March 26, 1995 - Sunday
Sunday had been uneventful. In essence, everybody took a day
off to recover from the shock of the weekend. Tiffany spent the day with her parents in
Westminster. She didn't reveal to them what her condition was. It was written of a as 24
hour cold. Jarrod hung around the campus trying to catch up on the papers he had
procrastinated doing until the last minute. Alan went home to his wife and kids.
Ryan spent the weekend at his father's ranch in Pennsylvania.
No one was there and this gave Ryan the opportunity to spend some time with himself, alone
and undisturbed. He was trying to figure out what his feelings and intentions toward
Tiffany were. It was the incident in Webb's office that started the downward spiral with
Ryan's emotions. Having her practically naked on top of him with her breasts in his hands
was just too much for one man to handle.
Unless you were Austin Webb!
This thought did not sit well with Ryan. He was jealous, and
could not believe Webb would bed someone young enough to be his daughter. Ryan wanted to
protect Tiffany from what he and the other guys were doing to her, trying to connect her
with two murders. The thought of Tiffany in trouble hurt him in a way he couldn't
Tiffany just was not the killing type. She had a certain
amount of intelligence to her, but for the most part she was pretty flighty, as Bob the
rent-a-cop put it. Ryan needed to talk to her. He felt this little investigating he was
involved in was a form of betrayal, as if he were stabbing Tiffany in the back. He called
her only once that day to see how she was doing. Tiffany was exhausted, and spent most of
the day in bed watching TV.
Every time Ryan thought about Tiffany and these kinds of
things, his thought drifted back to Webb's office, or the motel room where Tiffany kissed
him on the lips. Ryan wanted to be with her, he wanted to be by her side through this
whole ordeal. He thought he might actually be falling in love with her. Not just sex
driven lust, but real true love.
He tried to dismiss that theory, it would only complicate
things. They had been friends to long and if the feeling was not mutual, it would screw up
the friendship. Tiffany needed support, not more hassles.
Ryan would soon find out just how bad she need support.
Most of the day was spent reading the book Haunted Places
in Carroll County. The book itself was actually very fascinating. There were several
places mentioned in the book that Ryan knew of and had actually been to. One of them had
been his alma mater, South Carroll High School. It was said that back in 1969, a teacher
suffered from a heart attack in one of the rear storage room while doing inventory. As
that area of the school is rarely ever visited, it wasnt until somebody noticed the
stench a week later that the body was discovered. Since then, reports of paranormal
activity have been reported in that particular storage room of the high school. So much
and badly so, that access to that room is prohibited and it is rumored that only the
principal of the school has the key.
Ryan in his four years at the high school, never knew that.
This information would definitely get a section in his latest story. He knew of students
at W.M.C. that had graduated from South Carroll.
More specifically in the book, Ryan read up on the spirit of
Alumni Hall at Western Maryland College. This story had been a sketchy one, as no one knew
of any deaths on campus since the colleges inception back in 1867.
However, there were rumors. Some speculated that there was a
house that used to sit where Alumni Hall is now, and that the spirit is somehow associated
with that old house.
Another rumour is that a man was killed in the lower level
hall. A very flimsy story that a black man had been brutally slaughtered and left for
dead. However, no body or remains were ever discovered and it is thought that the rumour
was just started by racially motivated kids.
The mystery of the Alumni Hall ghost will always remain just
that, a mystery.
Ryan thought it was a pretty lousy article. He considered
taking a trip to the courthouse to see if there were record of a house that used to sit
where Alumni Hall is now. The Land Records department should have that information, if
there was anything to find.
Ryan returned to the college late in the evening as there was
class the next day. Up at eight in the morning to be at class by nine. Before returning to
his dorm, Ryan stopped by Alumni Hall to get a better look at it from the outside, and
from the inside.
Outside, there was nothing special about it. It appeared to
be an ordinary building, with age to it. The only thing that caught Ryans attention
was a water spicket sticking up out of the ground behind the building. It sat about three
feet away from the back wall in the middle of the grass. Certainly an unusual location for
a water spicket.
Inside, it was creepy. Ryan was not as concerned with the
upper auditorium as he was the lower. The lower auditorium was dark and haunting. Even
with the lights on, the room hung heavily as if there was great sorrow here.
Ryan walked down the aisle towards the stage. Still nothing
unusual, with the exception of the aura of the place. It was chilly in the room, when
there was no access to the outside, except through the door at the back of the room that
led upstairs to the front door of Alumni Hall.
The stage was nothing unusual. It extended away from the wall
and out into the auditorium, as if at some point, somebody wanted to make the stage bigger
and said, lets extend it outwards. It was a solid wood structure, sealed
The cold chill passed over Ryan again.
"I know youre here." Ryan found himself
saying. Then he realized the silliness of the situation. "Wait a minute. l dont
believe in ghosts!" Ryan walked up onto the stage and looked around for these so
called objects that this alleged ghost scatters around. The stage was empty and clean.
Ryan turned around towards the extended part of the stage and faced the area where Todd
had tripped and fallen down a few days ago. He was about to walk out that way when he
stopped him self. "What the hell am l doing? This is silly!"
