My Life Living In A Haunted University - Pt.3: The Lights
There were many strange incidences that happened at the University I attended (named withheld for privacy). We’d often hear the different urban legends passed down through the years and once in a while we’d hear a personal experience. Most of the time people kept their experiences to themselves so as not to be looked upon as being crazy. I was one of them for a short while until I started experiencing things with other people. There were days (or nights) when we’d be strolling along, minding our own business, having a great conversation when we’d realize we’d walked into something we weren’t expecting. After all of our nerves had calmed down a bit, we’d ask each other if we’d all seen the same things. There was no doubting what we’d experienced when everyone in the group would say they saw the exact same thing. These first-hand stories are some of those experiences.
Before I get into the stories themselves, I have to explain how our campus was set up a bit so you’ll understand what was going on. Although the majority of classes offered were held during the daylight hours, there were a few that were held later in the evening. All of those classes were held in the main building on campus where it was a lot more convenient to get to and from the main parking lot. To get from the dorms to the main building, you had to either take your chance on slipping down the fairly steep hill or go around and use the safer, covered walkway. Outside of the main building, there were multiple smaller buildings, including a bunch of portables scattered through the rest of the campus while construction to expand was going on. Some of the portables were near the gym and football field. Since off-campus housing was located near the other end of the field, we’d often pass these portables on our walk. It was a safe area as it was normally well lit and security would often patrol the area.
During one of our many trips to and from off-campus housing to visit friends, we'd often pass the portables near the gym and football field. One night only one friend and I were walking past as our other friends had taken off running ahead of us as they played around together. We could still see them a short distance ahead, but for the most part, we were by ourselves. We didn't mind since it gave us a chance to talk about more personal things we may not have wanted the others to know. As we were walking, we noticed one of the portables had all of its windows open and the lights were all on. We both had a class together in that portable, so we wondered if it was our teacher. We thought it was a little odd since classes in the portables here usually ended by 7pm (It was now way after 10). It would often get really noisy from the gym next door, so the school opted not to use them at night.
“I wonder who’s here so late?”, my friend asked. I shrugged, “Let's go see if it's Ms. S and ask if she needs help or anything.” We headed to the door, but it was locked. We couldn't see anyone inside and there was no one around. Then we heard it; “click", went the lock on the door. My friend and I looked at each other, a little confused, but thought maybe she was by the door getting ready to leave. We knocked. No answer. We knocked again. Still no answer. We decided to open the door and see what she was doing. There was no one in there. My friend and I both looked at each other very confused. “I don't know if we should be in here if there's no teacher in here. They (security) might think we broke in,” my friend said. “I agree. Let's just close the door. Security can handle the rest.” We closed the door and started to make our way back to our dorms, our friends now long gone. As we were walking away, we heard it again; “click", went the lock on the door. Wide-eyed and confused, we left quickly without saying a word.
As we went back to chatting about things, we heard the loud slam of a door. We both stopped in our tracks, now a little scared, and looked at each other. “What was that?” I asked her. “I don't know. You think it came from the class?” she responded. “Should we check?” I asked, almost hoping she'd say yes so we could see if it was. “I guess", she answered, a little hesitant, but just as curious as I was. “Maybe she came back and the wind slammed the door behind her.” We backtracked the few yards back to the walkway to the portable when we noticed it: complete darkness except for the dim lights outside the door. We both looked at each other, even more confused now. “What the h***?!”, she almost yelled towards the class. “I dunno dude. I dunno”, I answered her. Then we heard it again; “click" went the lock on the door. “Oh h*** no", she said as she turned on her heels to get out of there as quickly as possible. “Hey! Wait for me!” I called to her as I took off jogging after her. “What the h*** was that?” she asked in a half panic. “I don't know, but that was weird. Think we should tell somebody to check it out?” “No. Let's just find everybody else". We both kept pretty quiet after that. I could see it on her face: she was trying to figure it out like I was.
