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Haunted Tales from Maxcy Hall

Tyler C. Butler

Tyler C. Butler

Sommers Smith, Staff Writer

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As Halloween approaches, the spirit of ghouls and ghosts is very much alive.

But the haunted houses, scary costumes, and hayrides, don’t compare to the real-life chills students get walking through Maxcy Halls.

Maxcy Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus, and it’s more traditional look stems from a time when it was an orphanage. For 46 years, Maxcy was the New Haven Temporary Home for Children. In the past, students and staff claim to have heard the sounds of activity relating to children echoing down the halls.

Skeptics may argue that those old tales are just stories, but others feel the eeriness of the building stems from more than just old age.

During his time as a student patrol member for Campus Police, Senior Zachary Esposito,  conducted night walkthroughs to lock up academic buildings and make sure lights were turned out. He recounted his experience for the Charger Bulletin:

“I became well accustomed to Maxcy, and got a little freaked out going through the building alone,” said Esposito. “One night, I had two of my friends accompany me, and we walked through the building.We stopped in one room on the second floor, and shut off the lights. Out of curiosity, we planned on just sitting there for a bit to see if anything happened, as I had already had some interesting experiences in the building — doors slamming shut or flying open when no windows were open, lights flickering or turning off and on by themselves. So, we sat in the room in the pitch dark, waiting for something, anything to happen.

“We had been sitting for about 15 minutes, and I was getting a little impatient. Just as I was about to try and “provoke” something, which you aren’t supposed to do with anything paranormal, a voice whispered out of nowhere. It sounded like a boy, or a man, and was inaudible. Immediately following, there was a giggle, a little girls giggle. Before I could say anything, my friends shot up and were making it for the door.

“As we got to the hallway, I called out and asked what they heard. One said ‘a whisper and a giggle’ and the other said that she only heard the laugh. Once we came to the conclusion that we all heard the same thing, we quickly chose to leave the building. The only thing is, we questioned why only the two of us sitting next to each other heard the whisper. We came to the sort of haunting realization that what or whoever whispered may have been sitting or standing right between the two of us, and that’s why our friend had not heard it.”

Despite its supernatural anecdotes and campus history, Maxcy Hall isn’t the only building on campus to give students goosebumps.

According to the president of the Paranormal Investigative Research Organization (PIRO), Lauren Risley, “There’s a lot of history surrounding almost all the buildings on our campus. I believe the stories I hear about spirits wandering the halls of Sheffield and Ruden Street Apartments. Too many things have happened on this campus for it to not be true! Now whether these hauntings are residual or intelligent is the real question we should be asking.”

Although there is no secret about how to detect spiritual activity, students are encouraged to behave accordingly if they do feel a presence. There was time when this campus may have been someone else’s playground.  

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Haunted Tales from Maxcy Hall