There have been legends of frightening events in residence halls at St. Thomas University, but Cassidy Chisholm explores that there is more than meets the eye when the paranormal makes itself known.
Nathan Peardon graduated from St. Thomas University in 2015 but he still remembers the hauntings in Rigby Hall, which solidified his belief in the paranormal.
In his time spent in Rigby, Peardon and other residents complained of the sounds of people running down the hallways, but there was never an explanation for the noises.
“In the dead of night, the sound of pounding footsteps would emerge from one end of the hall and being a long hallway, when people opened their doors, they were bound to see someone, but never did,” he said. This presence became known as the “West-Wing Runner.”
Peardon said that the ghosts of Rigby like to play tricks on the residents.
“There have been times where radios would click on, lamp switches turned on and even one time a CD player turned on and switched to the next CD,” he said. This incident happened at 2 a.m. when the student was alone in his room.
During Peardon’s fourth year, when he was a residence advisor in Chatham Hall, he returned to Rigby with a group of skeptical friends, with a Ouija board in tow.
The spirits in Rigby made themselves known to the group so they began communicating with a spirit.
“All it really said was that it likes to protect and look after the residents of Rigby Hall,” he said.
“It also said that there was more than one spirit within the residence.”
Later in the evening, Peardon had stopped playing with the Ouija board, but his friends were continuing to speak with spirits.
“We were in communication with a spirit that claimed to remember me from when I lived in Rigby,” Peardon said.
“I decided to test this and asked the spirit my room number from first year. Immediately, without hesitation, the planchette spelled out Room 119.”
Peardon said that the friends with him were only in high school when he was in his first year, so there was no way they could’ve know his room number.
These experiences made Peardon truly believe that there is something out there, beyond this world.
“I know that I am personally a believer in the afterlife or the paranormal,” he said.
“I definitely think that Rigby has some spirits in it.”
The lost twin
One student, who will remain nameless, explained that she wanted to remain anonymous because any time she tells anyone her paranormal experience, no one believes her and thinks she’s crazy, and with good reason.
She explained that she has been living with a paranormal presence for 18 years, which her family believes is the spirit of her unborn twin, who died four months into her mother’s pregnancy.
“We’ve been asleep and we’ll be woken by a little girl laughing,” the source said. “We wake to never see her and no reason for the laughter.”
“We have heard and seen doors slam shut when there is nothing to account for why it was slammed. Every time something like this has happened it’s almost always accompanied by laughter as though it’s coming from a little girl.”
Her family has lived in the same house for 18 years, which was built in the 1970s, but to their knowledge, no one has died in the house. However, the source said that there is definitely a little girl living with them.
“She has never done anything to hurt any of us,” she said.
“She frightens us from time to time but I kind of like it. It gives the home some character.”
One of the most frightening encounters the source ever experienced with the spirit occurred last summer. She was home alone when it happened.
“I passed under the attic door but the door slammed and insulation fell down and landed in front of me and [I] heard laughter,” she said.
“I was terrified and I can admit I didn’t stay home for very much longer that day.”
The ghostly family affair
Nicole Gonzalez-Garcia lived in South Africa when she was young. During her time there, her family experienced the paranormal.
“My dad had a friend who lived in one of the [old] houses and we went to visit him. He had a three-year-old daughter and she was weird to say the least,” Gonzalez-Garcia said.
“The one particular creepy moment I remember was when she and I were alone in her room and she said, ‘Do you want to play with me and my friend?’”
She remembers getting a bad feeling in the pit of stomach because there was no one else in the room with them.
The girl continued to explain that the “friend” she wanted Gonzalez-Garcia to meet had lived in the house for decades and that she really liked children.
After staying with her parents the night of the encounter with the “friend,” Gonzalez-Garcia returned to say goodbye to the little girl.
“She was talking to herself or to someone I would assume was standing by the wall but I remember she was giggling about something,” she said.
Years later, Gonzalez-Garcia’s father told his daughter the reality of the situation. There was a maid who lived in the same house with the original owners and she had died, but she had loved to play with the children, and that was exactly the case, even in her afterlife.
Gonzalez-Garcia isn’t the only one in her family who has experienced something out of the ordinary. While in the province of Guantanamo in Cuba, her father was working as a doctor and one day he was called to a different village to help a patient, but it was what happened on his way home that could’ve ended badly.
“When he was returning, he had to cross this little dirt highway on his horse and he was really creeped out by it because there was a legend of the ‘Lady in White,’ who was rumoured to have killed her children and herself after her husband cheated on her,” Gonzalez-Garcia said.
“There were legends that if you crossed there in the middle of the night, she would try to latch onto you.”
Her father remained calm and didn’t flee from the path although he felt something behind him, as if it were breathing down his neck.
“He was sweating but he suddenly went cold,” Gonzalez-Garcia said.
“He didn’t turn around, he kept going and when he told the other villagers about it, they said he was very lucky to leave there alive.”
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