When we finally caught back up to our friends they asked us why we took so long and if we went somewhere. They said they saw us behind them most of the time, but then we kinda disappeared for a bit. My friend and I looked at each other, wondering if we should tell them what happened. Although it wasn't a really scary experience, it was really weird and confusing. I shrugged at her. She replied, “Oh, no, we just saw something and wanted to check it out. It's nothing.” We never told any of them what happened because we didn't want to scare them. We always pass those portables when we go to visit friends, so we didn't want any of them being too scared to go by.
We were both a little on edge when we went to class a few days later. We stayed down the walkway until the teacher opened the classroom, almost expecting it to already by unlocked. Hearing the lock click again, we both gave each other a wide-eyed look, almost to say, “At least a living person did it this time.” Class went on to be uneventful that day and the rest of the semester. We never experienced what had happened that night again. It could possibly be we ignored that area whenever we passed or it could have been a one-time event to scare the two of us. Neither of us brought up the incident again and neither of us cared to find out what had caused it.
Where our campus was located often rained a lot especially during the winter months. It wasn’t a surprise to see a bunch of kids who lived on campus sliding down the fairly steep hill during one of the many stormy nights. One of these nights, a bunch of us had gotten into beach clothes, grabbed some boogie boards, inner tubes, etc and headed off to the hill. When we’d gotten there, we noticed one of the classroom’s windows were all wide open and the lights were still on. We didn’t think anything of it since we knew there were classes going on at night and one of the teachers probably went off to take a break. As we were sliding, we noticed the lights were now off. Again, we didn’t think anything of it, we were having way too much fun. Later, the lights came back. Then off again. And back on. By now it’s gotten our attention. Nobody could understand why the lights kept going off and on like that as there was no one in the room. As we stood wondering what was going on, the lights started flicking on and off like someone was standing next to the light switch and messing with it. Again, no one was in that classroom. We’d all been there all night and never saw anyone go in or come out. Now we’re all starting to freak out and wonder if we should call campus security to check things out. Someone mentioned maybe it was the electricity since it was kind of storming. When we looked around, the rest of the campus, including all of our dorms, were all completely lit up and nothing was blinking. We continued to look at each other puzzled, and watched as the lights continued to flick on and off.
Then things really started to get interesting. The window shutters started slamming shut. Again, still no one in the room, and since each of those windows needs to be closed one by one, we knew it was impossible to close them all like that. Bang, bang, bang, they continued to go. Now everyone is starting to get scared. It was a first for many when it came to paranormal activity, so they were really scared and a couple of people were frozen in place. As if that wasn’t scary enough, the windows started to slam in unison to each other, Bang, bang, bang. Now we’re all freaked out and go running back to the dorms to find security. When we reach the security guard and tell him what happened, he looked almost like he didn’t believe us, but with so many of us saying the same thing, he knew something must be up and agreed to go check it out. Since a couple of us had classes in that very classroom, we knew which room to send him to. We waited for him to return and tell us what he found.
About 5-10 minutes later the security guard comes back, stumped. He told us the room was locked tight, the lights were all off, the windows were all closed, and it looked like nobody had been there for a few hours. He had checked some of the other classrooms down hall to make sure someone wasn’t messing with us. All of the classrooms were locked tight, as they should be.
While we were talking and explaining we weren’t making it up, a second security officer showed up and asked what was going on. We explained to him what had happened. He had a small smirk on his face as he said, “hmm”. Some of us had heard the urban legend about the old groundskeeper who supposedly haunted the football field. If you were walking on the field at night, you’d supposedly hear his keys jingling behind you. No one ever believed it, but it was fun to spook each other when we’d venture to off-campus housing. But the second security guard started to mention he’d had other people tell him the same thing. Since the first security guard was still fairly new, he hadn’t heard or seen a lot of the things that go on around campus. He went on to mention there was a janitor that would always come in late at night to clean. The story behind what had happened to him changes, but many of the faculty at the school had been warned sometimes things like what we experienced happened from time to time. No one knows why it happens, other than speculating the janitor might have been upset we were playing nearby or that he was a trickster and wanted to scare us.
