As Halloween approaches the William Jewell College (WJC) campus, students begin to prepare their costumes and look forward to the FIJI Halloween Rave. However, too few Jewell students are preparing themselves, both mentally and physically, for the potentially deadly paranormal activity on campus. After speaking with Ernie Stufflebean, associate dean of students and director of student life, I slowly began to understand the gravity of our situation.
“Brown Hall was erected in 1896 but burned to the ground in 1928,” said Stufflebean.
“The original building was the PLC of recreation facilities in its day. I’ve read varying dates, but supposedly a young girl named Mona drowned in the swimming pool of Brown Hall. The College currently uses the pool for dry storage. It’s alleged that Mona now haunts pool storage and other areas of Brown Hall,” he said.
Naturally, I was surprised that any of the stories had any basis in fact. Stufflebean then continued to tell me a story that chilled my bones.
“While working in the pool storage area, a current campus employee heard music that they believed to be coming from a clock radio, sitting on a desk. The employee went to turn the clock radio off and discovered it was not plugged in and the battery compartment was empty. The shaken employee dropped the radio and quickly fled the pool storage. To this day, this employee will not go back into the pool storage area of Brown Hall.” said Stufflebean.
Needless to say, I am far too terrified to examine the area myself.
Campus resident Brett Stone, junior, was able to share information regarding the haunted nature of Jewell Hall. “One night, around one or two a.m., I was in Jewell Hall writing an essay. I briefly left the classroom for a trip to the restroom. When I came back, there were dozens of flies covering the room,” said Stone.
By this time, I could see the horror of the event in Stone’s eyes as he relived the terrifying night.
“I felt spooked because they seemed to come out of nowhere in an extremely short span of time. In the end, I couldn’t decide if it was a ghost coming to take my soul or a Jewell Hall infestation problem,” said Stone.
Regardless of the source of Stone’s mysterious encounter, it is clear that Jewell is no safe place for the coming All Hallows’ Eve.
My search for truth inevitably led me to Dr. Bradley Chance, which quickly turned from a quest for reassurance to the confirmation of my worst nightmares.
“Not too many years ago, a number of students in my ‘Religion in the Modern Age’ class proposed, albeit in a satirical manner, that I was the ghost of Jewell Hall. I panicked, for I didn’t know if they were simply trying to be creative and just happened to hit upon this theme for comedic effect or if they really knew something and were letting me know that they knew,” said Chance.
At this point I began to feel goose bumps rise across my arms as I stared into the cold eyes of the man in front of me.
“I’m weary of it all, so, as I approach retirement – well, at least as this incarnation of my ghost approaches retirement – I’m ready to confess,” said Chance.
The instinctive desire to flee for my life was nearly uncontrollable at this point.
“I am the ghost of Jewell Hall, at least when I am not inhabiting this body. But, truly, I mean no one any harm. Have a good All-Saints Eve,” he said.
Dr. Chance, who was previously a symbol of security at Jewell, immediately evaporated before my eyes into a cloud of bats. I ran for my life until I reached the security of my dorm room. I dare not venture out again.
Photos by Chandler Eaton and Elizabeth Messina