they’re real. Rather, the images just creep me out and often there is really gross and realistic effects. I also am not a fan of scary things so perhaps I would just rather houses can’t be haunted and have convinced myself they can’t be real. My house was built in the 18th century so if any house is likely to be haunted…” – Emma Hsu


 “No, because I believe once you’re dead, you’re dead, so you can’t haunt a house once you’re dead because you’re dead.” – Yamil Perez 



“No. I do not believe evil spirits can come back from the dead, much less haunt a location.” – Josh McDowell 


“No, ghost are obviously not real “🙄- Evie Chowdhury 

Thanks for the emoji Evie 🙄


“No, that stuff is totally fake. Just people afraid of the dark.” – Ty Osmond


“I don’t think houses can be haunted, because I believe that old houses are just kinda dark, dank, and creaky all on their own. Most of the houses people think are “haunted” are just old and have the characteristics of old houses!” – Willa Jones


“Literally yes, but only like the old houses that have history.  I think the newer souls take longer to settle into the house. When  I stayed at the Falaknuma palace in the summer I heard plates moving and whispers.”  – Nayna 


“Yes because it’s fun and why not” – Alaina Jarett 


“Yes, because my house is haunted. Also, I have had haunted dolls in the past that gave me horrible chills and pains.” – Maxine Lussier 


“Yes and my house was haunted; it was 360 years old and had dolls that would move around, I don’t live there anymore.” – CJ Geiger 


“Yes I think they can actually. At my family’s beach house on Sullivan’s it is rumored that my Great Great Grandmother roams upstairs. My mom told me once that when my brother was 4 he said he saw an old lady sitting at the end of his bed. I have had other family members with the same experience.” – Lee Bearsch


“Yes because strange things could happen especially if someone died in the house. There can be negative energy associated with places which can impact the results of things.” – Sarah Baer 


“Yes, because I feel like even if there’s not even like an actual ghost there’s stuff that happens that makes the house feel bad and haunted I think.” – Lizzie Murray


“Totally. I’m pretty sure my own house is haunted. Even if ghosts aren’t real, the idea of a ghost is enough to make houses scary. But I do love a good creepy haunted house.” – Carolyn Selvidge


“Absolutely, when I was little I would have sleep paralysis and would think that the realistic news anchor fish man from sponge bob was peering through my door. Since then I’ve always believed in ghosts.” – Caleb Anderson


This topic, to me, is very interesting. As someone who has come into contact with the paranormal multiple times in my life, it is so interesting how some people just simply don’t believe. I suppose it is something that you have to experience to fully believe, but it’s just so crazy the way that it can be so real to one person, and so theoretical to another. The fact that there is so little real proof of it is also insane to me. It’s such a personal and private experience when it happens, and you only have your word. 


Have you ever experienced anything reminiscent of a scary story?


“YES!! I bought these two dolls a few weeks ago, fixed them up, and then IMMEDIATELY felt very ill and tired. I fell asleep for about 6-8 hours (at 2 in the afternoon!) and had terrible nightmares. I then woke up and was extremely ill. As soon as I got the dolls out of my room, I felt better.” – Maxine Lussier


I believe this and I want to hear more!!


“I have a clock in my house from 1789 that looks exactly like the infamous Vecna clock. One time when no one in my house was moving, the glass covering, the time-telling part of it, fell and shattered and turns out the glare of the glass was hiding a faint portrait of a creepy woman embedded in the face of the clock. She has yet to haunt me but I will update if anything changes.” – Emma Hsu


“There was a doll that moved around and used to haunt my dreams and it was given to me anonymously when I was born; we eventually burned it but it came back so we locked it up and put it in landfill.”  – CJ Geiger 


“One time, I had to run really fast through a graveyard, but I thought I was gonna get eaten.” – Lukey Sutherland


“Boy I did a ouija board in middle school and it got me messed up but it could have just been my friends messing with it and then again I heard those spirits and things in the falaknuma palace. that palace has been there for like hundreds of years so it’s seen a lot.”  – Nayna Ayaz


“One time my aunt and cousin locked me in a room with a bat because they wanted to escape, and then the bat kept flying at me.” – Will Siegling 


“This isn’t that good but my sister and I were staying in a huge historic hotel and there was a room where a whole family had been murdered. They sealed off the door so nobody stayed there because there were reports of  ghostly things, but there was a seam in the wallpaper bv the room numbers.  My sister and I  went there on a cold snowy night and stood outside and oh my god it was so scary. The air felt  so heavy and evil, not to be dramatic or cringe, but I can’t even describe it. There was like an evil low hum in the air and everything felt so wrong and bad that we sped walked out of there and it stopped when we got to the end of the hall.” – Lizzie Murray 

Thankfully, Lizzie provided pics!! 










