Wednesday, October 31, 2012

19 years ago today, it was a dark and spooky afternoon . . .

Photo of Buttrick Hall, Agnes Scott College from:
For the most part, I think Halloween is just a big retail marketing scam.  “Hey!  Let’s all go out and buy a bunch of cheap, tacky, plastic junk that will give children nightmares and decorate our houses with it!”  Sheer Made-in-China madness.

But because it’s October 31, I will share a little “ghost story” that actually happened to me.  I was a student at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA from 1990-1994.  There are legends of several ghosts all over campus.  Too numerous to count, the sightings and experiences of students through the ages have been verbally passed down. 

The Dana Fine Arts Building is allegedly a paranormal hot-spot.  When Drama students are having practice in the theater sometimes at night, there is a person who appears in the balcony and watches the practice, then vanishes.  But the other “Dana Ghost” inhabits the ground floor, specifically the Ceramics Studio.  The story goes that a woman with very long hair was running the big clay mixer one night in the 1970’s.  Her hair got caught in the clay mixer, and you know the rest.

Being young, unbelieving in such nonsense, and unafraid of anything in general, I went to the Ceramics Studio to work on a project at about 10pm one night.  I was definitely the only person occupying the ground floor, and I heard some shuffling and walking from the area beyond and around the clay mixer.  I said hello a few times, and no one answered.  I didn’t stay long.

Another time, I was occupying a carrel in the lonely, quiet fifth floor of the library.  It worked great for take-home tests or really buckling down at exam-time.  The stacks had motion-sensor lights.  It was dark unless someone walked in front of that aisle, then the light would trip on.  One particular night, I was verifiably 100% alone up there.  I heard footsteps and dragging on the institutional tile floor.  The lights in the stacks lit up, one by one, getting closer to me.  I said hello, but no one answered.  The steps and dragging continued, and the lights tripped on consecutively.  I packed up pretty fast and made my way to the elevator.  Along the same path as the noise and the lights, I fled toward the button with the down arrow, and no one – no one – was there.  Strange.  Weird.  I have no explanation.

But on Halloween, 1993, my friend Martha and I had a hilariously haunting experience in her dorm room.  We ordered a pizza and turned on TBS to watch “This House Possessed,” the cheesiest B movie ever (even cheesier than the pizza).  The Amityville knock-off house loved the heroine so much, that it would not allow her to leave.  It killed everyone who came in, until her famous rock star beau came to the rescue at the end.   When the movie was over, I tried to leave Martha’s room.  The doorknob was stuck, and we were trapped.  “I can’t get out,” I told her.  She dismissed me, saying that was funny, but she had to write a research paper in German.  “No . . . I really can’t get out!”  After trying the doorknob for herself, she saw it was no joke.

Public Safety came and tried to get us out, but they had to call someone from Physical Plant who lived an hour away.  At the end of a two-hour ordeal, we were released as he removed the doorknob completely.  To this day, we always remind each other of the hilarious coincidence.  Actually, I don’t believe in coincidences per se, but I do think it was hilarious. 

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)



  1. In my memory, Candace Bergen was the heroine lol.

    1. I can't remember the actress' name, but I think she did look a little like Candance Bergen!