The halls were empty. The building was abandoned. So when the professor catching up on work one quiet Sunday noticed a figure at the end of the hall every hair spiked up on the back of her neck.
“I was at the elevator and I looked down the hall and there was this very tall, black, skinny figure standing,” told one professor who wished to remain anonymous. Sitting in the colorful warmth of her office, she relayed the tale with enthusiasm. With a golden pin perched on her blouse glittering beside her flamboyant purple scarf she revealed the fresh details from her memory.
Two weeks prior to the interview, she had been taking advantage of the peaceful quiet in her office over the Oct. 6 weekend. She was on the third story of Stroud when she made her way to the elevator.
That’s when something lingered in her peripherals. She looked.
“It scared me so much… I went into the disabled restroom. They had this little rack on the wall that has this cleaner and so I thought ‘well maybe it’s really a person!’ When I was coming out of the door I had the bathroom cleaner in my hands in case when I opened the door I could squirt him in the eyes right? I mean, that’s how freaked out I was!” The professor said.
Rumors have circulated of haunted dwellings on campus. Whether or not ghosts creep the halls of its buildings remains to be seen. But three witnesses who claimed to see the “paranormal” gave their accounts.
“There was something about it. It was like half a person, like a sliver… almost like a black crack…” she added, darkly lined eyes gazing off into her memory.
However, the anonymous professor was not alone in her situation.
Mary Rodriguez, a library assistant at the CMC (Curriculum Materials Center) has worked at Kemp Library for roughly ten years. It was from her old office desk in Kemp’s basement with a direct view into the room that she would see “like a shadow, something going across this way.”
She’d said this while pointing down the hallway straight down an aisle of books from the center entrance within the CMC. Brightly colored children’s books lined the walls and shelves but couldn’t compete with the stale, empty grayness of the room.
“It was black like a black shadow,” said Rodriguez beneath a shimmery dust of blue eye shadow. Her silver heart necklace danced as she talked. “So that would catch the corner of my eye… and I would look but I wouldn’t see anything. It happened quite often…. Several times I got up from my desk and asked ‘do you need any help?’ And I would come out and look and there was no one.”
“That happened several times where I thought I’d seen someone walking by. And to me it was a man. I had even asked the staff here… if they had experienced anything like this.”
Although the staff responded mainly in the negative, “They did tell me though that a male who used to work here had passed. I thought that maybe that was perhaps ‘him’ because the figure that I saw was a male.”
This was six or seven years ago.
“I’d seen the person walking to the point where I came out and yelled ‘do you need any help’? And I don’t hear anything and I come out and it’s empty. But I know that it was something.” She said with excitement. “But there were actually times… that it was actually a man’s body. And I would see it just like this” she said demonstrating “as if it were walking. I’m getting goosebumps because I know what I’d seen.”
Many professors and staff responded just as Rodriguez’s coworkers had. Even workers who’d been on the premises for more than thirty years never witnessed an unexplainable shadow or feeling. Many attributed it to being too rational.
Yet, sophomore Kayla Pollard, who claimed to be a skeptic, could not deny her experience in the basement of Shawnee. One of the oldest resident houses has carried the weight of rumors from students across campus for years. When her friend, a Shawnee resident at the time, claimed to hear sounds outside her dorm room they decided to investigate the source last fall.
The source was said to be the basement.
“Shawnee is haunted,” Kayla Pollard said in a roaring Starbucks café. “My freshman year, me and like five friends we went down to the basement of Shawnee…” into a room with a red light. “So like the story is that the janitor basically hung himself in the basement.” When asked when this incident occurred she said she didn’t know.
“But it is actually true… and he definitely is there. We were in there, like in the room, and the door was wide open. And it just shut! Now you know, I’m very logical and I don’t believe in ghosts… but there was no wind.”
She denied the cause of drafts deep in the Shawnee cellar. “And it locked.” She confirmed that it wasn’t an automatic locking door. “I just wanna say it was all a [coincidence] but like I do believe it was a – But I’m never gonna admit it.”
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