I don’t know whether or not this urban legend is true. It’s a little hard to base what had happened to us on a story that always seems to change. What I and my friends do believe is that something definitely happened that night and no one can explain it. Although that experience wasn’t nearly as frightening as some of the other experiences some of us had had on campus, it was still very scary for those who’d never experienced anything before. I can tell you one thing: walking into class the next day was pretty unnerving. I tried my best not to look uneasy being there, but I was a little jumpy during that hour. And although we’d all seen lights on in empty classrooms at night after this experience, we’d never had anything quite as active happen again.
A couple of friends (both girls) and I decided to visit another friend living in off-campus housing. The trip to his apartment was uneventful and rather fun as we talked about life and boys. On our journey back to our dorms, we were passing the gym, a few portables, and a small construction area. Since there was a lot of construction going on around our campus as they continued to expand, we didn’t think anything of dodging warning¬-taped areas or weaving through large equipment. As we continued to jabber on, I went quiet. Ahead of us, I noticed three figures standing in some of the bushes next to the outdoor basketball court. I wasn’t sure what to think of it, so I didn’t say anything, and continued to walk. As we passed, I realized the figures were human sized, about our heights, but I couldn’t see the lower part of their legs. I was confused as I continued to stare at these figures as we passed. As much as I was staring at these figures, I realized they were staring at us too.
When we passed them and were about 10 feet away, my friends asked me why I’d gone so quiet all of sudden. I asked them if they’d seen the light people in the bushes. They didn’t know what I was talking about, so they asked me to explain what I’d seen. I explained there were three distinct people standing in the bushes, but they were like us, they were literally lights. Of course one of my friends wanted to turn around and see if those beings were still there. They weren’t. She asked me to point out where the beings were standing. I stood back on the walkway where we were passing and instructed her which area I’d seen them. She’d picked up a stick that fell from one of the trees and was swinging it in the bushes to try to see if there was anybody hiding or if there was anything there. There was nothing there. It was only the bushes and my friend. She continued to ask me to describe what I’d seen and ask me if I was feeling okay. I explained again and told her I was fine, if it were only a quick glance I would have shrugged it off, but they were there the entire time we walked past. Since there were a few lights shining on some of the large construction equipment and parts of the walkway, she asked me if it was the lights reflecting off of anything. I asked her if she could see anything in the bushes that could possibly reflect anything. She couldn’t find anything but more bushes and a couple of smaller trees.
By now my second friend is a little shaken. She’s whispering to me, asking if I was scared. I told her I wasn’t, I was more perplexed by what I had seen than I was scared; I really wanted to know what those things were and why were they seemingly watching us. We walked around the area, looking to see if there was anything that could possibly explain what I had seen. There wasn’t. There really wasn’t anything around that could have made that light or reflected any lights. One of my friends didn’t know what to think of it, but did believe me since this wasn’t our first experience together on campus. My second friend, on the other hand, really wanted to go by now. She was really starting to get creeped out by what I’d seen, all of the darkness around, and all of the construction equipment where anyone or anything could be hiding behind. Once back at their dorm room, my second friend felt a lot more relieved.
I’d never heard any stories about light beings being seen on campus. When I’d checked with a few friends who’d been going to the school for a couple of years and with one of the security guards, no one had heard anything about it and no one was really sure what to make of that story. I never found my answers and I’m not sure I ever will.
I have done a lot of research regarding different types of paranormal and astral beings. There are a few stories that describe beings similar to what I’d seen. Whether it be a spirit, guardian, or an alien life form, I really don’t know what it is that I saw, but it was the first time I didn’t feel any type of worry or fear when I saw them. A part of me wants to insist they weren’t malevolent entities because I didn’t feel scared, but a part of me does wonder if the shock had set in so fast and so hard that I wasn’t able to feel anything at all.
Although our campus had a bunch of urban legends, there were still a bunch of things that happened that no one had ever heard any stories about. And although we had someone corroborate what had happened in that classroom, it still wasn’t fully explained. What really did happen? What was messing with the lights? And what could have possibly shut all those windows all at once? It surely wasn’t the wind, and, seeing as there weren’t any strong winds that night, the wind couldn’t have possibly slammed them shut so hard and opened them up so hard as well. As for the light beings, I suppose I will never find my answers. I’ve come to accept the possibilities of what I saw and am appreciative that whatever those things were, they did not try to harm me and my friends.