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Haunted Happenings....

This is a tale of something that occured during my junior year of college. I attended Washington College in Chestertown, MD. In light of some recent events that've come about, I feel it's something worth sharing, and not something I'm at all afraid to share... *ahem*... now that lots and lots and LOTS of time has passed.

This take is not for the faint of heart, so therefore I've decided to put it behind an LJ-CUT. Read at your own risk. This is a true story, whether or not you choose to believe it.

The Date: October 31, 1995.
The Time: Midnight
The Place: Tawes Theatre, Washington College
Items Brought: One Ouija Board, Several Wicca Books, Many Candles and Many Crystals.
The People: Myself, my former roommates bludiscus (aka Kelly) and Billie, Rachel, Steve and Caran.

To explain a bit about some of the artifacts we brought with us.... just before my freshman year in college I started reading a series of books written by L.J. Smith. The first series was Vampire Diaries and the second was the Secret Circle. Both books dealt with occult matters, and being young and impressionable I started to obtain an interest in Wicca and other occult matters. I started doing some exploring and dabbling, but never actually practiced Wicca or adhered myself to the religion, though I still obtain some of the beliefs I've formed during my exploration. My dabbling mosted consisted of learning how to shield myself and other smaller matters.

Also, as a result of the fourth book in the Vampire Diary series, I obtained an interest in the Ouija Board, and I purchased one. Throughout most of my college life I'd found people also interested in the Board to hold little Ouija parties with. The only exception to that was after my Junior year, where I've hardly touched it. The story I'm about to recount is what happened which made me lose interest in the board all together, and why I hesitate to come near one, even though I still own, and have not yet destroyed, the one that I had from my college days.

No names have been changed during the recounting of this tale. Kelly and Billie are former roommates of mine dring my sophomore year. Rachel is a friend I met through them. Steve and Caran I suppose you can say were friends, but weren't really. Steve I knew had a crush on me at the time, and he was always looking out for me when I did crazy things - like, oh, say, driving out to the beach in my ford pick up late at night with a bunch of other people to hang out, when I knew my car would probably die at any moment and lending me his very expensive police CB to call for help in case we broke down. He was sweet, but annoying at the same time. Caran was his girlfriend.

Kelly, Billie, Rachel and I were all hanging out in Billie's dorm lounge, Kent House. She and Kelly were playing the guitar, as usual. They were really big into music and playing the guitar then, singing the latest songs from Guns and Roses or whatever at that time. In fact, they used to go around campus singing on occassion and getting invited to sing for other people. It was Halloween night. On a whim, we all decided to go to Tawes Theatre to which I had a key and use the board. My freshman year someone had died in the theatre, and since it was Halloween we had this crazy notion of attempting to contact him. The guys name was Ed. I'd barely known him and neither Kelly, Billie nor Rachel knew him at all. He was the best friend of one of my best friends at the time, Richard.

Steve and Caran stumbled upon us in the Kent lounge talking about going over there. Steve immediately piped up that he wanted to go too. Caran was rather nervous about it all, but decided to go because Steve wanted to go. So, after some discussion, the four of us okayed Steve and Caran going with us to the theatre. It wasn't yet midnight, it was more like 11:00 pm when everything started. Steve and I both had keys to the theatre, so we were able to get in. We both worked for the theatre that year. I went back to my room and gathered all the necessary supplies I thought we needed. For me, they were the usaul things: candles for the protection of the four corners and for light to see by, crystals for extra protection, and my slew of wicca books so we could choose the right spell to cast around the board when we were settled and ready to start things. We met back at the Kent Lounge after I got everything, then headed on down to the theatre.

The theatre has a large proscenium(sp) stage. We set up on the outter edges of the stage, rather than near the back, closest to the audience chairs and before the curtain. We set the candles up around the board, placed the crystals on the board around it, and called the four corners and cast a circle of protection. All of us were sitting inside of the circle, but one exception. Steve. He'd decided to stay outside of the circle and watch what we were doing. Kelly, Billie, Rachel, Caran and I all put our hand on the plachette and started asking the board questions, per the usual "game". We asked if Ed was there, and if you buy into the 'people don't push the plachette thing, it moves on it's own' the board seemed confused by our questions. So, we started asking about other stuff, things that were related to my other board experiences with Kelly, Billie and Rachel. Like... how the other Lisa Rose was (long story that!), about Howie was (a kid killed by cars in their earlier days) and how another kid was, who's name escapes my memory at the moment (who had drowned, I believe?). Kelly, if you're reading this, remember any of it?

During the course of the session we noted that Steve was phasing in and out. He had odd looks on his face and it was like he wasn't with us /at all/. We snapped our fingers at him and got his attention a few times and snapped him out of it, but during the course of the session his eyes would just glass over and he'd zone out again. Nothing happened while we were at the board, and eventually we were so frustrated with not getting answers that we decided to take a break.... That's when things got interesting.

