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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Campus a hotspot for hauntings

    After a student committed suicide in the Student Union Memorial Center last year, custodial workers have reported eerie experiences while working on the fourth floor.
    After a student committed suicide in the Student Union Memorial Center last year, custodial workers have reported eerie experiences while working on the fourth floor.

    “”Campus is haunted,”” was the response from Michael Sutton, a custodial supervisor, when asked to relay stories about creepy occurrences at night.

    “”It’s not too bad when there’s other people here, but when you’re alone, you can definitely feel it,”” said Tony Hernandez, a custodian who has cleaned the Park Student Union for more than six years.

    Some night workers who have experienced the bizarre happenings link them to spirits or ghosts, while others refer to the invisible visitors as a nameless “”they.””

    “”I think we have a spirit on the fourth floor (of the Student Union Memorial Center). There was a jumper a few years ago,”” Sutton said. “”When you’re up there, you feel as if you’re not alone and occasionally the hair on the back of your neck will stand up.””

    The most frightening encounters seem to take place in the Park Student Union after dark.

    “”Sometimes you can hear a little baby crying upstairs and sometimes when you mop a spot you’ll see a small footprint or two,”” said Hernandez. “”Just last night, we were sitting on the couch in here (downstairs at PSU) with the lights off and you could hear tapping on the keyboards with a pencil or something.””

    The kitchens and dish rooms of the student unions tend to be a hot spot for the unlikely perpetrators.

    “”Down in the kitchen area you can kind of feel someone touching your back,”” said Hector Gonzalez, a custodian who works the night shift at the SUMC.

    “”I was in the kitchen and there was a pan on the counter that couldn’t have fallen on its own,”” Hernandez said. “”All of a sudden, I heard it hit the floor and when I picked it up, it was bent.””

    Three weeks ago, Hernandez said he had a chilling encounter in the dish room of the Park Student Union.

    “”I was in the dish room and heard banging on the other side of the washing machine,”” he said. “”I looked, but I didn’t see anybody, but then the machine turned on. You have to hit the switch to turn it on and I was looking right at it.””

    There is no doubt that the dark can play tricks on the mind, making ordinary circumstances seem eerie.

    “”When I first worked there (the gym), I heard gunshots,”” said Jason Wyant, a custodian who was cleaning Bear Down Gym. “”What I didn’t know was that there’s a gun range downstairs.””

    While it is odd that there is a gun range below the gym, the sounds employees hear are downright frightening.

    “”The people I work with talk about how they can hear basketballs being dribbled in there,”” Wyant said.

    “”The creepiest part for me is walking all the way to the back where the light switch is, because there are always shadows moving on the floor,”” he added.

    Whatever may cause the disturbances, it doesn’t keep employees from doing their jobs.

    “”They don’t bother me or anything. I’m kind of used to it,”” Hernandez said. “”They’ve never done anything to me, that’s the good thing.””

    However, there will always be people who purposely seek out the thrill of encountering the other side.

    “”If you go in the tunnels under the school you may find some stuff down there,”” said Tim Lopez, a UA policeman who has worked on campus for three and a half years. “”We’ve had to chase a few students out from there.””

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