[box type=”note” style=”rounded”]This is a special story for our Halloween issue. This is not a news article. The Veritas has compiled a list of stories from ENC students, graduates, and staff. We asked them, “Is Canterbury haunted?” Their answers are below, and you can decide whether or not to believe their tales. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.[/box]
Nestled between Shrader Hall and Memorial Hall stands the oldest of the original buildings left on campus: Canterbury Hall. Legend has it that this creaky white building, which houses the psychology and sociology departments, may be haunted.
Past and present eyewitness accounts from ENC students and security guards can testify to the suspicion of mysterious presences that dwell within the walls of Canterbury Hall.
Tim Troxler, ENC graduate: “One time when I was working for ITS, I was in the scantron room in the basement of Canterbury. I had one of the ITS walkie-talkies in case I needed to talk with the ITS office. When I was alone, I heard a voice come over the handset and say something to the effect of, “Can you let me out? Because I don’t have any arms and legs.”
Troxler said the voice sounded like a young girl. This occurred, according to Troxler, in either 2005 or 2006.
Senior Nathan Rankin: “I was leaving Young; it was around 2:30 in the morning. I was walking toward the Mann Student Center and I saw the security guard. We were talking for a little bit, and then, at the same time, we both looked over at Canterbury, and the four basement lights went on individually, one, two, three, four, and then the porch light went off. The security guard got so freaked out that he almost got fired because he refused to go back into the building ever again.”
Mat Thomas, ’05: “I was a security guard before becoming an RD in the fall semester of 2004. I entered Canterbury locking everything up from the ground floor to the third floor. When I reached the third floor, I shut a light off that was on. After locking everything up, I walked alongside the building toward the gym and noticed that the third floor light flipped back on.”
Josh Vachon, ’12: “The air inside the bleached white bowels of Canterbury Hall was thick and dead; like a great lumbering bear whose soul had long since slithered out through dry, swelled lips. The sun, having just retired beyond the horizon, offered little visibility. My hands, like small children trapped beneath Grandma’s musty afghan, groped at the darkness, hoping to brush against the comforting texture of an aging wall or heavy door. Soldiering onward in my thrift-store plaid, I quickly shuffled down the hallway and into the large room that spanned the length of the lecture hall above it.
Dropping to all fours, my fingers traced the carpet for any sign of my room key, driven by the thought of having to sleep, pillow-less, on one of the weathered lounge love seats. My efforts proving fruitless, I turned in defeat to leave the basement. As I raised my head to greet the staircase, two eyes, the red glow from which seemed to rip the breath from my lungs, met me. Hoping they were merely a fleeting trick of the light that wasn’t there, fear hadn’t begun to wash down the back of my neck until I had been staring at them for several seconds.
Never went back down there again.”
Mat Thomas shared another story, one in which he wasn’t involved, but has heard: “I heard a story from a former student security guard who I used to work with. It was close to midnight after he had locked up all of Canterbury except the third floor. The moment he reached the third floor, he heard someone running down the stairs. Frustrated, he ran after the noise and ended up in the basement to find that every basement door was unlocked just after he locked them three minutes before.”
Matt Shibles, current security guard: “Basically, one night I was on patrol in Canterbury. As I locked up the lecture hall, I heard a loud thumping noise upstairs, and then it moved to right above the stairs where the bathroom is. I walked over to the stairs to go up and see what was going on. All of a sudden a loud bang happened as the ceiling tile fell onto the stairs and water got all over the place. A bunch of pipe material was everywhere too. It could have been a maintenance issue, but the thumping that led up to it was what concerned me.”
Despite these accounts, some students find Canterbury far from being haunted.
Sophomore Canaan Hess: “During summer ministry [training], our team would practice in Canterbury for eight hours a day. During one of our practices, there was a baseball game going on across the street and a guy walks in and sits down in the back of the room while we were playing. We figured out that this guy was off the street and heard our music so he came in. If our music can somehow bring people in off the street, than it is a blessing that Canterbury was there.”