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Thursday, May 23, 2024
The Observer

Saint Mary's Resident Assistants share stories of ghostly encounters on campus

Students gathered in Riedinger House on Tuesday evening to hear some of the ghost stories of Saint Mary's.
Students gathered in Riedinger House on Tuesday evening to hear some of the ghost stories of Saint Mary's.

In the parlor of Riedinger House, students sat on couches and clustered together on the floor, leaning forward attentively to listen to the Resident Assistants sharing stories of ghostly encounters in the Saint Mary’s residence halls. Tuesday night, the Class Gift Campaign of the Office of Annual Giving hosted the annual reading of “Quiet Hours,” a 2002 collection of ghost stories and other paranormal activity reported on campus.

Students sipped hot cider and ate donuts as they listened as Residence Life staff read from the collection written by three Saint Mary’s alumnae – Shelly Houser, Veronica Kessenich and Kristen Matha – and recalled their own experiences with slamming doors, shaking beds, disembodied knocks against the window and apparitions wearing red.

At one point, the parlor lights flickered, briefly casting the listeners into darkness.

“That’s enough,” senior and Resident Assistant (RA) Anastasia Hite said, as if chastising a ghostly presence pulling pranks in Riedinger House.

Hite, who had several spooky stories to share, said she is no longer fazed by the strange occurrences that have plagued her time as a RA at Saint Mary’s.

“It’s a constant thing,” Hite said. “If anyone wants to go ghost-hunting, they should just follow me around.”

Recently, Hite said she has experienced some paranormal activity in her friends’ Le Mans Hall dorm room.

“I hate Le Mans,” Hite said. “[My friends] have lived in Le Mans for the past three years. They lived in one of these rooms across the hall from the creepy stairwell. At one point, I am in their room and I'm like ‘I have to go to the bathroom.’ So I walk down the hall to go to the bathroom, and the doors in this bathroom are kind of squeaky but they all were propped open. So I walked by and shut all three of them, and they all squeak right. So I go to the bathroom in the last stall, and when I walk out, all the doors are open and there was no squeak.”

Hite said while living in Holy Cross, she has often woken up to find her bed shaking, as if someone is standing at its foot and rattling the posts – a phenomenon she said other residents have reported having experienced. In other instances, Hite said she has heard knuckles rapping against bathroom windows and doors, only to find no one on the other side.

Another time, Hite said she and senior Mia Washington shared a strange experience in the elevator of Cushwa-Leighton library.

“We get in the elevator and we’re in the basement,” Hite said. “The doors start to close and they get about like two inches from being closed, and they just like slam open, slam shut and then the lights flicker in the elevator.”

Though Washington was startled, Hite said she wasn’t moved by the encounter in the elevator.

“Just another day,” she said.

Senior and RA Liv Sencion said she experienced a ghost with an interesting hobby: redecorating her dorm room.

“My first year, I lived in a single in on the second floor in the south side of Regina,” Sencion said. “There was a single next to me – another girl – and the girl and I were supposed to room together but didn’t, and it worked out because we weren’t that good of friends. I would go home some weekends. One weekend I go home and I didn’t tell her because she’s not my mom. I come back and she is all upset with me and she says ‘Why did you have to move all your furniture at like three o’clock in the morning? You kept me up. And why did you have to do it both nights?’ And I was like, ‘I wasn’t even here.’”

The furniture in Regina is heavy, Sencion said, and makes a lot of noise when moved across the floor. Though the neighbor reported similar instances of disturbances on weekend nights, Sencion said she never returned to find her room disturbed.