We started hearing noises up in the catwalks... the very catwalks that Ed had fallen from 3 years ago, being shocked by electricity and falling into the audience chairs. We all took breaks at the bathroom, while Steve went to go investigate what was going on upstairs, if anything at all. The cats lead all the way to the front of the theatre, to the lighting booth. You could get to them from the stage as well up a set of stairs on both sides of the theatre. Kelly and Rachel had come running back from the bathroom stating something about erie noises back there (we later found out that the comm system that's set for the dressing room where the bathrooms were was on, so they were hearing the noises from the stage). When we got back, Steve was all excited and said: "It wants us to go downstairs." When asked, he couldn't say what "It" was, but he was very adament that "It" wanted us to go downstairs. We were all set to leave, except for Steve, who insisted /he/ was going downstairs even if we weren't. And, because Steve was going downstairs, so was Caran.

Now, what you have to understand about "downstairs" is, that it's the basement of the theatre. The basement is painted black, so when all the lights are on there, it's pitch black. It's also rather fondly known as Phoebes.... and where all the cast parties are held. However, the basement is also the mose evil, gruesome place about the theatre, and where I think all the ghosts and haunts of Washington College rests. Washington College, afterall, was founded during the dayes of George Washington, and some of the original buildings from that time still exist. And, we all know how theatres attract ghosts, right? Well... this one did. With a horrid passion. Without the Board being a factor into anything, NO ONE, and I do mean NO ONE liked going into Phoebes or even through it, especially NOT alone. I think it was the feeling that 1000 eyes were boring into you all at once while you were done there, or the chills you got when walking through the room and gave you goosebumps, that made people hate it.

Anyway, Kelly, Billie Rachel and I were left with the decision to either go and be safe for the rest of the night, or stay and make certain Steve and Caran don't do anything stupid or get themselves hurt. Well, you know what choice we made, otherwise I would not be making this post. We stayed. And boy, oh boy, I'm not certain it was the right decision to make, but at the time it was the only decision we could, in good conscience, make. So, after we gathered our supplies, we all went downstairs, following after Steve and Caran. We set up the board and the candles and the crystals all over again.

Steve announced that "It" wanted the lights off. That alone should have set off warning bells (of course, the earlier "It" stuff set off tons of warning bells!) Well, ok. We were going to turn the lights off anyway and do this by candle light like upstairs. That didn't bother us. Again, all the girls were situated by the board and within the circle. Steve again choose to stay outside and by himself. I called the four corners again, casting our protective circle. We started asking questions on the board again, just general things about stuff we'd had answered earlier, and the other little ghostlings we'd talked to before... and the one annoying ghost man that Kelly liked to annoy by calling him "Sirrah" (again, if you believe all of this!)

Again, during that time Steve started zoning in and out and in and out. Eventually, he got up from where he was sitting and started pacing around out circle. Clearly, this was not the person we knew doing this. It was like he was an animal stalking his prey, but at the same time afraid to approach. I stopped asking questions and got up off the floor. I started walking toward him and Steve backed up, as if bitten or frightened. It was then that we knew for certain something was wrong. I took one of the crystals, my tourmanline one, and held it tightly in my hand. I asked whatever it was that had Steve to let it go. He said, not on his own voice, no. It wanted us to break the circle. We would not. Steve kept pacing around the circle, and I kept countering him from within the circle. Now, mind you, this is a tiny space that five girls were sitting in! He wanted the candles blinked out, we refused to do it. All candles were within the circle. This is an important thing to note!

Eventually, I did break the circle. I asked Kelly to recast it after I had. She tried, I think, but something may have gone wrong. Meanwhile, while she was doing that, I was outside of the circle, alone, with Steve - though we were all in the same room. I walked after him, and backed away as though he was frightened from me. Whenever he tried to get too close to the circle, I'd walk toward him to keep him away and he'd back off. Eventually, I got him all the way across the room, opposite of where we were. He ducked around me and charged for the candles, stating that they needed to go out. He dove after the candles, throwing them to the ground and knocking them out one by one. I

'd, for a split second, thought about going after Steve to stop him... but what you have to understand about Steve is that he's about 6'5" and rather brawny. Football player brawny, even if he didn't play sports. And me, I'm about 5'4" at the most and while not scrawny, I'm by no means a match for him. Instead, thinking quickly I ran over to the light switch.... and when he saw just what I was about to do, he came charging over after /me/. He was about 5 feet away from me (the room is probably 60 feet long if not more) when I'd gotten to the switch and flipped the lights on. Just as the lights came on, Steve passed out in a crumpled heap. He was out cold for at least 10 minutes and part of that time he wasn't breathing.

When he woke up, he was very disoriented and knew everything that had happened. The dumbass even admitted to making a deal with whatever it was that had possessed him, allowing it to take him over to see what it'd be like. When it left him, it told him that we would all have to come back in a week's time or else we'd die. Or, more specifically, /he'd/ die. We all gathered my things, done with the Ouija Board for the night, and went back to my room. Needless to say, that night, none of us slept well, and for the first time since I was like 12, I slept with my light on /all/ the rest of the night. We were very shaken from what'd happened, so much so that even Caran, who had a horrible psyche to begin with, was spoked by everything, and once went running from the theatre's shop because she thought whatever "It" was was messing with her and threatening her life.

