Place item was collected
North Logan, Utah
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Ashton Reaveley is my younger brother and he is 13 years old and he lives in North Logan, Utah. He is in the eighth grade and he plays drums and is in his school band. He also plays competitive basketball.
I interviewed my brother about this game in my bedroom while I sat at the desk in the room and he sat on the floor. It was sometime during the late afternoon on a Saturday. This game is typically played on a trampoline, where the “dead man” is in the middle and the other players are surrounding them. This game can be played with adults, but typically is played only by younger kids. My brother says that he remembers the last person to not be tagged winning the game, but I remember it being played where the first person to be tagged becomes the dead man when I would play the game with him.
Me: How do you play the “dead man” game?
Ashton: There’d be a person in the middle laying down with their eyes closed and then they’d say ‘dead man, dead man, come alive before I count to the number five,’ and when they reached number five, they’d get up with their eyes closed and they’d have to keep them closed the whole game...and they have to feel around for the people on the trampoline, jumping away from them, and they can’t be touched, and that’s when you’re out, and the last person there is the winner.
Me: How many people do you play it with? Who do you play it with?
Ashton: There’s usually four people total, around three people trying to stay away...and...yeah.
When I interviewed the informant, I could tell that he wasn’t very enthusiastic or excited about the game. During the interview, it seemed like he had a pretty good memory of how to play the game and he used a conversational tone as he was explaining it.
Introduction to Folklore (ENGL 2210)
Semester and year
G6: Elimination Games
Reaveley, Mayah, "Dead Man" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 208.