Secrets of a College Dormitory, p.1J L R Webbie
Secrets of a College Dormitory
By J L R Webbie
Copyright 2011 J L R Webbie
Paydon Mallory was ecstatic: she was finally heading off to college. Her bags were packed and her car was already loaded, ready for the three-hour drive to her new home, Marietta College. A small, liberal arts college located in historic Marietta, Ohio, seemed the perfect setting for Paydon’s college education. Marietta was a small, yet not too small, town and her parents felt the campus was a safe place for their much-loved daughter.
Paydon was introduced to the college through a family member who lived across the Ohio River in Williamstown, West Virginia. She fell in love with the campus the minute she set foot on the brick-laid “mall”, which was a walkway through the main part of the campus. Now, six months after that initial tour, Paydon was planning on hitting the college by storm. With all sorts of activities and a rock-climbing wall in the recreation center, the school year was sure to be a blast.
“Don’t forget to study hard, your education is the reason for attending college, not the extracurricular activities,” Paydon’s mother had reminded her of that at least ten times today, and Paydon always responded the same way: “I know mom! The extra stuff is just a bonus for the excellent education I am sure to receive there.” Paydon would promptly revert to daydreaming about all the experiences she was planning to have; all the friends she was sure to make; and, of course, all the hot guys she would surely be in contact with.
* * *
Paydon hit town by noon the following day and rolled onto campus shortly thereafter. Her parents, who had followed, pulled in directly behind her. Paydon stopped in front of Elsie Newton Hall and put her car in park.
“I’m here!” She couldn’t help whispering to herself as she cut the ignition and stepped onto the sidewalk outside the building. Elsie Newton was actually connected to two other buildings; Dorothy Webster for honors students and Mary Beach for freshmen guys. Two other residence halls made up the “freshman quad” as the location of all the freshman residence halls on campus was known. Upper classmen who were not in small-group housing lived across the street in Parsons, Fayerweather, and McCoy.
Paydon met her R.A. on the front porch of Dorothy Webster. She was handed her key and led to her new home. As Paydon and her family entered the all -female residence hall, her mother asked, “What is the name of this building again?”
“Elsie Newton, mom,” Paydon impatiently answered.
Soon, however, Paydon found herself unlocking the door to room 103 and admiring the nice-sized room with large closets, the largest dorm rooms she had seen in her college search. The side her roommate had chosen was already put together, leaving the other bed and side of the room for Paydon. The first load carried in by Paydon and her parents was dumped and they returned to the cars to retrieve more of Paydon’s belongings.
After about an hour, Paydon was more or less moved in and she said good-bye to her parents, who had to get back home because they both worked in the morning. As they pulled away, Paydon busied herself with hanging posters and placing the things used for transport in the back of the closet to be used at a later time. She had already moved her car to a nearby parking lot and was getting ready to open a book when her roommate returned.
“Hi! You must be Paydon!” she cheerily greeted, “I’m Carrie!”
“Hey!” Paydon returned the greeting; of course the college sent names and emails of roommates out when they sent the room assignments, so she and Carrie had been in contact via e-mail and Facebook for about a month already.
Paydon and Carrie enjoyed the rest of the day, rearranged their room three times and had just turned off the lights as the clock struck midnight. That is when it all began.
The moment the room went dark; strange, inexplicable, and terrifying things began happening. First, Paydon noticed her alarm clock start sliding across her dresser, “Carrie, did you just see what I just saw?” she whispered.
“If you mean how your alarm clock is moving on its own . . . yes!” Carrie whispered back.
Then, the clock was thrown to the ground, and both girls gasped. Next, Carrie’s desk chair was pushed across the room and her desk drawers began opening and closing with loud BANGS!” Paydon sat up in bed and exclaimed, “What is going on?!”
“I don’t know!” Carrie answered, and then sank down to a whisper as the ‘presence’, for there was no other word to describe it, seemed to race to Carrie’s bedside and pushed her back down, “But I don’t like it!”
Carrie started screaming, and Paydon looked to see the covers torn off her roommate. Paydon crawled to the desk at the foot of her bed and tore open a drawer and groped in the dark for the flashlight she had left there that morning. “Got it!” she whispered under Carrie’s screams, Paydon immediately shined the flashlight in the direction of whatever it was pulling her roommate by the ankles.
The trouble ceased just as quickly as it had begun, and there was an urgent knock at the door and someone obviously concerned asked, “Are you guys alright? I could hear you screaming up on the second floor!” Paydon recognized the voice that belonged to her R.A. and rushed to the door, flipping on the light as she opened it.
“Paydon, Carrie! It’s quiet hours! Why are you screaming?” Their frazzled R.A. stopped as she saw the disarray of the room that had been so tidy a few hours ago, “What happened in here? It looks like something from a poltergeist movie.”
“You will probably find this really hard to believe . . .” Paydon began as Carrie reorganized her bed and wrapped the blankets tightly around herself. But the R.A. interrupted, “Try me.”
Paydon saw the other girls from the floor waiting outside and invited them in as she joined Carrie on the bed and relayed what had happened. Carrie was still in too much shock to say more than an assent to the truth here and there, so it was up to Paydon to try to relay their terrifying experience.” Do you think I am crazy in thinking this was a poltergeist, and a rather malignant one at that?” Paydon posed the question to her R.A. after she had finished the tale.
The R.A. sighed, “No, I don’t think you are crazy. In fact, this same thing happened to me when I was a freshman staying in Elsie 103. Now, it never happened again, and I have heard of many people having a similar experience, always freshman, always Elsie 103. But it never happened more than once, and there was never a regular pattern of what years it would occur. Sometimes it would happen two years in a row, sometimes there would be a ten-year hiatus. So it has been since Elsie Newton Hall was built.”
Paydon, Carrie, and all the other first floor Elsie girls looked expectantly at the R.A, non-verbally asking her to continue. She did, ”However, no one ever thought much of this poltergeist, being such an old school and an old building, most expect it to be haunted. The room has been blessed a few times, always at the urging if the residents in 103. But, the presence has never attacked a student before; therefore, if you want, I can talk to the Dean of Residence Life and see about possibly moving you two to another room.”
“Don’t do that yet!” Everyone stared at Carrie, startled at the first words out of her mouth since before she was attacked.
The R.A., as well as everyone else, had a puzzled look on her face. Carrie continued, “I mean, you say this never happens more than once for any one pair of roommates. I mean, I like our room, and I like my roommate, couldn’t we have this room blessed like people before us did? I don’t want to have to go through the hassle of moving into another room right after I moved into this one. Just see if it happens again, if it does, then I will be more interested in a possible room change.”
The puzzled R.A. responded, “Alright, I will see about getting the room blessed, but for
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