Beyond the costumes and candy, Halloween is a season for celebrating the supernatural, and at a university that traces its lineage to the author of The Spiritual Exercises, perhaps it’s not entirely surprising to hear that some of our colleagues have reported otherworldly encounters on campus in recent years.
Before Jani Medeiros moved to the Department of Accounting in the Pigott Building, she worked for a number of years in the Admin Building. She recalls a time in 2005 when she was working late, helping to prepare for the university’s graduation ceremonies. “It was the first year I was involved with Commencement, and I was really scared, trying to keep up with everything,” she says. That’s when she received her first visit from “Casper,” as she calls him. (And, yes, she’s certain, he’s a him.) She found him a comforting presence. “He’s definitely a benign spirit,” she says.
Before meeting Casper, Medeiros says she had never been visited by ghosts, ghouls or goblins of any sort, and that she hadn’t had a similar experience anywhere else, either on or off campus. (And that's saying a lot when you consider that her duties would often take her to the basement of the mortuary-turned 1103 East Madison Building in search of files.)
When Medeiros later moved to the second floor of Admin, her friend followed. She would sometimes hear him in the women’s restroom next door to her office, brazenly defying the females-only sign posted near the entrance. She says she has reason to believe he also spends a fair amount of his time in the building’s bell tower.
Medeiros’ account has been validated by others, particularly as it relates to paranormal activity in the Admin Building’s second floor restroom. Eli Christopher, web marketing manager, who used to work on the third floor of Admin, says she would often hear the paper towel dispenser turn on and off, sometimes continuously. She’d call out, “Hello?” to ask if anyone else was in the room, but no one would answer. She’d check to see if there was a breeze blowing that somehow triggered the dispenser, but the window was closed. She’d look around for insects that might’ve flown by the sensor, but again, nothing.
For a while Christopher kept the information to herself. Then one day, as she was talking with a group of colleagues, it turned out her experience was not unique. All six of her female co-workers reported similar phenomena in the restroom. “It was probably just a malfunction,” she reasons. “But it is strange and unexplainable,” she adds, leaving the door open just enough to the possibility...
Medeiros and Christopher no longer work in the Admin Building, but they both insist their relocations had nothing to do with the strange occurrences. For her part, Medeiros has an inkling that Casper may have followed her to the Pigott Building, where she’s noticed some extraordinary happenings in the elevator and in other parts of the building.
Most interesting, perhaps, is that Medeiros and Christopher both report that the visits only took place when they were alone. Or at least, so they thought.
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