By Sadie Slager
Someone other than students may have been “Stuyin’ Up All Night” during the second annual event presented by Residential Life.
Several people reported paranormal experiences that took place during the ghost tours, a portion of the late night event open to the entire campus.
Public Safety Officer John Ciochetty led students on ghost tours where they recorded noises in the tunnel between Stuyvesant and Hayes Halls.
Sophomore Luke Steffen said he heard a brief, faint singing in the tunnel.
“It was dark, though there was light coming from the door to Hayes,” he said. “There were at least twenty of us in the tunnel, lined up on each side.”
Steffen said after Ciochetty asked “the spirits” several questions, he heard a woman singing for a few seconds.
“I thought it might be a ringtone going off, but suddenly everyone screamed and, perhaps in placebo, I was struck with a sense of terror and jumped to the other side of the tunnel and grabbed the closest person to me,” he said.
It turned out the singing sounds might have been a ringtone after all, Steffen said, but he still “felt a strange sense of exhilaration” during the experience.
Steffen said he was “kind of surprised” by what happened during the ghost tour.
“We were a large, cynical crowd, one that I thought would not encounter a ghost,” he said. “After all, most ghost stories involved one to five people.”
Junior Kate Hudson said some mysterious photographs were taken on cellphones during her ghost tour, but her group did not hear a woman’s voice like Steffen’s group did.
“During our trip through the tunnel, two photos were taken that may show a headless body and two bodiless heads,” she said. “Someone else claimed to have captured a recording of laughing right before another student’s ringtone went off.”
Hudson said after the tour, several students realized their cell phones were doing strange things.
“Several people claimed their phones were dead or close to shutting off even though they had charged them earlier that day,” she said. “Many of those phones lost any recordings or pictures taken during the tour.”
According to Hudson, One student in that group had his phone slapped from his hand and his recording erased on his way out of the tunnel.
Hudson, who also visited the Stuyvesant bell tower during her tour, said she was surprised when she heard the second group screaming from inside the tunnel and was fascinated with the tour overall.
“Whether ghosts are real or not was not my main concern, but rather hearing the ghost stories,” she said. “Each story has at least a grain of truth to it. These stories are based on historical figures from past (Ohio Wesleyan) presidents to civil war victims to even beloved professors. Through these stories, I learn more about my own school and community, but in an entertaining way.”
Senior Alyson Michael said it was her friend’s cell phone that caused the noise of the “woman’s voice” Steffen spoke of, but said she was “terrified” before she realized where the noise came from.
“It was completely silent and dark when I heard a hushed woman’s voice singing,” she said. “It was similar to an alleged recording of a supposed ghost in Stuy that had been played at the beginning of the tour.”
Officer Ciochetty said he saw something in the tunnel that was a little bit “fuzzy,” but it was captured on his camera.
“For years, there has been paranormal activity in the tunnel,” he said. “Around 16 EVP recordings of spirit voices were captured earlier this year.”
He said a few years ago he chased a “shadow person” out of the tunnel and into the daylight along with an assistant from a radio internet station.
Although the sound of a woman singing may have been a ringtone, Ciochetty said, students noticed some strange things happening at the same time.
“Two of the students noticed an object around me which traveled rapidly to the exit door,” he said. “Some of us heard the distinct and clear sound of someone walking on the concrete floor with hard shoes, but we could not see them.”
Aside from possible ghost tours, Stuyin’ Up All Night included many different kinds of activities for students to take part in.
Residential Life Coordinator Meredith Dixon, who had a lead role in planning the event, said she was looking forward to seeing how the event turned out as compared to last year.
“Last year it was planned as a way to celebrate the re-opening of Stuy after the renovation, and we’ve decided to continue the event again because it was so well-received and people had a lot of fun,” she said. “I’m excited about the possibility of this becoming an event students will want to see on an annual basis.”
Dixon said the evening’s events included an outdoor screening of “Ghostbusters a game show organized by the Campus Programming Board, giant board games, a photo booth, henna tattoos, chocolate fountains and a dance party.
“Its purpose is to provide fun and entertainment for our students right here on campus,” she said.
Also involved in planning and hosting the event were CPB, Order of Omega, VIVA, Rafiki Wa Afrika and Horizons International.
Seats were almost completely filled in the Milligan Hub as CPB’s game show was underway.
CPB President Nicole Nitti said the game show had a “great turnout” and was “well-received.”
“We found and booked Grant Edmonds, who was the game show host,” she said. “There was a pretty large and enthusiastic crowd, plus a ton of audience involvement.”
Nitti said CPB also held a raffle for students to win a pair tickets to see Drake and Miguel in October.
She said students also seemed to really enjoy the henna artist because there was a consistently long line to get a tattoo throughout the night.
CPB also had a station set up where students could make their own stuffed animals while Order of Omega provided snacks. Students not watching the game show played games like giant Jenga and giant checkers or sat by one of Stuyvesant Hall’s outdoor bonfire pits.