Scott & Harrill Residence Halls-haunted??
Scott and Harrill Residence Halls may seem like just two more dorms on the campus of Western Carolina University. However, each building has a reputation for being haunted because of some mysterious events that occurred in the past. Current and prospective students of WCU should keep these stories in mind when they select a dorm in which to live. The early 1990s was the time that Scott Hall began its conversion to "the dark side." During this time, it is said that a female student hung herself in the East Wing of the building. Her motives for suicide are not known, but the legend lives on. The floor was closed for many years afterwards because numerous people reported to have seen the young lady there. Unusual happenings in the dorm occurred as well, such as bathroom lights going on and off randomly, doors opening and closing when no one is there, and water running for no reason. The spirit of this young lady still seems to reside in Scott Hall, so residents and visitors should exercise caution there. The fifth floor of Harrill Hall has a similar history of unusual occurrences. According to legend, a girl died of an asthma attack while having a sleepover with her boyfriend. Unfortunately, she suffocated in her sleep. Her ghost is now said to haunt the fifth floor of Harrill, along with the building's elevators. The elevators sometimes open only on the first and fifth floors, but other times they open on all floors when no one is aboard. People on the fifth floor have reported strange occurrences and the feeling of being watched, as well. This girl seems to have influenced numerous parts of Harrill Hall, of which the WCU community should take note. So, just what makes a certain place "haunted"? Writers Brad and Sherry Hansen Steiger provide some insight about how to tell if a location might be one to avoid. According to the Steigers, "signs of a haunted building include knocks and rappings throughout the building, doors opening and slamming, cold drafts, and ghostly figures." They continue, "Genuine haunted houses soak up emotional unpleasantness from their former occupants." Locations with these characteristics should caution visitors that some unusual things happen inside. The residents of a particular building have much to do with whether it is haunted. "Almost any place could be haunted since most places have lots of human emotion in them," say the Steigers. "Hauntings occur from a merging of two figures: the original occupants in the past merge with the new occupants in the present day," they continue. "Collective emotions or thought processes of people who have lived somewhere in the past may have intensely 'charged' the psychic atmosphere of the place," say the Steigers. As a result, whether a location is haunted depends largely on the people that spend time there. The Steigers also provide information on ghosts. "Ghosts could be manifestations of past events that resurface in the present day." However, ghosts are nothing to be concerned about, as the Steigers detail, "There is nothing paranormal about seeing a ghost; once we figure out the emotions behind a ghost, it is easy to 'de-haunt' a certain place." Although many people think of ghosts negatively, the Steigers suggest that they are not as frightening or awful as society may believe. Whether in residence halls on the campus of Western Carolina University or in any other building, strange things happen to people. However, wouldn't life be so much more boring and uneventful if nothing ever changed from day to day? While the reports from Scott, Harrill, and society are not always happy-go-lucky, the events that occur there certainly keep people on their toes.
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