Tag Archives: college of wooster

Ghost Stories

I don’t really know if I believe in ghosts or not. I suppose that sometimes I do — especially if I’ve seen a scary movie or read a scary book and am home alone. Also if someone I trust tells me about seeing a ghost herself or maybe her close relative saw one — then I get goosebumps and believe again. For a while.

I was a real skeptic until some friends of ours told us their story. They rented a home in the country and a number of strange things happened while they lived there with their children. Let’s call them Richard and Laura.

  • A large fan that was usually in one room was moved to the top of the stairs — no one in the family admitted to moving it. In fact the house was empty and Richard came home for lunch — that’s when he noticed the fan had been moved from where it was when he left in the morning.
  • They often heard footsteps on the stairs as if there were children playing on them. One day Laura’s sister, Rosie, was having coffee in the kitchen with Laura. She heard the footsteps and asked what it was — since she thought Richard and Laura’s were in school. Laura remarked that it was “just the ghosts”.
  • One night when Richard and Laura were asleep in bed they felt the bed move as if someone sat down on it.
  • Richard and Laura’s daughter also had stories of someone sitting on her bed.

Even my husband, who has never believed in ghosts, said that the story made him wonder. I was no longer skeptical and believed in ghosts after that, but didn’t really give it a lot of thought.

The other night my son and I checked in to a college owned hotel in Ohio so we could be close to the campus where he had a 9:00 am interview with an admissions counselor. We got to the hotel late, but were able to get a quick dinner in their “pub” at around 9 pm. I had two glasses of red wine — taking the second glass to our room when we left the restaurant. Andrew spent the some of the evening researching the college to prepare for his interview, then he watched some television. I read email and logged onto Facebook. I decided to call it a night and fell asleep around 11. I don’t know when Andrew finally went to sleep.

I woke up somewhere around 3 in the morning — something I often do if I drink wine late in the evening. I got a drink of water and turned on the air conditioning, which I had turned off earlier because we were cold. Then I got back into bed and tried to sleep. I know I slept because I dreamed that I was at my mom’s house and it had snowed. I saw a cat outside and ran to help it, but it was somehow killed — maybe a dog was involved. Anyway in the dream I brought the cat back in the house and for some reason put it in bed with Clare who woke up and, understandably, freaked out.

Clare’s freaking out in my dream woke me up, I remembered where I was and could feel the foot of the bed on the bottom of my feet (I scrunch down in bed and usually hang my feet over the bottom). I heard the air conditioner fan and felt the cool air. I pulled the blanket up to my chin. I felt, what felt like a cat, jump up on the bed near my feet, pad around my feet and come up near my face. I thought it was Annabelle, but remembered that I was not at home. Then I felt the mattress push down behind my back (I was lying on my left side, facing towards the middle of the bed) as if someone were sitting behind me. I knew it wasn’t Andrew because I could hear him breathing in his bed. I turned my head and saw a large white mass over my hip — I thought it was the blanket bunched up. Finally I felt myself being pulled off the bed as if someone had hold of the waistband of my pajama bottoms and the collar of my t-shirt.

Then I woke up. It was 5:30 am. All that was a dream — but a very vivid one.

I’ve had dreams like that before — where I feel like I am awake and know where I am (they mostly happen when I am not at home). The other times I’ve had these kind of dreams I see someone standing at the foot of the bed. This time it tried to pull me off the bed.

This dream, has pushed me back into being skeptical about ghosts. While it doesn’t explain the footsteps on the stairs at Richard and Laura’s rental house, it might explain the nighttime occurrences.

Of course, when we checked out of the hotel I did notice that our door opened right next to the stairway to the attic…

Days 8 & 9 — Stinky Sandusky and two non-tours

We spent Monday driving. The rain continued until we were nearly into Ohio. I’d checked prices for hotels near Cleveland, and as they were over $100 I decided to stop about an hour before Cleveland to find a hotel. Big mistake. Sandusky is an hour before Cleveland. Have you been in Sandusky? Take my word for it — don’t jump into your car and drive there. If you do, bring a gas mask. The air there smells toxic (Clare’s words). We checked into a Day’s Inn (after trying the Hampton Inn and being told that the only room left was a King Jacuzzi Suite for $175.)

