Jonas Doerr – Opinion Columnist
The brick walls of Uhler Hall loom over the Gustavus campus like a Transylvanian manor. The rooms are irregular with its mix of quads, triples, and doubles, and the hallways in the basement form a labyrinth all types of spookies could hide in. Dracula was written in 1897; Uhler Hall is only thirty years younger. So it’s not that surprising that Uhler, in fact, is haunted.
The first inkling I had of the ghost was as I was reading in my dorm alone one night. I heard a pounding on the door, and asked, “Who is it?” No one answered. I got up slowly and looked, and no one was there.
I figured it probably was just some hooligans up to no good, so I went back to my book, but sat next to the door in case it happened again. It did.
“Bam bam bam” went the door. I leapt up and flung it open. Nobody. At this point I knew something strange was going on, and I decided to investigate.
It turns out I wasn’t the only Uhler resident experiencing strange things. The first thing roommates Emma and Sophie noticed was “rattling and scratching” coming from the ceiling. Of course, the floors are thin in Uhler, so it could have just been their upstairs neighbors if that was the only odd occurrence. But then their decorative lights began “flickering aggressively” even though they were completely plugged into the wall. After some time of this the lights went out. They were still plugged in. The lights didn’t stay off, though. Some time later, the lights suspiciously turned back on on their own.
Now, this could all be completely normal still; except there’s more. Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said via email that they saw, “An apparition so pale and unsavory it stopped my breath in my throat. Its eyes were crimson, its form was otherworldly, and it emitted an air of gloom – pervasive and complete.” Unfortunately, they could not produce photographic evidence of the alleged spooky encounter. However, who knows if the ghost would even show up on a camera?
Yet another resident, Claire, was showering late at night with just one light on. No one else was around. Suddenly, the shower curtain was swept aside and remained “like someone was holding it there,” she says. Soon after, it returned to its prior position. There was no one around who could have pulled a prank like that.
Who, then, is this ghost? Is it a friendly ghost, like Casper? Maybe a troublemaker, like a ghost from Harry Potter? Or is it something more sinister, waiting for an opportunity to strike? Either way, something needs to be done about this ghost. Even if it is not evil, it brings up a host of other problems.
Take, for example, privacy. Everyone knows that locked doors are no barrier to a ghost. How can this be allowed? What if the ghost finds out some dirty secret about me, like that I’m a Packers fan? This would be unacceptable (the ghost part, not the Packers part). At the very least, the ghost needs to be restrained.
And what about the annoying noises? For those who do not own noise-cancelling headphones, constant clanking and rattling is unbearable. If anyone really wants to listen to obnoxious sounds, they don’t need a ghost. They can just put on country music.
Most of all, having the ghost around is simply unjust. Why should all the other residents have to pay room and board while the ghost gallivants around for free? It probably skipped housing assignments and has no valid roommate, and yet it gets to cavort in our beautiful hallways free of charge! It is completely unfair.
Fortunately, Uhler Hall president Christian Ash has also heard about the ghost and plans to do something about it. “As president of Uhler Hall, I find these supernatural occurrences deeply disturbing, both for the sanctity of the hall community and for the safety of the residents. With help from the public and my associates, I plan to formulate a solution to this issue once and for all,” said Ash.
Hopefully Ash can reach into his vast supply of resources as Hall President and create a solution towards this ghost problem. It is entirely inconceivable that this ghost should remain on Uhler Hall premises. If anything, it should go on a rotation and visit Southwest or Pittman every now and then. Usually I support school spirit, but this one has to go.