“Wait, are we going ghost hunting or goat hunting?”
Six very tired and very excited girls sat in a cramped Minnich Hall dorm room. Crushed cans and fake eyelashes littered the floor, and the topic of where to find any supernatural beings on campus was halted by the idea of hunting for goats.
“What if we do see a goat though,” continued sophomore Emily Pawlecki. “Do we have to report it or something?”
Eventually, it was resolved that they should let all the goats roam free, and the topic switched back to hunting for ghosts instead. All six of us had decided to embrace our Halloween spirit by trying to create our own horror movie experience. Three locations were chosen: an old asylum, a torn down residence hall, and an intersection 10 minutes from campus.
Out of us all, sophomore Tara Fawcett was the most hesitant to see the paranormal. She was going to turn 20 at midnight and did not plan on ringing in her second decade by getting possessed by a ghost.
“It’s ok, I’m an ordained minister, I’ll just make some holy water,” Emily said, and proceeded to baptize the La Croix in Tara’s hand. Granted, Emily was ordained online, so the group decided she only counted as half a minister. She blessed the sparkling water twice just to be safe.
Meanwhile, Amanda Parmo, Tara’s roommate, was busy reading “How to Summon Ghosts” on WikiHow.
The first place the group ventured to was Farmer School of Business, which stands on the former site of Reid Hall.
According to the official “Love and Horror” page on Miami’s website, RA Roger Sayles was shot and killed there after trying to break up a student fight in 1959. Legend says as he was dying he left 2 bloody handprints that stained the front door until the building was demolished in 2008.
This made sense to me since every time I’ve seen someone leave from a business class, they look like they’ve had the life sucked out of their eyes. It wouldn’t surprise me if this was all due to the lingering spirit of an RA.
The story was chilling enough to convince sophomore Jordan Vest to also request a can of holy La Croix, but the tale didn’t translate well into reality. Even late at night, the building was still lit up with anxious students furiously finishing projects.
“I am here until 2 a.m. every morning,” Tara claimed. “If there was a ghost here, I would know.”
Emily’s roommate, sophomore Hannah Anderson, suggested that they try to get to the roof of the building instead.
“What if we got struck by lightning and one of us died,” Hannah said. “Then that person can haunt Farmer, and we can say that we saw a ghost.”
With that comment, we promptly left and went to the next location.
Next on our list was Wilson Hall, the former location of the Oxford Retreat Mental Sanatorium. Nothing more really needed to be said about this location — it was abandoned, and previously housed a lot of questionable characters.
Immediately, Amanda noticed something was wrong.
“Why the hell are the lights on you guys?” she asked. “If it’s abandoned, why would there be lights on?”
“Maybe to scare away the druggies?” Hannah asked while throwing sticks at the windows.
All of a sudden, everyone was running back to the car. No one knew who did it, but one of the girls shouted for everyone to run. No one would fess up to it, and Emily claimed that it was the ghost.
“Next time we run, we have to zigzag, so he can’t grab us,” she said. “We have to keep him on his toes.”
“Do ghosts even have toes?” Jordan asked her. This prompted another tangent on the anatomy of ghosts. Final verdict: they do have toes, but no use for them as they are still ghosts.
Eventually, our group of makeshift ghostbusters piled into Amanda’s “mom van” and headed to the intersection of Oxford-Millford Road and Earhart Road. According to Miami’s website, the legend goes one of two ways. Some say a man was speeding on his motorcycle on the way to propose to his girlfriend when he crashed at the intersection and died. Another says he was speeding to save his girlfriend from a serial rapist. Regardless of which you believe, both origins end in the same present-day paranormal encounter. If you blink your headlights three times, you’ll see the phantom motorcycle’s headlight coming for you.
Amanda wasn’t a fan of being possessed by an angry motorcyclist, so Jordan decided to drive. Things were going smoothly until the fog started to set in.
“Oh no. No, no, no. I’ve seen every horror movie ever made, I’m not about this,” Emily shouted while scrolling through her phone. “I’m going to need some Ariana Grande right now.”
Meanwhile, in the backseat, Amanda was lying on top of the other girls, trying to create a “cuddle train.”
“If we roll down the window, will we let the ghost in?” Hannah asked.
“Do it, we ain’t no bitches,” I responded.
“That is incorrect,” Emily said. “I am very much a little bitch.” Jordan agreed with her.
The closer the group got to the haunted intersection, the worse the fog became. Soon, it was nearly impossible to see without the car’s brights on. Jordan picked this time to inform everyone of some crucial information.
“By the way, I’m legally blind at night you guys,” she said, causing Tara to spit out some of her holy La Croix. “So if I do get possessed by a ghost, it won’t really change anything, since there is a 75 percent chance that I will crash the car anyways.”
After a short pause, Emily shouted at the top of her lungs what everyone was thinking:
“For the love of all that is not a ghost, you turn around in a ditch and get home right now.”
As the mom van made its way back to campus at a dangerously high speed, the fog began to clear. The stars were visible in the sky, and the whole entire world was quiet. That is until Amanda saw what time it was.
“Tara, it’s 1:17! Happy birthday!”