Ryan took a step forward, focusing his attention on the spot
where Todd had fallen. Then another step, and another. Slowly, one step at a time. Just as
Ryan was about to cross the path of the tripping point, Ryan was startled by a voice
yelling at him.
"Hey, what are you doing here!" It said.
Ryan yelped out in surprise and horror. He looked up at the
rear of the auditorium. It was Todd standing in the doorway by himself. "Jesus Christ
Todd!" Ryan snapped. "You scared the fuck out of me!"
"Sorry. Ryan? Isnt it?"
"Yeah, at your service." Ryan answered completing
"What are you doing here?"
"Alan Kittridge sent me." Ryan answered. "He
wanted me to investigate these so called ghosts in Alumni Hall. I heard your story, about
being tripped, twice apparently."
"How did you know about the second time?" Todd
asked, approaching Ryan as he walked down the aisle.
"I was here, l saw it."
"Yeah, L had stopped by to talk to you about this so
called ghost, but you were busy rehearsing, so I just watched. Funny thing is, right
before you tripped, l felt the room go cold and a chill pass over me. l was standing in
the back of the room when it happened." Ryan explained.
"Yeah, L believe it." Todd said. "Strange shit
has been going on here all spring."
"Like what?" Ryan asked.
"Well, the tripping you saw Friday for one." Todd
replied. "Stuff falling over backstage. Things scattered around the floor overnight.
Cold drafts, chills. Your typical haunted house stuff."
"Any bed sheets with two holes cut out for the
eyes?" Ryan asked with a touch of sudden sarcasm.
"Hey, dont be a smart ass!" Todd defended.
"I aint making this shit up. It really happened."
Ryan stepped down off stage. "Yeah, I know. I was here.
I saw. I just dont really believe in actual ghosts and haunted houses and
poltergeists and all that kind of paranormal stuff."
"Well, you say you felt the chills, explain that."
"It just could have been air leakage in the structure of
the building." Ryan offered.
Todd snorted sarcastically. "Yeah, right. You should
spend a little more time here."
"Im not here to be convinced Todd. Im just
here to do a story for Alan, ghost or no ghost. You dont mind if I use your name and
everything youve told me do you?"
"I dont care, just make sure you spell my name
right." Todd answered. "Were getting ready to have a rehearsal, so, if you
Ryan looked at him doubtfully. Todd, was not a tactful
person. "I was just on my way out."
"If anything else funny happens, Ill let you know.
Oh, bye the way. I know Webb was one of your instructors, there are no Sociology classes
that Webb taught tomorrow, if you havent heard already." Todd called out as
Ryan started to walk away.
"Thanks Todd. If you get anything new, leave me a
message at the newsroom." Ryan called out as he walked out of the auditorium and up
Jarrod was still fast at work on his papers when Ryan
returned to the dorm room. Ryan threw himself down on the bed and watched Jarrod type in a
kind of awe. He was very fast and very accurate. A true talent.
"Can I ask you a question Jarrod?" Ryan asked his
roommate. Jarrod stopped typing and looked over at Ryan.
"I suppose so. Whats up bro?"
"Do you believe in ghosts?"
Jarrod looked dumbfounded. "Why would you ask something
"Just trying to get another opinion I guess." Ryan
replied. "Alan wants me to do a story on the haunting of Alumni Hall, if there really
is one. I stopped by there Friday and felt a cold chill. I also watch Todd Matheny trip
and fall on stage. The thing is, there was nothing there for him to trip on."
"Weird." Jarrod said, still looking at Ryan.
"I guess in a way I do."
"How is that. Either you do or you dont"
"Well, I dont think ghost come hiding under bed
sheets and say boo, if thats what you mean. Or any of that silly stuff about little
girls disappearing into their closet and talking through the TV. Thats all make
believe. I do think that some people have restless spirits. Take Webb for example. he was
murdered viciously right outside our building down in the stadium. It was not his time.
His life was taken from him, by force. That would make him a tortured spirit,
theoretically. Personally, I believe that if a spirit is tortured, he is not ready to move
on to whatever is next after this life. Therefore, he would remain in a sort of halfway
world, where the spirit is felt and not seen. If Alumni Hall is actually haunted,
maybe there is a spirit there that was wronged in this life, who is, well, pissed for lack
of a better word. He or she is just making life hell for the rest of us who are still
here, because they were robbed of something they wanted, which, is life in this world.
Does that help you any?"
Ryan stared at Jarrod for a few second. "That was deep
bro." Ryan admitted. "You really feel that way?"
"I suppose so."
Jarrod turned back to his laptop and continued to type. Ryan
leaned back in his bed to ponder the Tiffany situation some more. It was a big internal
conflict, trying to connect Tiffany with Webb and Porters murder, while having these
strong feelings for her.
After a few minutes of these thoughts, Ryan found himself
extremely tired. He took his shirt off and slipped under the covers of his bed. The
hypnotizing sound of Jarrod typing put Ryan to sleep in a matter of minutes.