Hello readers! I hope that you are enjoying Fortnight of Fright thus far, we have been very lucky with our guests this year! Today we have Jamie from The World for the Reading telling us all about a TRUE HAUNTING (umm my favorite!!) Take it away, Jamie!!
The Haunting of Hoyt Hall
I don’t believe in ghosts, so when the opportunity came to live on the notoriously haunted fourth floor of Hoyt-Bowne Hall, I took it. The rooms were huge and Hoyt was right in the middle of campus. A little ghostly shenanigans seemed a small price to pay.
The ghost’s origin story varied depending on who told it, but here’s the gist: in the late 18th century a woman having an illicit affair found out she was pregnant, was rejected by her lover, and hung herself in the attic. Other versions have her as defenestrated by her boyfriend; still others say that the pregnancy was the result of sexual assault. Whatever the true origin the result was a spirit said to be particularly malevolent to men. Any men who slept on the fourth floor were said to experience nightmares, headaches, trip over nothing, and if they should take a shower: extreme changes in water temperature. For this reason only women resided on the this floor, an unusual circumstance on a campus where every other dorm is co-ed by room.
My first night there I was awoken by a creak… creak …creak. The room’s two closet doors were opening and shutting on their own. Chalking it up to the open windows, I rolled over and went back to sleep. The next night: creak…creak…creak went the doors. This time the windows were closed. Well it’s an old building, I thought to myself. I shoved a plastic bin in front of the doors to stop the creaking, and learned to live with it. The rest of the year was spent mostly untroubled by the “ghost”: a girl down the hall yelled for me to come see a ball rolling around her floor apparently untouched by human hands, there were strange knocks on the walls at random places, my friends across the way found mysterious holes in their window screens. (This last had a clear explanation: a squirrel had chewed through the screen to get to a dish of Hershey’s kisses with almonds, the squirrel equivalent of crystal meth.) My friend Tom complained of random bruises, though they were likely the result of drinking in the woods, not supernatural in origin.
I had no more personal experiences… until one Friday night. Hoyt 4 was empty, finals were coming and we’d been given Monday and Tuesday off for “reading days”. Many people, my roommate and neighbors included, elected to go home for the weekend. I had several papers to write and had woken up that morning with a stomach virus. I decided to quarantine myself in the dorm and get as much work done as possible in between miserable trips to the bathroom. All was quiet that afternoon and into the evening. Suddenly there was a knock at my door. Startled, I answered it only to be blinded by a light. A camera was shining in my face and three freshmen guys stood there. These amateur Ghost Hunters wanted an interview: “No one else answered their door. How do you like living in the creepiest building on campus? Ever been attacked by the ghost? Did you know the lights are sometimes on in the attic? Are those Pokemon pajama pants?” The only thing currently haunting me was the Norovirus. Sweaty, nauseous, and mildly irritated I declined an on-camera interview and sent them on their way.
Some hours later, maybe around 2:00am I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom sink after another miserable excursion when I noticed how cold the room was. The window had been opened, even though it had been shut the last time I visited in the room about an hour before. Someone else must be up here after all, I thought, then shut the window and continued brushing. I heard a noise like swoosh swoosh coming from the side of the bathroom with the shower stalls. “Hello?” I called, “Anyone there? Cindy, is that you?” No response. The lights flickered, but then they often did. I washed my face.Creak… creak… creak. The doors of the toilet stalls were swinging back and forth. The door leading to the hallway opened. Small knocks were coming from the walls. Finally, bang went the toilet seat that I had left up, just as the lights went out.
I don’t believe in ghosts, but I raced out of that bathroom and locked myself in my own room with all the lights turned on, shoving the bin back in front of the closets as a precaution.
‘Tis a cruel ghost who won’t give a poor guy battling a stomach bug a break.