Thursday, April 12, 2012

PLU Ghost Hunters, Part Four: Harstad Hall

The reports

Although paranormal activity has been rumored throughout Harstad, including disembodied voices and phantom door knocks, “the pillow room” is the most widely cited location for paranormal activity.

Named for the items Conferences and Events stores in the room, including pillows, blankets and cleaning supplies, the room was reportedly the location of a student suicide around five to six years ago. Since the alleged suicide, the room has been used for storage, students report.


Our findings
By Amelia Heath, News Editor

The Harstad pillow room is probably one of the most claustrophobic places I have ever been in. The floors and walls are stripped bare and the room is filled from floor to ceiling with blankets, pillows and cleaning supplies.

When I first stepped inside the door I almost poked my eye out on the end of a mop handle sticking out of a janitorial cart. Part of the east side of the room has been divided off with a plywood door to store pillows in, while the main area and what I assumed to have once been a closet mostly contain stacks of blankets.

A wall on the south side of the room is lined with metal shelves holding soap and lice shampoo. Not including the space between the shelves on either side of the closet, there are about 16 square feet of clear floor space to stand in.

My first time inside the pillow room, I sat with my back to a stack of blankets, as far back in the main area of the room as I could be, with Emily Biggs sitting across from me with her back toward the closet entrance.

After Emily and I “introduced ourselves” to the room and any supernatural inhabitants that might have been there, I asked if there was anyone who wanted to make their presence known to us. I asked for a noise or a shadow or flash of light that we would know was a spirit making contact with us.

I got no response except for one draft of cool air across my left arm. Emily quickly became uneasy, though, so we left to take a break from that room and explore other areas on campus.

I had low expectations going back into the pillow room after my first uneventful session with Emily. After I turned the lights off and moved to where Emily had been in front of the blanket closet, though, I felt a heavy weight coming down on me and almost pushing me toward the closet.

I moved into the closet after a while and asked if there was anyone in the closet with me. Though I received no audible response, the weight I felt increased. I continued to try to “chat up” whatever might have been in there with me, asking if there was some sort of significance to the closet and revealing that I, too, live in Harstad.

Shortly after, I felt something like cold hands gripping the backs of my arms. I asked if someone had just touched me and, again, I felt cold hands gripping me.

I wouldn’t say I felt anything unnerving or malicious when I was in there, but I felt a very heavy, very sad presence.

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