Interview With a Kenyon Ghost

As every first-year who actually goes to the scheduled orientation activities knows, Kenyon College has had a long and varied history with the supernatural. From the mystic who came to campus and dubbed it the Gates to Hell, to Casper, our ironically-named Caples specter, Kenyon’s metaphysical history is almost as interesting as our list of Civil War-related alumni.

Yet, many Kenyon students go through their four years (or five, you know, depending on how your comps went the first three times) without ever having a supernatural experience (besides the sinking suspicion that there’s something other than deep regret walking back with you to your NCA after a long night in Olin). However, a few of the residents of Crozier have been experiencing some unexplainable phenomenon since moving in, such as frigid nighttime temperatures and a mysterious light turning on by itself. Rather than just calling maintenance to get things checked out, I came by to unlock the mystery of one of Kenyon’s supernatural friends myself.

My ghost hunting began with a brief inspection of Crozier, which—besides being notably cleaner than usual—lead me to an old issue of The New Republic magazine, dated from 1968 stuffed in difficult to open cupboard above a closet. It was addressed to Ronald McLaren, who—according to the Kenyon directory—could be a Professor Emeritus of Philosophy or could be a long since dead human, spending his afterlife bothering the peaceful Crozier residence. Either way, the magazine was close to Crozier’s notoriously creepy attic, my next step was to investigate there.

Possibly a professor's pastime or possibly a relic from a Kenyon resident long since dead. You decide.

Possibly a professor’s pastime or possibly a relic from a Kenyon resident long since dead. You decide.

The attic was messy and quiet but for the distant sound of a cricket chirping from somewhere in the attic. I quickly got out my iPhone. In my everlasting dedication to hard-hitting journalism, I had scoured the market for the finest free ghost hunting app. Surprisingly there were several choices. Immediately my phone started beeping, the different—and somewhat nonsensical—dials and radars going crazy.

Some legit Ghost Busters gear.

Some legit Ghost Busters gear.

I called out, “Hello? Ronald?” but there was no response. I changed my tactic. “Doris?” I asked, thinking it was potentially Doris Crozier, the first dean of the women’s college and the namesake of Crozier. It was silent.

As an editor of a mildly popular college blog, I can say as an expert that the whole situation was "pretty spooky."

As an editor of a mildly popular college blog, I can say as an expert that the whole situation was “pretty spooky.”

For a moment the silence seemed okay, but then I realized that the cricket, chirping just seconds before from parts unknown, had been silenced.

After a few tense moments, my app calmed down. Yet, there was still a chilly sense in the air. “I think it’s fine,” I began saying to the terrified Crozier residents I was searching with. “Probably just—“

Suddenly there was a creaking noise from the corner of the room. What could easily be a rickety floorboard in the old house could have also been a vengeful ghost giving us one fateful message: Nuuuuuuuuuuuuge.

DO YOU SEE THAT WHITE BLOB? Totally a ghost, guys.

DO YOU SEE THAT WHITE BLOB? Totally a ghost, guys.

What could it mean? Is Crozier truly haunted by a specter obsessed with our recently retired former president? What happened to the cricket? I ran away far too quickly to find out. Perhaps we’ll never know.

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