Let’s start with the Pantas Basement. Scenes of the horror film Jacob’s Ladder reportedly took place here. The narrow corridors and flickering fluorescent lights certainly are unnerving late at night. There’s also the infamous Roach Hole—a cantaloupe-sized hole in the floor of the workroom, futilely sealed with silver duct tape that roaches occasionally crawl out of. I wouldn’t say there are any specific spirits in the Pantas Basement, but there’s certainly a presence, so maybe dowsing rods are the best way to investigate. I’d bring plenty of salt, though, as there’s a lot of desperate energy from generations of students pulling all-nighters with their Color-aid.
According to Professor Cecilia Muhlstein, there are some nineteenth century spirits roaming around the engine room. These are definitely the most aesthetically impressive ghosts on campus—they have long white dresses, elegant names, and probably lounge around on the pristinely painted generators, playing with the marble switchboard. Even if you can’t get into the engine room, you can watch the interact with the ghosts. Everyone knows that cats are very sensitive to ghosts. What do you think Benji is looking at when he suddenly goes stiff and stares into space?
The middle elevator in Willoughby is haunted too. It reportedly goes up to the 17th floor without prompting and opens the doors when no one is there. Legend has it a faculty member some decades ago fell to her death in the shaft from the 17th floor, and that her spirit is trying to complete the journey. While the story is frightening, it doesn’t sound like a malevolent spirit, so I would advocate for an elevator seance. Maybe if we can get the ghost in the elevator and take her down to the ground floor, she can finally rest in peace.
Image by Elizabeth Wing