One Barnard dorm’s elevators are not like every other dorm’s elevators. Do they contain a dark secret, or have they just not been renovated since the fifties? Senior Staffer Betsy Ladyzhets investigates.
Imagine – it’s 11:30 pm on a Sunday. I’ve got a mound of dirty clothes taking up space beside my bed and a hundred pages of reading due at 10 am the next morning that I haven’t started yet. So, I do the only logical thing: I grab a load’s worth of laundry and head out to the elevator.
But when I haul my clothes into the elevator and start going down, I realize a problem: the elevator button for the basement isn’t lighting up when I press it. Actually, it’s flickering, like a candle during a seance.
I breathe slowly, tell myself not to panic – it must just be a glitch, the elevator is fine. And it is fine, as far as it delivers me safely to… the first floor. The elevator is staunchly refusing to let me into the basement. I press the button a few more times, jamming on it as though breaking down a door, but it doesn’t give. Pissed, I drag my laundry bag out into the lobby, glaring around in the hopes of finding somewhere to redirect my malice.
This may sound like the start to a poorly produced horror film, but it’s actually very close to something that happened to me a couple of Sundays ago. The elevator in my dorm, 110 (or 601 West 110th Street, if you want to be precise), simply refuses to go to the basement between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am. I’ve asked around about this, and was informed by a helpful security guard that the reason these elevators don’t function quite properly is because the laundry room is “closed” at night.
Here’s the thing, though: the laundry room isn’t actually closed after 11 pm. It isn’t locked, or blockaded, or anything. You can still get into it just fine – you just need to get off on the first floor, and take the stairs down to the basement. Which begs the question: why won’t the elevators go to the basement?
If the laundry room is still accessible, that excuse is clearly hiding a much more ominous reason for the 110 elevators to not go to the basement at night. I’ve brainstormed several theories, and my best one is currently that, after 11 pm, the elevator shaft beneath this apartment building transforms into a portal to another dimension. Ghosts, strange noises in dining halls, the football team’s recent winning streak – all of that can be explained to supernatural energy escaping out of this hidden world.
If you think about it, an elevator shaft is a perfect place to hide a dimensional portal. It’s small. It’s ubiquitous. It’s impossible for humans to get into, without the elevator stopping between floors or the wall around the shaft being physically destroyed. Nobody would ever think to look for it, unless they liked doing laundry late at night and had been listening to a lot of a DnD podcast recently.
Alternate theories (or expansions on this theory) are welcome – just comment below or email email@example.com.
Photo via… the elevator