Columbia’s Haunting Halls: Kent
Written by Bwog Staff
To get you out of the midterms slump and into the Halloween spirit, Bwog is scrounging around campus’s scariest spaces. First up is the attic of Kent Hall. Read on if you dare.
Most people think the most dreaded place in Kent, home of a variety of inviting subjects—the creative writing department, EALAC, the East Asian Library, student services, etc.—is the ID center, but in fact there is a place far more alarming. While the sixth floor has clean classrooms (albeit with thick and creaky wooden doors with chipping numbers on them), there are pounds of dust threatening just overhead. Simply go to the east stairway and walk up as high as you can get and suddenly, you are in the attic.
Getting to the attic is not the difficult part. Building the courage to walk inside is. Right at the top of the staircase, not a dozen steps away, is a wall of dust-caked chicken wire fencing. A wooden door with a massive padlock chain sits open, with a greeting scrawled in chalk: COCKY DOODY. And, in fainter writing: SHIT FUCK. At your feet is the warning: ENTER IF YOU DARE.
If you do dare, step inside. Your footsteps fall silent, padded by years of dust and decay. The only sound comes from those few who might remain in the lower levels of the building, unless it is a more malevolent spirit. Cackles of laughter and clacking footsteps crawl up through the wooden floorboards. The long rectangle room has a vaulted ceiling, leaving the edges with short space to duck under. Hanging lightbulbs cast stark shadows, and of course not all of the bulbs work. Two lines of pillars run down the length. Upon entering you look at them, wondering if there is something hiding behind them—or if you will have to use them to hide behind.
“Welcome,” blue, trickling paint declares with perfect grammar, “you are now ABOVE GROUND.” The denizens of the attic have decorated the space, using mostly chalk. A majority of the additions are words and phrases, though some images appear: a cave painting man, a bearded face, a dick. “WHY?” asks one wall. An elaborately drawn eye halfway through the room is attached to ” + CU,” with a Columbia crown above the U. If you manage to make it to the far end without fleeing, you will be greeted by the most alarming messages, in a glowing orb that appears to be set on fire at the top. “WE WILL POISON OURSELVES WITH KNOWLEDGE,” it declares, with the Ring Pop Princess‘s symbol nearby.
As you back out, look at the floor. A huge dark stain, probably a pool of dried blood that the victim was then dragged from, covers one section. Further on, an empty Budweiser can speaks of miscreants. A singular, yellowed piece of newspaper clings to the floor. If you dare to put yourself in a compromising position to crouch down and look, you will find that it is from May 13, 1990. On May 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Portugal, brighter than the sun. In this dark place devoid of life, this date similarity can only really signal one thing: Bloody Mary lives in the Kent Attic.