Besides the myriad of death in New York City, in which I identified a friend’s dead uncle in a hotel room, this year in college was the most profound haunting experience I’ve had in a while. I live on one of the United States most haunted campuses in the US. The ghost stories here are endless, and the sightings never stop. When I first moved in freshman year, I had a perfectly stably placed box get hurled from my closet towards my head. I said “None of that.” and I put the box back. Last year, I lived on one of the most haunted floors on campus. There wasn’t much about our room, but there was an old lady in a bonnet cap and an apron, and a man who felt like he walked around in a top hat in our bathroom. They were not married, or even in love, in fact, I would say their relationship was one based around mutual dislike. Funny how that can happen. Other than occasionally staring at you as you turned off the lights and left, they did little until one day. My roommate had been showering, and had heard hard banging on the wall of the bathroom stall. No one else was in the bathroom, she checked. There was also the sound of the paper towels being used, that clicking “shunk” kind of sound the manual dispensers make. She was looking at it, no one was using it. Then I had to pee. This wasn’t their usual activity, I didn’t want to go alone in case they were upset, or someone else had moved in so I dragged my roommate along. As we were going to the bathroom, we heard a “thunk” and my roommate said that was one of the noises she had heard. I told her to quick look around, find out if it’s just a pipe, or something fell. And then I looked up. All the foam ceiling tiles rose straight up, about 4 inches above their plastic resting frames. I was done peeing then. As they thunked back down I jumped out of the stall and skittered over into the other part of the bathroom. People coming in looked at us like we were crazy. It has never happened before, and hasn’t happened since.
This year, we lived on the same floor but in a different room. There had been construction all summer, and so a few spiritual things had changed. Our pair in the bathroom had moved elsewhere. Perhaps they couldn’t stand the banging in the bell tower above. Our RA had a terrible problem with a little drowned girl. She would stand dripping wet and sobbing and try and inflict whatever damage she could. She was unhappy and malicious. She would wander some at night, you could feel here in hall. We were no longer cautious about the bathroom, we were cautious about accidentally letting her into our room. Which we did one night. She stood by my bed and stared and was the most terrifying child I had ever seen in my life, though I tried incredibly hard to ignore her. She even frightened our resident ghost (who I will get to). One night, my roommate heard her scream a horrible, high pitched scream of pure anguish, a child in pain, which I could see both terrified and heart broke my poor roommate.
In our room, I quickly noticed we were not alone. Starting around midnight every night, a large, dull-witted older man would stand in the middle of the room. He stared in my direction every night for weeks, and I thought maybe he was keeping an eye on the closet, but then one night I was shown his back, and he stared at my roommate. I slept that night. She did not. After the first night, we were talking with friends, and they had lived in that room the year before. “You know your room is haunted, right?” Yes, I said, OOOOh yes. I had her describe her experiences to me and the traits she described fit our man. She hears things, much like my roommate does. I see things. I had seen him doing the things she described. I had seen him perpetually reaching out, wanting to touch anything and everything out of sheer curiosity, and she had heard him running his hands along the wall, and murmuring to himself. He would move things in the closet on them. He would move things in the closet on me. He was so strong a presence that we couldn’t sleep. We avoided our room at all costs. We moved.
There is more about this specific ghost in the early posts of Wellsthen.tumblr.com if you want to hear specifics. Otherwise, Happy Halloween.