We could have driven further into the town, but I suspect the hotels got more expensive since Sandusky seems to be the Wisconsin Dells of Ohio.

Our room was gross — swaybacked beds and mildewy shower. There was some commotion in the room next to us, but it stopped as soon as it started. We ate dinner at an Olive Garden about 5 miles from the hotel. Our friendly waitress explained Sandusky to us. It grew up around Cedar Point — an amusement park that is on Lake Erie. Then other attractions arrived, such as a couple of water parks. Clare and I didn’t bother to drive to see the lake — we just went back to the room and watched a little tv before we went to sleep.

We drove to Berea, Ohio after an inadequate breakfast. We were visiting Baldwin-Wallace College the same day as Barack Obama was, so there were a few people there, including a few news vans.

Clare liked the look of Baldwin-Wallace. I thought it was too spread out — and Clare commented that it seemed too integrated with the surrounding community. We went to admissions, but were not offered a tour. There were nothing but students in the admissions office. Someone began to ask if we wanted one, and — although I didn’t see it — another student may have hushed him. I suspect (huge stretch here) that she wanted to be free to go see the town hall meeting with Obama. While I don’t blame her, I would have liked a tour.

After getting coffee at Caribou Coffee in Berea and looking around at the buildings on campus, we moved onto the College of Wooster. Clare loved the campus, which we self-toured, after a lunch at Muddy Waters cafe in town. (we tried to eat at The Bead Cafe — since our GPS directed us to it, and thinking it was a restaurant — but all they serve is beads.)

The admissions office was staffed, again, by a student who didn’t offer us a tour, but gave us a map and sent us on our way. She was friendly enough, but I suspect that if there was a real admissions receptionist there, they might have been a little more accommodating.

I was impressed by a couple of buildings. The humanities building was a beautiful Gothic structure — like a Norman castle. The classrooms were paneled in dark wood — at least the “tower” classroom was — it had an observation window for some reason.

Clare spent a lot of time touring the campus. It is a beautiful campus, so I don’t blame her. I think it’s going on her yes list.

After that, Clare wanted to do at least one “Weird USA” / Roadside attraction thing. On the way to Meadville, PA (our final college stop) is the site of a local legend about Melon Heads — creatures that once were orphans, but experimented on by an evil doctor. We didn’t see any secluded wooded areas, much less small creatures with large heads. Clare was disappointed. I was not.

I wasn’t sure how big a town Meadville was, so we decided to find a hotel in Erie, PA — about an hour away from Meadville. Clare fell asleep before we reached Pennsylvania, so was not a lot of help once I reached Erie. I glimpsed Lake Erie, then drove towards the beaches, hoping to find a motel that we’d like.

The town was crowded and none of the close-by hotels looked like something we’d want to sleep in, so I headed towards Meadville. Just outside Erie were a couple of large motels, and I decided that if Meadville didn’t work out, sleepwise, I’d go back there.

The road to Meadville promised more motels, so I knew we’d be ok. Then I saw signs that the exit to Meadville was closed, and had to exit early. I ended up on a long gravel road. Thank goodness for the GPS — it lead me to Meadville — albeit the long, slow way.

The couple of sleep options in the town of Meadville were no good, so we eventually decided to go towards Pittsburgh or Erie to find something. We ended up near the main highway outside town, at a Holiday Inn Express. The staff was very friendly and the room is clean with comfortable beds. What else did we need? We ate dinner at an Italian restaurant called Chovy’s (10% discount from Holiday Inn Express).

We watched a little television, then I crashed. Not sure what time Clare went to sleep.

This morning we had a great breakfast (fresh fruit, eggs, corned beef hash, fresh orange juice) and are getting ready to visit Allegheny College. At this point, I’m not expecting a tour, but it would be nice if we could have one.