So spooky Lizzie!! Obsessed.


“Two guys almost beat me and my friends up outside of a convenience store because we looked flamboyant.” – Caleb Anderson

The mindset is scary.


Do you believe there is life outside of Earth?


“Yes, but it will never reach us at least not in anyone’s lifetime; there is just too much stuff – an abyss.” – A. Leon 


“Yes I do, but not like green goblin-like aliens. I believe there is bacteria. I like to think that space is so vast and unexplored, it is almost selfish and egotistical to assume humans are the only life in all of that. Maybe there are beings as advanced as humans somewhere in a far land, but I assume the butterfly effect has made them extremely different from us, and they look completely different. But I really don’t doubt they exist.” – Emma Hsu


“Yes. I think with an infinite universe that life is bound to exist somewhere. Whether we can visit it or even recognize it, I don’t know.” – Josh McDowell 


“There is life outside of Earth because if you define the universe as infinite or infinitely expanding (which most do), then that means there is an infinite amount of everything somewhere in the universe, including life.” – Emma Morrison


“Duh. there’s no way we’re the only form of life in the whole universe. I don’t think we’ll ever come in contact with it and I doubt “aliens” and such would look like what we expect them to look like.” – Nayna Ayaz


“There has to be. Not sure if they know we exist though.” – Will Siegling 


Interesting point. It is crazy to think there could be life far more advanced out there than us, and that they could know we exist while we are completely unaware of their existence. 


“Yes obviously there are aliens. People hate on this theory because aliens haven’t been proven as real yet  you know there are other life forms out there. Regardless of what society says aliens look like.” – Lee Bearsch  


“I definitely believe there is life outside Earth. I think it’s selfish to think that it is just us. Obviously in our solar system it’s pretty hard to sustain life outside of the Goldilocks Zone, but who’s to say that there’s not other systems out there that have these perfect zones. Also, there are so many solar systems in our galaxy, and there’s practically an infinite amount of galaxies in our universe.” – Carolyn Selvidge 


“Life is meaningless, we are but one of the trillions of lifeforms floating around on a rock in the universe, incapable of reaching the others.” – Caleb Anderson 


Describe any positive change, no matter how small, you have observed in the world recently.


“Mexico legalized same-sex marriage two weeks ago! It’s nice to hear some good news among all the bad stuff going on.” – Joy Dewhirst 



“A person I hated left for Texas” – A. Leon



“I bought 2 new stuffed animals- a beanie baby bear and a stuffed coelacanth.”  – Maxine Lussier


“A wonderful E-learning day coming due to the tropical storm and lifting my spirits after an admittedly unfortunate election day. I am always here for a work from home day, reminiscent of my peaceful Zoom classes of Sophomore year, which I miss so dearly.”  – Emma Hsu


“I saw it rain and my dog likes the rain.” – Lukey Sutherland 


“The Taco Bell worker was friendly to me and got my order right yesterday. Something good is coming.” – Will Siegling 


“My pets have been extra excited to see me when I come home lately, and my mom says my cat looks for me all day while I’m gone, so it’s nice to be appreciated.” – Lizzie Murray 


“My meds stopped working (for the better)” – Caleb Anderson 

Hopefully, Caleb!


Do you do anything that you would not let your kids do? 


“Yes. I stole my mother’s car with my friend and then I got handcuffed. I would like to note I didn’t have a license, only a permit. It was definitely a problematic experience, I was almost arrested but I ended up getting grounded, not put in jail. I admit my fault. Let a girl live.” – Ella Chapman 

No way, me too!!!!!! 


“I might not let them spend as much time on their devices as I do, but who knows how essential technology will be by that time. I also would not want them to eat as many sweets as I do.” – Joy Dewhirst


“No, if I raised my kids how I planned to then I would not worry too much. Our faults make us who we are.” – Keerthana S. 


“Bully someone or be mean to someone who doesn’t deserve it.” – A Leon


“I wouldn’t let my kids take Physics.” – Lukey Sutherland 


“Yes sometimes I bite my nails and I will spray them with water like cats if they bite theirs.” – Lee Bearsch 


“Unmoderated internet access” – Lizzie Murray


“I’m going to try to delay/limit them having phones or iPads for as long as possible. My parents did this with me, and it let me have a really fun and exploratory childhood.” – Carolyn Selvidge 


“Not that I can legally disclose.” – basically everyone 

Very insightful, guys.