One of the oldest stories on Appalachian State University’s campus is that of the haunted basement floor in East Residence Hall.
Each year, new students share new stories of their encounters with the paranormal. While there are arguments made against the legitimacy of the accusations, more and more students witness the unexplainable on the ground floor of the dormitory.
According to www.northcarolinaghosts.com, a website that explains ghost stories and urban legends from all across North Carolina, the hauntings began in the 1960s after a student committed suicide on the ground floor. Since then, there have been reports of whispering voices, the sounds of someone walking through the hallway when it was empty and balls of light hovering near the ceilings in some rooms.
The majority of the students living on the ground floor of East Hall this year are freshmen, and most did not know of the hauntings until they arrived. Less than two months into their stay, many residents have experienced events that led them to believe the stories may have merit.
Freshman management major Devin Perry said he was with his girlfriend one night when they witnessed a strange figure in the room near his roommate’s bed.
“We saw something in the corner,” Perry said. “We both saw it at different times in the night – which was weird – while we were asleep. But it was standing right beside [my roommate’s] bed in the corner.”
Perry figured he was just dreaming at first, but changed his mind when he talked to his girlfriend the next morning.
“She woke up the next day and was talking about this crazy dream that she had where some black figure was standing in the corner beside Matt’s bed, and I was like, ‘That’s weird, because I had the same dream,’” Perry said.
Stories like this, along with the originals, have made some residents uncomfortable. Freshman psychology major Quincy Stanford falls into that category.
“For the first month and a half, I would not go to the bathroom at night or leave the room,” Stanford said. “I was scared.”
Resident Assistant Taylor Cobb does not believe these legends contain any truth. Cobb arrived two weeks ahead of the other students and had no such experience.
“It was just me on this hall, and I didn’t see or hear anything,” Cobb said.
Other students would disagree. Freshman marketing major Darian Bell said she was trying to take a nap when a picture frame violently flew across the room and shattered all over the floor. Bell’s logical side told her the open window had something to do with it, but she remains frightened and has started sleeping with her roommate. However, Bell has plans moving forward.
“My mom’s friends told me I need to get sage sticks,” Bell said. “I’m doing it. I’m literally gonna sage our room. I can’t live here comfortably for a year having this in my head.”
Until then, Bell is coping in other ways.
“All I think of is ‘Casper. Casper. Casper,’” Bell said.
Speaking of friendly ghosts, while the haunting stories have scared some, residents also realize that it could be a lot worse.
“I think the ghost is nice,” Stanford said. “It hasn’t messed with me, so if there’s a ghost, then it’s a pretty chill ghost.”
Story: Colin Tate, Contributor