Two weeks ago, a first-year in Founders Hall lifted his leg into the air and pulled down his pants in front of me.
No, he was not exposing himself.
“I keep waking up with these strange bruises,” said first-year Darion Bayles as he pointed to dark purple markings on his leg.
He lowered his leg and set his Ouija board–encased phone aside.
“Dude, it’s like the possessed lady from ‘The Conjuring,’” I said to him. “She kept waking up with strange bruises just like you.”
“I think a ghost is messing with me,” said Bayles.
Sure, it might sound crazy at first, but before dismissing Bayles as a paranoid lunatic, take into consideration the fact that many claim to have encountered ghosts on Guilford College’s campus.
According to Initiative on Faith and Practice Gifts Discernment Coordinator Frank Massey, Guilford is home to many ghosts, or “spirits” as he calls them.
“I know of three spirits in Dana (Auditorium),” said Massey. “There are also two in Mary Hobbs Hall and many in the woods.”
Just like Guilford’s students, these rumored spirits come from many different backgrounds.
“Here in Dana, there is a civil war soldier that guards the second floor and a little girl that stays on the stage,” said Massey. “I even know of a family of Native Americans who live outside Hege-Cox (Hall).”
After hearing this, I met with Bayles and we snuck into Dana together at midnight in pursuit of Lucas, the Civil War soldier. After 30 minutes of waiting, we saw nothing, although Bayles claims to have felt a presence.
But what about Bayles’ bruises? Are there reports of spirits in Milner Hall that haunt residents?
“While I don’t know of any spirits in Milner, I am sure that there are some,” said Massey. “I don’t know of any instance when a student has been hurt, but I believe a spirit could cause a person harm if they wanted to.”
Not everyone is convinced, however, and some students renounce the idea of spirits residing on campus.
When I sat down and mentioned the spirits to two of my friends, I saw this renouncement firsthand.
“Ghosts aren’t real and they don’t exist at Guilford,” said Early College senior Parth Vaidya. “Even if they did exist, they’re not going to team up and haunt Guilford, because they’d spend too much time arguing over their supposed differences.”
Vaidya’s friend, however, did not appreciate his stance.
“In 50 years, I’m going to see you dead and know it’s because of a ghost,” said Early College senior Sydney Lockhart to Vaidya.
Like Lockhart, senior Ivy Baharain also believes in ghosts.
“I have experienced ghosts in Mary Hobbs,” said Baharain. “There were ghosts in my room, and my roommate and I had to flee to The Hut for the night.”
Perhaps Bayles, like Baharain, has a ghost in his room. Or maybe he does not.
All I can say is that Bayles’ bruises have convinced me to stay away from Milner. Ghosts and I do not mix well. Especially ghosts that like to bruise their victims.