Beware the Metropolitan, a haven for the supernatural

October 11, 2016 — by Angela Lee

I’ve always been a slightly superstitious person: I carry a good luck charm on test days, a safety amulet dangles in my car and I look away whenever I pass a cemetery. Most of these idiosyncrasies stem from my mom, but thanks to my experience at the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York, I have developed my greatest superstition — to never wear black or joke around near historical artifacts.

Two years ago, during a summer vacation, my family and I visited New York. The day we visited the Metropolitan, I sported a black dress and black sandals. The Metropolitan amazed me with its massive displays of historical art from all over the world. I browsed armor from Europe’s medieval ages and walked among ornate coffins of deceased Egyptian royalty.

But among the awe-inspiring artwork were paintings and statues with unusual and often amusing images. Whenever I stumbled upon a particularly funny expression in an art piece or artifact, I would point to it and make jokes to my sister. Little did I know that my seemingly innocent jokes would soon lead to a horrifying out of body experience.

After our fascinating experience at the Metropolitan, we had dinner with my older cousin at a stylish bistro, and as the waitress delivered my steak, I started to shiver until I was uncontrollably shaking. I suddenly started to cry, but I had no idea why.

At this point, my mom decided to usher me to the outside seating with my plate of steak. She hoped that I would calm down with a breath of fresh air. But instead of relaxing, I started to hallucinate. Visions of myself bolting into the ongoing traffic and getting hit by a yellow taxi cab replayed in my head, and I felt a growing dread.

My mom was alarmed. When I picked up my knife, she looked relieved, as she thought I had calmed down enough to eat. But instead of slicing into the steak, I started stabbing it repeatedly. I couldn’t stop myself. I felt like I had no control over my body. I had never felt so helpless.

Finally after a few minutes of incessant stabbing and my mom praying, I finally put down my knife and my tears stopped. I didn’t understand what had happened, but my mom had a theory: Not only did my dark outfit attract the supernatural in the Metropolitan, but my jokes had offended the spirits as well; in turn, they tried to possess me.

To this day, I can’t explain why I behaved so strangely that night in New York. With my only explanation being my mom’s theory, I have no choice but to believe her.

For anyone who plans to visit the Metropolitan, I advise you to not wear black, and to not make any snide jokes about anything in that museum.