Unexplained encounters haunt the University

Posted Nov. 3, 2006

Despite constant progression toward bigger and better things, the past has a tendency to linger; carrying on through urban legends passed down from one thrill-hungry student to the next.

During school hours the University of La Verne bustles with activity but after-hours the campus belongs to the spiritual world, at least according to myth.

Throughout the haunting history of La Verne, members of the small community have continually testified to baffling going-ons of the paranormal variety.

Floors and walls that seemingly speak through incessant creaking and pounding and strange sensations of invisible companionship have been reported in such familiar places as the International and Study Abroad Center, Founders Hall, Dailey Theatre and the Studebaker-Hanawalt residence hall.

Apparently the departed continue to walk among the living at the University, as urban legend would lead one to believe that these establishments house more than students and staff.

In the mood for a cheap-thrill? These hair-raising tales, rumored to have occurred within campus boundaries, may prevent sleep tonight.

An ethereal being may haunt the ISAC.

Marcy Garcia, former International Student Organization coordinator, experienced a mysterious encounter with a lost soul in 1993.

While caught up in her daily duties one afternoon, a young girl entered the building and began to explore the premises, ultimately declaring, “This is where it happened.”

The girl soon revealed that the true reason behind her visit had nothing to do with international matters.

As it turned out her grandmother had once occupied Garcia’s very office, but at the time, it had served as a kitchen and the location of her tragic demise – she had burned to death in a cooking accident.

Garcia was far from surprised, as she later admitted to rarely feeling alone in her office.

Another disturbing legend has surfaced throughout the years involving Stu-Han.

A female student who committed suicide allegedly spooks the halls of the dormitory’s second wing — the site of her last strangled breath.

Since the time of her death, the chill-inducing sounds of persistent pounding and strenuous breathing have been rumored to be heard at various points throughout the day and night.            

Skeptics may credit these mysterious happenings to the building’s old age, attributing the noises to natural settlement, but many residents point to spiritual causes – claiming the clatter that has been said to reverberate through the wing were her final attempts at life.

An equally murky tale is centered in the audio visual office of Founders Hall, making the already disturbing building, complete with drafty classrooms and stone stairwells, a place to avoid after dark.

Reportedly, David Glasca, former audio visual director, committed suicide in the audio

visual office in August 1978 after his relationship came to a standstill.

Since the tragedy, equipment has been mysteriously toyed with and feelings of a cold ghostly presence have been described.

Some say this has signified his continued commitment to past responsibilities, even from beyond the grave.

Covered in goose bumps yet?

The frightening saga continues.

Glasca is not the only ghoul lurking in shadowed corridors at night; supposedly sharing scaring duties with one Gladdys E. Muir.

After falling down the stairs located on the east side of Founders Hall in 1967, Muir, a part-time faculty member, died from sustained injuries.

Now inundated with arcane events, sounds of slamming doors, swift running or perhaps tumbling have occasionally troubled the facility’s daily guests.

To this very day, the superstitious continue to ward off bad luck by steering clear of the mosaic seal located below the stair landing where she fell.

The Dailey Theatre is also plagued by activities of the unexplained.

Jim Henderson, a ULV theater major, and a friend, embarked on a desert camping excursion in 1983 with intentions of recording video footage for a project.

In a dreadful turn of events, the pair was savagely murdered after refusing two male strangers a lift home.

Following the incident, tall tales have implied that he has yet to find peace, as his unearthly spirit occupies Dailey’s dressing rooms.

Although substantial evidence of the aforementioned tales is nonexistent, the magical staying power of the time-honored “urban legend” has continually made it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction.

Urban mythology continues to result in cautionary action, causing alarm and providing incentive for students to fear the dark as much as the prospect of being alone.

Jessica Bell can be reached at ledjessilin@yahoo.com.

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