Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut

If Things Are Bumpin' in the Night, It's Either A Blackout Party or a Ghost

Ariana Chomitz
February 5, 2013

I was never too afraid of the dark, but living on one of the most haunted campuses in the country has given me a new respect   for things that go bump in the night.  So when the power cut out Friday evening, plunging my Old Kenyon single into black silence, I fumbled for my headlamp and headed to my friends' apartment as quickly as I could without actually running.  

Kenyon Blackouts are festive anarchy.  Since you can't study, you might as well party, and since the heat is off, you might as well warm up with some liquor and a cuddle buddy. Follow the sounds of merriment to the nearest pong table, or check your rapidly dying iphone to find out who's hosting a "Blackout Blackout" party. (I hear an entire floor got written up—tough luck, guys.)  But I would be wary if my plans took me to any of the traditionally haunted buildings.

I haven't met the spirits in Old Kenyon, but I think my sophomore year encounter with the Caples Ghost satisfies any supernatural curiosity.  It happened like this: 

I woke up in the dead of night to blearily stumble to the bathroom.  I halted at the sound of light scraping, like fingernails being trailed along the wall next to me.  This was not the wall with student's rooms on the other side of it, which would suggest a restless sleeper, nor was it the outside wall, which might have been brushed by a tree branch.  This sound came from the solid expanse of cinderblock that makes up the building's core.  I lurched away, crossing a startling patch of cold air before gaining my door and slamming it behind me.  

Until this Blackout, I had avoided listening to any Kenyon ghost stories. I would rather not know.  But once we had exhausted the drinking games and run down our laptop batteries, my friend began to tell the tales in full.  I had heard a few details before.  My acquaintance, the Caples Ghost, is famous for his resentment.  But the Mather ghost is more benign and therefore lesser known--the unfortunate soul of a partier who fell asleep in the snow and never had to feel a hangover.  No one that I know has ever seen him… Until…..

This morning, overheard in class:  "I think I saw a ghost during Blackout, outside Mather," one kid mutters to a friend.  "But it's just Caples and Old Kenyon, right? I don't know of any Mather ghosts. Probably imagined it."

Blackout 2013: About to hunt some ghosts.