Every semester at Wilson College ghost stories start making their way into the minds of the Wilson community. Telling ghost stories to freshmen is a sport for upperclassmen and mentioning the haunts on campus to new professors provides an excuse to gossip.
Many brush off these narratives as false since most “sightings” on campus can be explained away by high levels of stress or an overdose of caffeine. However, despite the ribbing, gossip and stimulants, a ring of truth seems to exist with these tales. Many stories from generations of staff and students coincide with each other, albeit from separate instances.
Over the summer, the Wilson campus was visited by a paranormal investigation team called the Generic Black Shirt Group. Their purpose was to visit buildings on campus related to reports of ghostly encounters. The group, headed by director and producer Anthony Ramano Jr., investigates paranormal occurrences and relays their findings on their television show Paranormal After Party.
The team uses electronic devices such as an ovilus, which takes environmental readings such as changes in temperature or magnetic frequencies and transforms them into words. They also use a K-2 unit—the most-used piece of ghost hunting equipment, yet also the most likely to record false readings as it can be triggered by cell phones and magnetic fields. Another tool they utilize is an electronic voice phenomena (EVP) recorder, used to record potential voice projections from spirits.
The group, joined by two Wilson staff members, chose Sharpe House, Norland Hall, Laird Hall, and Warfield Hall to investigate. Director of Admissions Patty Beidel sat in on the investigations in Warfield and Sharpe House. Beidel asked questions and during the encounter the K-2 meter continuously changed from green to red. By the end, they narrowed the possible candidates to a female member of the Sharpe family.
Also in Sharpe House, Director of Campus Safety Sam Woodring and the team heard what sounded like a sigh after asking questions in the second floor bedrooms. The team got an even greater response in the bedrooms when they told the spirits that Sam was there. However, the ghosts only responded when Woodring assured them himself.
Warfield Hall proved even more active.
Wilson once had a radio station in Warfield. As the story goes, while on her way back from a break during a show, a student radio host heard a scream from the upper levels of the building. Fortunately, she did not turn off her recording equipment and was able to catch the scream on tape and turned it over to the archives to be filed. Unfortunately, the tape mysteriously vanished.
Most would consider the missing tape a convenient way to consider the story a “myth.” However, when the team searched the building, they saw a shadow cross from Warfield 101 to Assistant Professor of Communications Dr. J.Z Long’s office.
Joe Chin, a member from the Paranormal Investigation Squad from the Discovery Channel and new addition to group, then rolled a “spirit ball”—a device that detects spiritual energy—down the hall from Warfield 101 to Long’s office. When it reached the office, it started to light up, indicating activity.
EVPs were taken in almost every building, but the results must wait until the team analyzes them. Wilson will screen the episode of Paranormal After Party this Halloween on the campus green for anyone who would like to see for themselves the hauntings of Wilson.