By Laiken Harrigan
Elm Staff Writer
Washington College is well-known for its history, but the College’s past also comes with some spooky baggage.
There are many rumors about paranormal activity on campus that still circle the small community. Some students claim to have experienced strange things in their dorms and in older academic buildings that don’t have any logical explanations.
Sophomore Isabela Antonio, who lived in Minta Martin last year, said she was sitting in her dorm room with a few friends and two sets of her battery-powered LED lights came on at the exact same time, without anyone touching them.
“It made no sense because the lights weren’t plugged in and they weren’t even the same kind of lights, so they weren’t on some kind of timer. We were all so confused as to how they turned on at the very same second,” she said. “It’s a funny story now, but when it happened I definitely got very creeped out.”
Hauntings in Minta are neither surprising or isolated, as the dormitory is one of the oldest buildings on campus.
Another older building on campus that is rumored to be haunted is William Smith Hall.
Sophomore Erin Asman was in Smith on a Sunday around 5:30 p.m. when she encountered something that felt paranormal. She had not seen anyone else in the building when she went to the bathroom. That’s when she heard a woman screaming for help.
“My first thought was that someone had been walking their dog on the green and it had been hit by a car, just from the level of pure anguish in the scream. But I checked from the window in the bathroom and there was not a single person in sight. At this point I was a little freaked out so I just went back to the classroom and turned all the lights and some music on,” she said.
In the Rose O’Neill Literary House, which is arguably the most haunted building on campus, there have been many testimonies about the ghost that lives there. Senior Jack Despeaux, who worked for the Literary House, said that he, other students, and faculty members have heard chilling noises in the building after dark. They even named the ghost “Dickens” after the writer because, supposedly, “he’ll scare the dickens out of you.”
Despeaux heard stories about the ghost, but had never actually seen it himself until one night while working past his normal hours when he was alone in the building.
“I heard very steady, light knocking sounds coming down the staircase: they were footsteps. I had a heavy cold shiver run through my back as I realized what was going on. I frantically ran through the house, turning off the ground-floor lights. As I reached for the last light switch, I heard a screeching sound. My heart plummeted in my chest, and I flicked the switch and ran out of the building. I couldn’t help but stare at the windows as I walked towards my dorm, but I didn’t see anything in them,” he said.
These spooky encounters from students are a creepy, but nonetheless unique, part of WC. For anyone paranoid about these ghosts that are rumored to linger on campus, don’t find yourself alone at night.