Date: 10 Jun 1997 06:23:26 GMT
When I was attending Southern Oregon State College (now Southern Oregon University), stories, anecdotes and "experiences" about the haunted areas abounded. They still do.
Like all college campuses, SOSC (as I will always remember it) had/has its share of "secrets," and its cadre of "ghosts." From the presences in the Chappel- Swedenbourg house (recounted in my last posting) to the "bad vibes" felt in the library cellars - from the unseen janitor (with roving hands) in the Britt complex to the even nastier "things" in its basement - - the various "spooks" of the dormitories and the divers essences that roamed throughout Churchill, Central and Taylor halls, the Stevenson Union, and the outlying areas (Ashland in general), SOSC was rife with paranormal activity.
This recounting is a bit lighter, with a bit of the not-so-nice thrown in. Both my wife (who taught at the college) and myself experienced both of these phenomena, as did the building Czar.
A bit of history:
Southern Oregon State College is well-known for a decent curricula, even though it was listed (years ago) in Playboy's "Party College" hierarchy. Many of the faculty are dedicated, and a fair number are truly experts in their field. One of these fields is criminology.
An aspiring student (name withheld) graduated in the late sixties from the college with a degree in criminology, and took a position as a security guard with the college he loved. From the late sixties (I believe it was 1968, but I'm not sure) until the late '80s (1987?) he was active on campus, friendly and helpful to everyone. His favorite hall to patrol, and the one he constantly requested, was Taylor hall -- home to the criminology department, and the building in which one of his best friends worked as the building Czar.
In the late '80s he developed some chest pains and went in to have them checked out. Later that day, his friend saw him, in uniform, as he passed her door. He stuck his head in and said, "I have to take off for a while, but I'll be back soon." She thought he was going to his appointment, but a phone call she received a few minutes later decried this possibility. She was informed that he had passed on less than ten minutes earlier, a victim of a massive coronary attack.
But it doesn't end there.
Since his death, he has been seen by dozens of people, including his friend, my wife and myself and a number of the professors who had their offices in Central hall.
My wife would leave her office door open frequently when she went to get a drink of water or use the restroom. She and I argued about this, because I felt it was too dangerous (color me overprotective) and she wanted her students to have access if they needed it. If I wasn't with her in the evenings, she would invariably find the door at least closed, if not locked, when she returned. The only time this was a problem was one winter night, when she found the door locked, with her purse inside. She was the last one in the building (it was about 10p.m.) and was going to have to call security to unlock it for her.
She began walking toward the main office and the telephones when she heard "Miss?" from behind her. She turned, and a pleasant-looking older gentleman in a blue security uniform was standing at her door. "Do you need in to your office?" She responded that she did, and he unlocked her door, tipped his hat and walked off. She smiled, stepped inside and turned to thank him, but he was gone. It wasn't until she was home that it hit her -- SOSC security uniforms were brown or grey. They hadn't been blue in ten years.
As for my encounters with him - once was pleasant, once, not so pleasant.
One afternoon I was bored, had no classes for the remainder of the day and was exploring the building. I love seeing where things go, and finding out about all the unused storage spaces and histories of the various "personal detritus" collected in old offices and so forth. In one, I found a photograph of a security guard standing in front of Taylor hall, holding up a diploma from the college. When I turned around, the same guard, older, was there, looking none too pleased. "Please don't poke around without assistance, young man. Some of these storerooms have boxes that are none too safely balanced." He nodded to me, took the photograph and I left. When I mentioned it to my wife, she described him perfectly. I asked her if he was always this . . . uhm . . . negative (I think the word I used was "pissy"), and her response was "only since his death."
That threw me.
The second time I saw him, I was downstairs in Taylor hall after a meeting of the Anthropology club. I was finishing cleanup, it was about 11pm and I was dog- tired. We frequently stored some of our stuff in one of the storerooms near the boiler room, but this evening it was locked, and our advisor had already left to go home. I was looking for a janitor (they're never around when you need one, y'know?), and noticed that the boiler room door, usually shut and bolted, was slightly open, and I could see some light and movement inside.
Now this boiler room had always given me (and everyone else I spoke with) the heebie-geebies. It just felt . . . wrong. There's no other way to describe it. "Like shadow given form -- evil given flesh." It made my skin crawl just to *think* about it, but I wanted to go home, so I was going to look inside to see if there was:
a: a janitor or a key to the storage room nearby, or b: a place I could put the stuff for the night.
I got to within ten feet of the door and I couldn't move any farther. I was (literally) frozen with fear, and cold. The guard stepped around in front of me, said "put it in your car and get *OUT* of here, *NOW.*" Then he stepped into the boiler room, shut the door behind him and the light from under the door went out.
I grabbed our gear, ran to my car, stuffed it inside and did about 85 on the freeway getting home.
The next day, I explained a little about my experiences to our advisor and she just turned pale, shut her office door and said "I don't ever want you going near that room again, and if he (she meant the guard) ever tells you to do something, DO IT RIGHT AWAY." She wasn't happy until I promised her I would do as she said.
We never spoke of the incident again.