Williams 409: An Epicenter of Paranormal Activity

Stacey Kaliabakos ‘23

Paranormal Investigator

I’ve never been one to believe in ghosts or paranormal entities; however, word has been spreading throughout Williams Hall that some sort of presence is… among us. Numerous reports have been filed to the RAs in the building of disturbing events taking place throughout the semester. My research has led me to discover testimonies of whispering in the walls, late-night gnome sightings, and horrifying disappearances of all the toilet paper that used to stock the Williams lobby. I decided to do something about all of this and immerse myself in my craft by staying overnight in what is thought by all to be the most haunted apartment in all of Williams– Room 409. 

Before my stay, I sat down with the residents of the room, who prefer to remain anonymous in this article. I asked them what sort of experiences they’ve had since moving in in the fall. One of the residents said, “One night, I came back to my room from studying in the library. When I was getting ready for bed, brushing my teeth and stuff, I felt this eerie presence behind me. I whipped around and could have sworn I saw a shadow walk into the wall behind me. It really freaked me out.”

Another resident claimed that whenever he went to sleep, he would have visions of a dark figure standing over him. “That happens when I’m home sometimes,” he said, shuddering, “but never as much as when I’m living here in Williams 409. I really think that there’s something haunting the dorm, or at least our apartment.”

The last resident didn’t seem so convinced. “Well actually, I think that all of these occurrences can be explained by something scientific,” he said coolly. “You see, the pipes in this hall are absurdly loud and could possibly explain the noises other people are hearing in the building. Also, my roommates aren’t known for having solid sleep schedules, so they’re probably just imagining this stuff.”

As for me, I didn’t know what to believe. The thought of a menacing shadowy figure was unsettling, but my heart was strong– I could do this. I packed a small bag and camped out on the couch.

This room would be unsettling, even without the rumors of ghosts and dark figures. The walls were covered top to bottom with old, worn art that the residents said were thrifted from their home areas. “You know, some people say that art can be haunted,” one resident said suspiciously, and left me alone in the living room. 

As I lay awake on the uncomfortable sofa, all I could pay attention to was the continuous clicking of an antique clock they had hanging on the wall above their dinner table. Who has a clock like that in 2023? I asked myself incredulously as I turned over. I found myself fading in and out of sleep to the sound of the ticking, when all of a sudden I was jolted awake by a different sound coming from the kitchen. 

If you’ve never been in a Williams apartment, the layout is as follows: the door opens up to a large open space that includes a living room with furniture along with a dining table; to one side is the kitchen, lined with a tall counter at the front, and paralleled by a long hallway that leads to the bathroom and the two bedrooms. I peered through the darkness towards the kitchen, but didn’t see anything. However, I felt a deep sense of dread within me. Like a stupid girl in a horror movie, I got up to investigate. I crept towards the kitchen, using my phone to illuminate the darkness in front of me. I made it to the counter and couldn’t see anything in the kitchen.

Another noise, but this time I heard it down the hallway. A lump formed in my throat. I turned my head tentatively and looked down the dark corridor. And, at the end, almost entirely obscured by darkness and distance, was a shadow.

I was so taken aback that I dropped my phone and then suddenly the room was pitch black. I screamed and stumbled backwards into the living room as I heard the figure slowly shuffling towards me. No fucking way, I thought to myself. I have to be dreaming.

But the figure was in the room, and I cowered in its presence on the couch. Never did I think my job as a journalist would actually put me in danger– isn’t that aspect of the job usually made up for media attention? But here I was, about to get jumped by a ghost in my college dorm. 

A snicker broke the silence. I was confused– since when could shadow men laugh? It reached up towards its dark dome and pulled downwards, revealing a boy’s head. It was one of the residents– the one who doubted the shadow man.

He continued to laugh as I stared at him in shock, equally relieved and pissed. He sat down next to me on the couch. “I love screwing with people,” he chuckled as he ran his fully covered hand through his hair. “I bought this morph suit on Amazon for like, 30 bucks. I’ve scared so many people with it this semester, too. I don’t believe in ghosts at all, but my roommates are so superstitious about this kind of stuff that I thought it would be fun to mess with them a little. And I’ve kind of taken it outside this apartment. I’ve scared one of the RAs on duty when I went to the lobby to steal all the toilet paper down there one time,” he grinned widely at this. “And one time I scared a group of freshmen walking down the nature path by running at them in the suit at night.”

Man, I thought, this guy is nuts. I laughed weakly nonetheless and told him it was time for me to go.

As I walked down the hallway and clicked the button for the elevator, I felt a chill in the air. I turned around, half-expecting to see the stupid resident in his suit again trying to scare me. But what I saw instead was worse– a dim, translucent shadow glided into the wall behind me. I didn’t even wait for the elevator– I ran down the stairs all the way to the first floor where my apartment was. You could probably guess that I didn’t sleep much that night.

It’s not an unknown fact that Holy Cross is severely lacking in residential space, but I think for the sake of student safety and sanity, Williams Hall should be demolished as soon as possible. Maybe the hauntings would stop that way, although I hear of an “exorcism room” in the top of Fenwick that is said to be a recent epicenter of paranormal activity on campus. I don’t know what has possessed me to feel this way, but I’m thinking of going up there to see what’s up. Who knows– hopefully it’s just some crazy guy in a suit.

Featured Image courtesy of Shanil Perez ‘1738

Categories: Opinions

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