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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Living with Ghosts

    Living with Ghosts

    On a campus as old as the UA, it’s not surprising to find that there are ghost stories lurking around in the red brick buildings we pass through every day.

    The all-girl Maricopa Residence Hall and the Modern Languages building are plagued with the spirits of the past.

    “”Supposedly someone killed themselves down here,”” said Amy Contevita, a percussion performance freshman, about the rumors of a ghost wandering the lower levels of Maricopa.

    According to legend, a girl hung herself in the bathroom in the basement years ago, before the building was commissioned as a

    Apparently when they built this building years ago, they found a well while digging the foundation. And in the bottom of the well were the bones of a woman who had been killed.

    – Marie Messina,
    administration associate for the Spanish and Portuguese department

    dorm. The stark white closets filled with plumbing pipes and dimly lit, carpeted hallways that now occupy the lower level hardly evoke the feeling of dread you would expect from a one-time suicide scene.

    Another building said to have its own personal phantom is the Modern Languages building.

    “”Apparently when they built this building years ago, they found a well while digging the foundation,”” said Marie Messina, an administration associate for the Spanish and Portuguese department who has worked in Modern Languages for nearly 20 years. “”And in the bottom of the well were the bones of a woman who had been killed.””

    Rumor has it the ghost likes to appear all over the building looking for her skeleton, but prefers the north side of the third floor.

    “”It’s supposedly a woman in a long dress. She just kind of glides along,”” Messina said. Messina recalls hearing about a professor who had seen “”a face in the glass”” and a janitor who “”felt something”” behind them.

    Messina admitted she has never seen the ghost.

    “”I’ve worked in the building late at night, sometimes on Saturdays. The only people I’ve seen are very much alive,”” she said.

    These types of ghosts seem relatively harmless. Rarely do you hear about an old house haunted by an 8-foot-tall, leather-clad demon spawn. The ghosts we see are either looking for something that was taken from them or stuck wandering the scene of their unfortunate demise. No big deal, right? The hardcore ghosts and ghouls of Hollywood seem thankfully stuck in celluloid.

    “”In Kabbalah, there is the conviction that souls transmigrate,”” said David Graizbord, an assistant professor of Judaic studies.

    Souls that are sinful cannot ascend to the Godhead, Graizbord said. The Mazik, or destructive spirit, may then inhabit the body of a living person. Graizbord said this belief is held mostly only by the ultra-orthodox, particularly the Hasidic Jewish community.

    Skeptics and believers alike can take comfort in the fact that nobody ever seems to be harmed by any of these campus ghosts.

    Ghost stories like those from Maricopa and the Modern Languages building do usually have one thing in common: Everyone hears about the story from someone before any personal experience with the supernatural.

    “”My predecessor told me all about it,”” said Messina of the well-dwelling ghost of Modern Languages. “”I think every building in this town has a ghost story in it.””

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