Subject: Columbia, SC Ghost Story
Date: 14 Oct 1996 00:16:32 -0400

I've reading the stories in this newsgroup: some are really good ones. Decided to tell about one about of my own in case someone has some interest. I've seen and experienced a lot of things with the supernatural in my life. The most mind-boggling, and terrifying, happened about 15 years ago. When I was 17, I arrived for my freshman year of college at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. I was assigned to a dorm with 3 roommates. The dorm was actually an apartment, with shared kitchen and bathroom for all of us. It is located on the third and top floor of the oldest section of the campus. I had my own room, as did another roommate. The other two shared a large room. The dorm was actually very nice, overlooking a park on the campus.

The semester started out as usual, running around trying to find classes, etc. About the third week of school, I noticed the first strange thing about the dorm. It was located on the third floor, as I said, with no fire escape in the front. I got out of class about 2:00 each afternoon. As I walked up the stairs, I heard about 5 or 6 voices conversing inside of our dorm. I couldn’t t understand any of the conversation. I put the key in the door and opened it, and the voices stopped. The first few times it happened, I thought nothing about it. Then, something clicked in my head. I started going back down the stairs after I entered the apartment, thinking the voices were coming from another floor. No luck, there was always absolute silence after I entered the apartment. This went on for the first semester; then things started heating up in late January of the next semester.

As I said, I had a room by myself. No fire escape and a deadbolt on the door, which I always locked at night. I always slept in short pants and a tee shirt at that time. I would put on my nightwear, turn the light off and go to sleep. I started waking up in different clothes, always something from the bottom of the dirty laundry basket, always wearing the clothes inside out. I initially brushed it off to sleepwalking. Then, other things started happening. One night, I went to sleep and dreamed that someone was beating me with a chain. I woke up, saw the said 3:00 exactly. Then, I turned the light on. I was covered from head to toe with bright red welts as if I had been beaten. By some miracle, I went back to sleep. All of the marks were gone the next morning.

The next occurrences also happened while I was sleeping, or trying to sleep. There was always a streetlight shining in through the blinds in my room. I began waking up at 3:00 every morning (I could see the clock). I couldn’t move; something was physically on top of me holding me down. This would go on from 5 to 30 minutes, until I fainted each time. I could see the room around me, and each thing in the room registered with me, thus I don t think I was dreaming or having sleep paralysis.

After the last instance, I told my roommates what was going on. They were nice guys, but, as usually happens when you tell a strange story, you get ridiculed. They didn't believe me, said I was just going through some phase of being away from my parents for the first time. But, they got their dose of the action soon enough.

About a week after I related my tale, three of us were in the dorm one Sunday night. All three of us in our respective bedrooms, the other two guys with their girlfriends at the time. (The fourth roommate had moved out and experienced no part of this.) At about 1 AM, everyone heard keys jingle, the front door open, and 5 or so voices talking in the living room. Again, the words were indistinguishable. No one was brave enough to venture out and see who or what was in our living room. This went on for 30 minutes, the keys jingled again, and there was silence.

The next day, my roommates excitedly told me what they had heard. Of course, I believed them because I had heard it, too. One of their friends was there, and, when they told him the story, he commenced to saying boo and making the stereotypical spook sounds. He then left, went down to his new model car of one week, started it up after having been in our place for about two hours. It was February by then, and pretty cool out, but his car immediately overheated, with steam spewing out from under the hood. He ridiculed no more after that.

I was close to one of my roommate Mark and his girlfriend Sue at that time (the third roommate wanted no part of the goings on). We decided to have a séance the next Sunday night. At midnight, we turned out the lights and sat on the floor in his room. The three of us crossed our arms and held hands, with a lighted candle in the middle of us. I was the brave one and did the talking. I had found out that the dorm had been a Confederate hospital during the Civil War, and a Union barracks afterward. My roommate had a Confederate battle flag on his wall. Given the history of the building, the first thing I said was, "If you like the Confederate flag, walk on the roof, if not, tap on the window.” We were sitting next to the window (again no fire escape on that side of the building on the third floor). Immediately, there was a tap, tap, tap on the windows. We were all terrified, but no one moved. Then, I said, "If you like the Confederate flag, tap on the window, if not, walk on the roof." Immediately, there were such loud foot steps on the roof that we thought it was going to cave in. We had all had enough by then. Mark said, "Come back tomorrow night at midnight."

We then ended the séance on our part. Sue went home. Mark and I were both terrified. I decided to sleep in the spare bed in his room. As soon as the lights were back out, we started hearing footsteps walking from the end of the living room to Mark’s bedroom door. This kept up for about 30 minutes. I decided then that I wanted to be in my own bed. The footsteps let up for a few minutes. I ran out of his room to go to mine. The footsteps were following right behind me in the hall. I slammed my door and locked it. I couldn’t sleep; the footsteps began going from his room to mine. It lasted about 2 hours.

Well, Monday night arrived. Sue refused to have any part of it anymore. Mark and I were sitting in the living room watching television. From the couch, you could see directly into Mark s bedroom. We had decided no more séances. At midnight exactly, we looked in his room. A white figure glided across the floor and sat in a lawn chair that he had against the wall. Mark said, “Go away and never come back.” The figure got up, glided back across the floor and disappeared into the wall. Things were pretty quiet after that except for enough instances to sour our liking of the place.

A few months after that, I was playing with our other roommate’s stereo one Sunday night in the living room. I touched the tuning knob, and a bright blue light filled the room. I thought I had blown it up. But, it was working fine. For some reason, I felt compelled to go to one of the windows overlooking the park in front. When I looked out of the window, I saw a woman in old-fashioned clothes, with the hoop skirt (I m guessing 1860s vintage). She was gliding across the park very slowly. Her feet didn’t seem to be touching the ground. I watched her for a few minutes, thinking I was not known. Then, suddenly, she turned around and looked me straight in the eye. That was the single most terrifying instance of my entire life. Her eyes were kind of shining blue, but seemed hollow at the same time. She smiled faintly, turned her head, and glided into the trees, where she disappeared.

After that, we heard the footsteps and voices occasionally, but nothing quiet so dramatic. We moved out after that year. I don t know if the next residents had any incidents or not. I did learn a little more history about the building. It was built in the first decade of the 1800s. As I said, it was a Confederate hospital during the war, and a Union barracks during the occupation. Legend has it that a Southerner lady, distraught over the South s loss of the war, went into the barracks with a bottle of wine for the Union soldiers. She pretended to be flirting with them, but she had poisoned the wine, killing nine of the soldiers. She then went onto the original stairs and stabbed herself in the heart. Another story was that the dorm was a classroom in the 1940s. One of the students in a class died suddenly. His voice could still be heard in the classroom after his death.

Well, that ends this recollection. Hope someone enjoyed it. Sorry, it s rather long, I tend to be a bit longwinded when I want to tell all the details.