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A cousin of mine complained about hearing her name called when she was alone at home, and while this is a well-known superstition in the Hmong community (such as a bad omen or literally a spirit coming to steal a soul), her husband and in-laws ignored her complaints for some time.

She heard someone say her name while walking down an empty hall at work one day, so she returned home and told her husband, “Something is calling my name and I’m scared.”

Again, her cry for help was discussed among her in-laws and they told her to pay no attention to the voices, with disregard to her concern as if they didn’t believe her stories.

One evening, while she and her husband were on a group date with other young couples at a friend’s house and watching a movie in the living room with all the lights off, a voice called her name from the dark kitchen; this time everyone present heard the lingering tone from the darkness, causing them to huddle together and wait for the elders to come home before anyone even had the courage to move from their seats.

The young couples described the ghostly voice saying that it sounded like an old woman, and they thought it was odd that the voice was addressing my cousin by her married name.

Finally, my cousin’s in-laws changed her husband’s name and miraculously, the voice of the old woman stopped following her.

Art by Bao Xiong

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