by Amy Baez, Staff Writer, October 2021
Autumn is finally here. As pumpkins are carved out and hot, delicious apple cider makes a comeback, the spirits of Nobles awaken. When asked about paranormal activity on campus, the majority of people think about the Castle, and its secret passageways. But Wiggins Hall Dormitory, located far away from the rest of campus, has seen its fair share of unsettling events since 2004, when it was first built. The old building has been through it all, from flickering lights in the bathroom to seeing moving shadows but with no person attached on late trips to the laundry room.
On thundering rainy nights, however, the same ghost always appears outside the dorms.
I remember how the raindrops ran down my windowpane one Sunday night. It was one of those rare occasions when I arrived before my roommate, in my room
As I put away clothes in the drawer, I noticed something outside of my window. In the distance, out on the football field, stood a boy.
Far away in the middle of the field his pale skin glowed a sickly color under the surrounding lamp posts. I could not tell if he saw me, but I could see him.
This boy was no stranger; Dan Matlack, a former faculty member, would tell me about random historical events of the school whenever I stopped by the Main Common Room, a communal area where boarding students from both sides of the gender-divided dorms hang out together.
In 2019, he told me the tragic tale of 1995’s Headmaster Elliot Putnam’s son, Arthur, who died on campus. He described how this boy had fallen down Dr. Hill, the slope that the head of the school’s house stands upon, during a thunderstorm and was crushed by an uprooted tree. The toy ball he was playing with rolled away from his fingers, and got lost on the muddy field.
Ever since then, people say they can often hear shrill laughter and squeaks of a toy. He can even be sighted, chasing after his ball, on the gloomiest of nights.
It was not until I saw him with my own two eyes that I remembered what Matlack had shared with me.
The boy stood there on the field, staring blankly ahead. At first, I believed it was one of the dorm parents’ children, but by that time, all of them would have been asleep.
My curiosity would not let me look away as I tried to think of a reason for someone to be outside of the dorms, especially because ghosts are not real. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Thinking it was my roommate who had finally arrived, I headed for the door. But when I opened it, no one stood outside. I spun around, only to see the sports field ahead of my window was bare—no boy in sight. I assumed I just needed to sleep.
That was until I heard a soft laugh. I could not pinpoint where it had come from, but a chill ran up my spine.
I distracted myself from the panic growing inside me by continuing to unpack my clothes. The creepy laugh resonated in my mind as I tidied up my room before heading to my bed. I was hesitant about turning off the light, but eventually did. The light switch was at the entrance of my room, and I rushed to bed as the darkness closed in. When I settled into bed and was on the verge of falling asleep, a knock from the window suddenly woke me. I sat up in bed and slowly tilted my head to see through the glass. Nothing was there except for the dark leaves rustling against the bottom of the window.
I got out of bed to pull the blinds down, but when I looked up, a boy was staring straight back at me.
He was nearly pressed up against the window and his breath fogged up the glass separating us. His eyes were sullen and purple and his rain-drenched hair stuck to his forehead. What most struck me was the crimson bruise on his crown, which I could only assume was from the heavy blow he suffered many years ago.
He leisurely raised his arm, presenting the red ball weathered by the storm. As he squeezed it between his thin fingers, he suddenly let go of the ball, which released a sharp squeak as it hit the ground.
Something cold and wet gently bumped into my foot, and when I looked down, I was startled to see the red ball. How did it make its way inside?
Reluctantly looking back up from my feet and summoning the last shred of courage I had, I took one step closer to the window.
As I leaned forward, I finally realized that he was not in front of me, but behind as I felt a slight tap on my left shoulder.