What Students Are Saying About Haunted Houses, Positive Change and Street Style - The New York Times

3 months ago 29

current events conversation

This week we round up student responses on three Picture Prompts.

Credit...Clockwise from top left: Monica Garwood; Simbarashe Cha for The New York Times; via Zillow

Nov. 3, 2022, 12:40 p.m. ET

Please note: Student comments have been lightly edited for length, but otherwise appear as they were originally submitted.



“If your dream has been to host a Haunted Air BNB look no further. Owner has had ghost hunters to the house twice overnight,” reads a listing on Zillow for a dilapidated three-bedroom house in Texas built in 1910.Credit...via Zillow

I don’t believe houses can be haunted but I love to pretend they are. I would love to spend the night in a “haunted house.” I am not scared easily but the thought of ghosts is scary. For the small chance they could be real I would be worried I would be followed home. If haunted houses are real, why aren’t all houses haunted?

Emily Mae Comet, HHS

Personally I am on the fence on whether to believe in ghosts or not. On one hand I have heard many scary stories from relatives and friends that make me believe. I also have had some personal experiences that challenge the thought. Such as things moving when they probably aren’t supposed to. But on the other hand it is pretty easy to say that there is always an explanation for something that happened to disprove the paranormal. But overall from my personal experiences and all of the other stories I am going to have to say I believe that houses can be haunted.

CJ, Illinois

Stopping dead in my tracks the unkempt, neglected grass stared at me. A breeze causing not only it to wave its long locks at me, but a chill to run down my spine. My eyes instantly searching to see more. Branches threatening to shatter the glass covered in cobwebs. White paint peeling off of rotting wood; the town eyesore. I passed this house every morning and evening on my walk to and from school. Surprised as to how someone could let their home turn to such an awful state. I grew curious.

Like people, objects and houses have a story. I wanted to know its story. Does someone still live there? Why are you significant? How did you get to such a bad state? Wanting an answer I watched YouTube videos on abandoned houses. Of course I had heard folktales of ghosts at a campfire growing up, but never had I imagined them to be real. I became so engrossed in these videos I started to believe the house had to be possessed by ghosts. I mean that’s the only explainable reason for an abandoned house to a 7 year old.

Katrina, Glenbard West

I don’t think haunted houses are real, mostly because I just think it is a coincidence. Some places might just be old, which causes creepy noises. It is entertaining to hear about creepy houses or movies made about them, but I do not think it is real. But I do like to watch those scary movies.

Mariah Comet, Hanover-Horton High School

I personally believe there are spirits in this world but I wouldn’t necessarily say that all these spirits are evil. I think there is opposition in all things, so with that said not all ghosts are bad. I have been in a haunted house and the feelings felt in each room shifted my emotions to fear as I felt a cold presence. I can recall one time when I was driving late at night from a friend’s house and there was a dark feeling and shadow that overcame my eyes and soul. It caused great concern but luckily I made it home safely.

Kari, Utah



Credit...Monica Garwood

I think that this image is communicating that you can be in the worst situation but that at the end there will always be something good or positive that will happen to you. That you have to get through the obstacles that you are confronted with and that if you don’t give up, there will always be a good outcome, it might take a long time but it will happen. In the picture, the person seems to have been in that dark forest for a really long time but she eventually found the end because she didn’t stop walking.

Agapi, Hamburg

I think that this image is showing that no matter how hard and dark life gets, it will get better. There is a light and happiness in the struggles of life. A lot of people today are struggling to find a light in life and some people believe that they will never be happy again. But in reality, you will find something or someone that changes your life and makes your life better and makes you happier. It may take a while but it will happen. You will get out of the darkness and be happy again.

Bre, New York

I believe the image represents how when you go through a dark spot in life you should always focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. That if things go wrong eventually as long as you push through something nice awaits you at the end meaning if you don’t try to escape you’ll be stuck in that dark spot forever. I think the person finding the flower has gone through something severe recently and is persevering through and has found something to be excited about or to look forward to.

Christian, Bville

All people go through difficult bad periods during our lives. The dense black forest of the image symbolizes these periods. Nonetheless, we can all discover the light at the end of the tunnel. The bright landscape and flower symbolize the light. If we don’t get stuck in bad times but we fight to improve our lives, it’s certain that we will achieve a better life finally. To find out the opening to joy and happiness, it happens when we are optimistic. Optimism with action can help us to overcome bad situations and lead us to the light and the happiness.

After darkness the sun always comes!

Angela, Greece

I think it’s a woman wanting to get out of her bad things, for example the things around her are bad, or she’s tired of everything. And she finds an outlet that is the flower in color, which perhaps represents happiness or tranquility to her.

Armando, Douglas, AZ

I think the image is trying to say that on the other side of hard times, there will be good. I think it’s trying to give young people hope who are having a difficult time dealing with the current events in the world. The different wars going on around the world might be stressing people out a lot. Even without the wars, the amounts of reported mental health problems are higher than ever. I think the idea behind the picture can be very helpful because sometimes when people are in hard times and that’s all they can see, they think it will be like that forever, but that isn’t true.