Needless to say, we're all still alive and well, at least as far as I know, and we haven't had any bad incidents since. I think I picked up the board maybe... oh... 5 times... since then. If that. Maybe not even that. But, we never returned to the theatre with that thing, ever!


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2005 01:47 pm (UTC)
I'll choose to believe you on that -- and yeah, it's creepy. I've never played with a Ouija board, because they've always creeped me out.

Of course, the guy I lived with for a while is also a witch -- and adamantly refused to use a board and even mostly avoided tarots unless you were really serious about them -- because he'd seen too much of this sort of thing. And he stopped with the spell casting after some bad stuff happened with him, too.

There are a lot of things I agree with in wicca and paganism, and I own a pentacle, but I've never been a practitioner.
Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:33 pm (UTC)
I remember that all too well, actually. What I also remember is that the noises in the bathroom weren't anything a monitor would make -- I've never heard a monitor gurgle, and I -had- heard the monitor before during shows and such. I also remember a pair of reddish points of "light" in the audience of the theatre that were there out of the corner of my eye, but not when I tried to look at them straight on. I also remember that when Steve came down the stairs from the catwalk, it sounded like more than one pair of footsteps. Loud ones. Of course, Steve -was- a big guy. ;)

I think I was successful at recasting the circle, but I realized sitting on the floor with Rachel, Billie and Caren that we were terribly vulnerable -- circle or no. Whatever the thing that had Steve claimed to be, I didn't dare guess its strength. That's when I told them to stand up, and even as I did, and Steve charged, I felt a strengthening and it flowed from me to the other three, shielding them. At least, that's what it felt like. I remember you hitting the lights, and Steve dropping like a shot deer. All the candles were knocked flying, save for one: the candle we'd dedicated to the Goddess, and that was rolling around on its side, still lit.

I had forgotten that Steve's breathing was so erratic during that time and that he admitted to allowing it in. There are still times I wonder if that all really happened, but then I remember that while Steve probably was a good liar, I don't think he was THAT good of an actor. ;)

Finally, this many years later, I can think about that night without shaking. That night, Billie and I slept in the same bed with the light on. When I woke up in the morning, I was so tired that I could barely move and my whole body ached.

I laugh when I read people saying that ouija boards are harmless. Maybe for some they are. For us? ...

Some might also say this is the product of over-active imaginations. All I know is what I saw and felt, and that I never would have expected certain gentlemen among us to have that much of an imagination or malice to scare us in such a way.

Feb. 23rd, 2005 09:50 pm (UTC)
You're calling Steve a gentleman? Well, alright. He had his moments =P

But, Steve was just as scared as the rest of us everything was all said and done, and he was no actor at all. He had as much acting ability as... well... a pile of stones. He was genuinely terrified.

I've forgotten very little about that night, but can only recount the parts that I took part in. Though, I'd forgotten about the Goddess candle.

Thinking back, I did have a sort of strength that's not like anything I ever felt during that night. I felt empowered, in control, and very unafraid when it was happening. Now, that could have been adrenaline... and part of that likely was... but not all of it. Something must have been aiding me during that time for him to have been so very frightened of me and running away from me. I mean, he's HUGE! He could have easily overtaken me, or any of us, while we were there.
Feb. 23rd, 2005 07:42 pm (UTC)
Bring the board with you this weekend.
Feb. 23rd, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC)
I can't. The board is in Centreville and I'm in Glen Burnie. That's a 2 hour trip just to go get the board, plus another 35 to 40 mins to get to Owings Mills from my place. If you REALLY want a board there, I suppose I can go get it, or alternatively someone can pay $20.

At the very least, I'd bring my crystals and any special candles I have for protection. I admittedly brought the crystals when we went on Sunday =P I had about 8 with me. My amber that I'd just started wearing in the last month or so, three spiralling calcedoneys, one hematite, one quartz and one tigers eye. There's no particular significance to the ones I brought with me, other than the fact that those are the ones that wanted to come with me. Don't ask me to explain. Those were the ones that just felt 'right' at the time. And no, I don't practice. I haven't even looked at my cystals, save for making certain they were still in my box and still accounted for, for the past 8 years. They'd been neatly tucked away. In fact, the amber is the first crystal that I've worn in that long as well.

It really irks me that I was unable to find my tourmaline. I'd had it earlier in the week and I've since misplaced it. That's the one I really wanted with me, but didn't have time to find it, since my coming was such a last minute thing.

Sorry for rambling. There's just certain things I can't be without when dealing with ghosty ghoulies. :)
Feb. 23rd, 2005 09:49 pm (UTC)
That's okay. Several people have already told me they won't go if we bring a Ouija board, so I've convinced them that we need to spend the night instead. ;)
Feb. 23rd, 2005 09:53 pm (UTC)
They're smart people... er... or were until you mentioned spending the night! Now, there's creepy and there's CREEPY. I don't even want to imagine what things would be like there after a whole night.
Feb. 24th, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC)
I believe it happened. I also believe that this stuff (playing with the supernatural) is like scooping burning coals into your lap and hoping you don't get burned. Me, I'll back the winning side, thanks.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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