“That chair just moved!”
“My things were here and I know I left it right here, but now they’re gone!”
Students recently sitting in Jean Browne Theater were casually discussing reactions to the paranormal entity known as George. They say he wanders in the Wise and Jean Browne auditoriums, and when abnormal things happen they expect it to be him.
Several theatre students laughed about George, the theater department’s friendly ghost. They said they respect him and his antics’ don’t really bother them.
“We hear footsteps and see unexplainable things,” said Randy Pyle, a theater major.
Professor Rebecca Faulds teaches speech and directs plays. After rehearsal she spends hours working on stagecraft after everyone has left. She says she has had plenty of experiences with George.
“George is our office gremlin and is not scary but mischievous,” Faulds said. “Sometimes we put things down in our offices and we know it was there and now it’s gone. No one’s taking it because it turns up just the way you left it days later.”
“He lives in Wise Auditorium,” Faulds said smiling.
According to a few students and staff, George is real. In Wise Auditorium, upstairs stage left’s water comes on for no apparent reason. Cast members simply turn the water off as if nothing out of the ordinary happened. During rehearsals, students claim to see a silhouette of a man standing near the sound booth and shadows passing by.
“The lights were mounted and directed towards the bedroom scene of the play ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ The cast was ready and suddenly the light shines straight down. A cast member goes up with a wrench and tightens the lamp. The romance scene is attempted again when the lights shined straight down .The cast members asked if the bolts were tightened and it was confirmed that it was firmly attached when the light fell again. Students were baffled,” Faulds said.
“George gets jealous of our character Juliet. Every time we do that play the light falls down,” Faulds said.
Several students said George sometimes sounds like boy crying in the Jean Browne Theater.
“It’s a boy crying stage left and a woman walking around there,” Faulds said.
Where is the line drawn between superstition and fact? Students have rumored that a construction worker accidentally fell while working on the building, plummeting to his death. If a person dies in a place will it become haunted?
Professor of Introduction to Mass communication Veronica Smith and a group of friends conducted a recording of paranormal activity in the Wise auditorium two years ago, but the experiment was inconclusive.
“We found lots of evidence in the Rogers Student Center,” Smith said. “We had personal experience in the Wise Auditorium and could not catch anything on film,” Smith continued.
“It seems trivial, but they’re just dead. Movies make the spiritual realm look demonic,” Smith said.
In horror stories, if a person dies in a house, then the house in turn becomes a haunted house. In the movie “1408,” a 2007 psychological horror film, room 1408 was a room never released to anyone due to the deaths that occurred in it. Anyone going into it never came out. Mike Enslin, a skeptical reporter, wanted to stay in 1408 to prove them wrong.
if you are looking hard enough. They’re forcing correlation to be causation,” Ivy said.
Education major Gary Hill and representative of “Real Talk,” a group who talks about many subjects on In the Wise Auditorium said he doesn’t believe in superstition. Hill said he is a Christian and belief in ghosts as dead beings trapped on Earth doesn’t line up with Christianity. He does believe in heavenly “spirits” such as God and the angels.
“For example when a black cat crosses your path nothing bad will happen to you. The devil just wants people to think that. It’s only a myth,” Hill said.
Not everybody at TJC said they believed in superstitions such as crossing a black cat’s path. Amat Cham, a math professor in charge of the Potter math lab, said it is merely a coincidence not good or bad luck.
“There is a difference between good luck and coincidence. If a rock falls and hits me just as I walked out of the door, it was coincidence. There was nothing that made the rock just hit me. It’s not bad luck. I don’t think the dead is up walking around,” Cham explained.
Ivy said that just because a person walks under a ladder doesn’t mean they will have bad luck. There is no physical relation to test the idea that something bad will happen. She concluded that it was only coincidence.
“Scientifically you have to be able to prove that a cause will have a certain effect and be able to make it happen every time. Then you can say that it will cause bad luck. Since it can’t be tested, it remains a superstition,” Ivy said.