April 5, 2020

Eerie encounters around campus

If you’ve ever experienced something supernatural on campus, you’re not alone.

Although Halloween is the time for all things spooky, students and faculty alike report having supernatural experiences in many buildings around campus throughout the year.

The university has been around since the 1800s, and like many old institutions, it has been deemed “haunted.” Students and faculty who have experienced these “hauntings” report weird noises, flickering lights and feeling like they’re not alone in a room.

Emma Price, sophomore, experienced a chilling encounter her first year. She lived in Schaaf, and one night, in the middle of the night she woke up suddenly because she felt like someone’s hand was right next to her face. When she woke up to find no one anywhere near her, she assumed it was her roommate, but when she asked her the next day her roommate said that she was dead asleep the whole night. “That was definitely the most scared I’ve ever been,” she said.

Flickering lights tend to be a staple of many eerie encounters. Sophomore Hannah Barnard was taking a walk one night through Trinity Seminary when she noticed a door that had a piece of plastic covering the glass, but through the glass she could see a flashing light. “There is also a table in front of the door. Who puts a table in front of a door unless they are trying to hide something?” she said.

Another popular location for supernatural meetings is in the Schumacher Gallery on the fourth floor of the library. David Gentilini has plenty of stories about things that he has experienced during his time as the gallery’s curator. Collections come and go, and some of them have been extremely old pieces. Some of them have even been things used in ancestral funerals.

One of the most notable begins like any good creepy story does, alone in a large quiet room late at night. Gentilini was trying to finish setting up a collection called The American President that featured a lot of memorabilia from presidents, past and current, including some articles about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and JFK. Gentilini was rushing back and forth from the showroom to the work room, grabbing different items while talking to his girlfriend on the phone. During one of the trips, he looked up to see a large dark figure only about four feet away from him in the middle of the Oceanic/African Gallery.

“… Everything was normal until it wasn’t,” said Gentilini. He said he immediately froze and responded to his panicked girlfriend that he was not alone. After this, it only took him a few moments to completely pack up his stuff and get out of there.

Cassandra Tellier, the most recent director of the Gallery, had lots of supernatural interactions. These dealt mainly with the ghost inhabiting Gentilini’s office and making it appear that he was there when he really wasn’t. This happened so many times, in fact, that Tellier had to ask if he was there before starting a conversation just to make sure that it wasn’t the ghost. What would happen if Tellier ignored it? It would keep persisting until it was acknowledged, going as far as printing out blank pieces of paper.

Another building that’s been said to be haunted is what we now call Kerns Religious Life Center. It was built between 1913 and 1915, making it one of the oldest building on campus, and a multitude of students and faculty members have chilling stories about the top floor of the building. They report hearing strange noises when they are the only one there and have even seen the lights turn back on after being shut off.

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