Jimmy, Old York

If you’re feeling sad, it will get better again. That’s one of the things I think this could be about. She is in a dark dead forest again and might be sad. But, eventually the forest will have pretty flowers and be all bright again. Just like how if she keeps going, she might become happy and bright.

Another thing I think this could be about is how you can stand out from other people. There’s a grey sad forest with a bright pretty flower in it. It’s different than everything else, so that’s why the girl is looking at it

The last thing I think this could be about is about your goals in life. The background is boring and looks like same, but the flower could be the girl’s goals ahead.

Rachel, NY

This image is showing how even if you’re surrounded by a bad social environment you can still succeed. It shows a woman in a burned forest exiting to a beautiful field of grass and with a very vibrant flower at the middle. It shows this by the burnt forest representing all the bad people in someone’s life. The girl represents anyone, it just shows a struggler, someone who worked hard and eventually found success from working hard. The grass friend represents success. It is completely different from the rest of its surrounding area and it shows how in order to leave that darkened area, you’ve got to search and work really hard. Beyond that this image also shows how everyone has good in them they just have to look for it, people both cynical and beautiful which is another message that this image is conveying.

Tommy, Glenbard West

This image depicts a part of depression. The part where you can’t escape, where you can’t breathe, where you just can’t. But you want to. You want to leave the dark, dreary, claustrophobic forest of misery and be free from your seemingly eternal melancholic state. The glass in the window represents the world you only wish you could live in, but you know it’s not possible. You know you are destined to be sad, hurting, and lonely all of your life. But what if you could break that glass? What if you could step even one foot out and breathe some warm air? What if you could finally reach the flower that is your happiness, your friends, your family? What if you could? It’s hard. It is so incredibly hard to break through that glass but there is a way. The flower is your motivation to free yourself; your joy and while there may be hills and valleys along the way, eventually, you will reach it.

Annie, Glenbard West High School



Credit...Simbarashe Cha for The New York Times

One “truly original” look I have seen is some influencers re-using some clothes from thrifting and transforming them into their own liking. One fashion trend I have been seeing recently on social media would be “layering” clothes, and some actually come out pretty good in my opinion. Other than that, the street style in younger people has sparked a world wide trend for everyone who would want to give it a try and to help others as well as gaining confidence in themselves.

Analeah, Atrisco Heritage Academy High School

Everyday I see people wearing different kinds of outfits. I think that my generation starts so many trends. I think their outfit also depends on their personality. Now, people are kind of going back to before we were born. We are bringing back fashion trends from the 90’s.

Bella, Atrisco Heritage Academy High School

Everyday in school I see a wide variety of outfits; fishnets, bandanas, patterned jeans, fun textures and much more. Because of this, I definitely think young people influence fashion and are trend starters. To help create these trends, people may go back in time to popular fashion eras, such as the 90s or 70s. This could be an influence in our style, however, the best combination is when we use those years as a mere influence for the outfits and style we create ourselves. The greatest thing about this era of fashion is that everybody has a certain style, and nobody is left out because there are so many different options.

Ana, Glen Ellyn

Style is everywhere! I’m in high school so I see very unique outfits everyday and the thing they all have in common is that they’re comfortable and they’re happy. Every generation has what they feel comfortable in based on how they were raised and what experiences they went through. I’ve seen people in bright dresses to black baggy clothes; although, some of these outfits I would likely not have thought of and some I would likely never wear, it’s always fun to see people in what makes them happy and comfortable.

Arrissa, Atrisco Heritage

I’ve seen both unique and rare sense of dressing recently throughout my days. I’ve seen mainly baggy/loose fit clothing. I personally favor the mid baggy look due to it being extremely comfortable and easier to buy clothes in certain sizes, and it also has opened many doors to layering your clothes better such as the bottom of a white t-shirt popping out of a hoodie. There also has been a big trend on flared clothing, I basically see everyone wearing flared leggings and jeans now.

Muhammad, Glenbard West High School

Recently, street style has been a huge trend. I see so many cargo, painters, and sweatpants throughout the school and when I scroll on Instagram. These younger generations are creating trends that have never been seen before, and most pick up on them. Not only that, but old trends are always being brought back in some way, whether there’s a twist on it, or not. Although, not all adults see through this generation’s new styles and trends. The interesting looks are most often then not something that parents may have worn. The creativity of the new generations is shown through their style and what clothes they choose to wear. So I don’t think these imaginative young people are necessarily “breathing life” into street style, but instead creating it.

Elayna, Glenbard West HS

There is a constantly evolving cycle in street fashion, with previous trends both being recycled and reconstructed over time. Mom jeans from the 80s came back with a stride amongst the younger generations just a few years back, overtaking skinny jeans at an incredibly fast rate and becoming a common closet staple. More recently, we have reached low-rise and baggy jeans from the 90s/2000s era. But even with the inspiration that comes from previous trends, new generations are adding their unique spin on it, separating this era of fashion from the others.

Kaavya, Glenbard West HS

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