We Tried to Contact Philander Chase’s Ghost to Find Out How Disappointed He Is In Us


When Philander Chase first descended upon this hill and envisioned the academic community of Kenyon College, it was a quiet, reserved space, nearly monastic, where students could quietly and studiously spend years of their lives pondering questions without interruption. A lot has changed since 1824, not least among which is that Kenyon is—well, it would have been to ol’ Phil—big. The small, quiet community of Kenyon has become a land of endless construction and expansion. I feel like this really gets Chase’s goat, and so I spent some time this Halloweekend trying to pierce the ghostly void, reach his spirit, and find out how disappointed he is in us.

I held a seance with fellow Thrill writers Sarah Hoffmann ‘20 and Colleen Kemp ‘20. We spent some time trying to decide what building would:

A. Be the funniest

B. Represent most fully Philander Chase’s spectral ire.

We settled on a mod, because they are new, they are ugly, they are taking up what was previously a vast swath of lawn space, and they’re only here because we need to build a new, bigger, better, more expensive library. Of this venture, Sarah said, “I’m afraid we’re gonna meet a mean ghost and get cursed and so the mods will still ruin our lives but not in the way they expected.”

We decided to conduct the seance using a Ouija board. I don’t own a Ouija board so I just made my own:


We went into one of the study rooms in Mod C. It was especially depressing because this was 6:00pm on a Friday night. Oh well. I wrote a little message to flatter Philander and make him feel more comfortable on the whiteboard:

Screen Shot 2018-11-03 at 3.02.25 PM.png

We turned off the lights, put our fingers on the planchette (which was, yeah, a shot glass) and asked Philander if he was disappointed in all of us. We waited with expectant air, but outside of a few twitches, the shot glass remained dormant. Either Philander’s spirit is at rest or he’s perfectly happy with the way things are going here at Kenyon. Put that on our admissions pamphlets!

(The Thrill claims no responsibility if Mod C becomes extremely haunted after this.)

One response

  1. Pingback: How Kenyon History Predicted the Fall of the Olin Wall « The Kenyon Thrill

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