Randolph Investigation 1-19-2008
This was our second investigation at Randolph College. We had taped interviews students twice previously concerning any experiences they had with the paranormal at the College. There were many stories, some traditional but many personal experiences. We hadn't heard of any stories at the College where a ghost or spirit was negative. The students and staff had went out of their way to be hospitable on each previous visit and I knew that this time would be no different. We were to meet with the 5 students and one professor at "Main" at 8 pm and our contact that night would be a student named Joanna. We already had a plan in place concerning where to go and what to do, but as I was driving down Rivermont ave I couldn't help but turn it all over in my mind double checking locations, placement of equipment and personnel. I arrived at 7:45 to find Joanna and team members Amy, Brandy, Michael, Robin, and Alissa already there. I talked to Joanna for a few moments and she told me that one student and the professor would not be able to make it that night. We took a few moments to briefly go over again with everyone what we wanted to do that night. Team members Joe and his brother Scott arrived just before 8 at the same time the remaining three students from Randolph did so we were ready to begin.
We broke into two teams, making sure that experienced team members and equipment were divided as evenly as we could. Both teams had two students and ours were great to have along. They were curious, but quiet, smart, and easy to get along with. My team went to the theatre first while Amy's team went to the library. The theatre had a well known story associated with it. Randolph used to be an all woman's College and the theatre dept had to turn to other schools for their male actors. The College was preparing for a play by Shakespeare and had recruited a male student from Hampton Sydney College for one of the roles. The student had been warned several times not to be late for the opening night performance. He showed up a little late, but was able to perform his role well. After the play the student could not be found and it was learned that he had actually been killed in a car wreck on the way to the school that night. Performances were avoided in the this theatre afterwards and stories were told of people seeing a presence in it. A new one was built on the other side of the campus.
Security let us in and we set up our equipment. I set up a video camera on the catwalk overlooking the backstage area and pointed it towards the stage. I also had a still shot camera. Michael and Brandy set out to collect EVPs with a new set up that Michael had put together hoping to capture a more directional sound using two separate microphones. Brandy also had a still shot camera as did Scott. Scott's camera had the ability to take video as well. Randolph senior Casey had a camera as well and took photos both on the catwalk and from the stage. Scott felt as if he should take some photos from the audience's perspective since the ghost had once been an actor on that very stage. At one point Brandy thought she had a very unusual photo of small lights that were in a pattern back stage. Before we could download it on a computer and discuss it she had debunked it herself by returning to the place she had taken it and finding some lighting equipment that had caused the reflection.
We returned to "Main" to meet up with Amy's group and hear how they did at the library. Alissa told me how at one point she kept feeling as is some presence was directly behind her and very close. She faced her camera towards her and took a few photos. She showed me one where some small lights could be seen behind her. It looked interesting on the camera, but we'd have to look at it blown up on the computer before we could get too excited about it. We took a short break for water and snacks and then went back to the invetigation with my team going to the library this time and Amy's going to the west dating parlor and the theatre. We had recorded student's stories of having the sense of being "watched" while in the library, especially in the lower sections where valuable collections were kept behind two cages. We split up and took different positions inside. Considering Alissa's story of something following her closely, I placed a video camera where it could record an intersection of rooms and possibly capture something of this nature. There was a dark room near the video camera where I could sit and watch the large but dimly lit room it was in. We later met up with Amy's team once again in "Main" and discussed the evening so far. Amy's team reported hearing voices in the theatre. We decided to have a tour of the "curlies". The curlies are a set of spiral staircases with one on either end of Main. The west curlie had a grim story associated with it according to the students. The story is that a student ended her life here after the man she loved was killed in WWII. The east curlies had a different type of story. In this one the ghost of a woman will push any woman down the stairs who walks down them with a boyfriend. We examined both without incident and both groups went to look over the west dating parlor before calling it a night. The dating parlor was where in times past men came to wait for their dates that lived in this dorm. In these days each dorm had a "mother" or lady that generally looked out for the welfare of the young women. When the college decided that these positions were no longer needed the woman who looked after the west dorm was kept on due to her long history with the College. Many students have reported seeing her as they enter the parlor. Once she is seen and approached she will disappear. I recorded one student's story where she was absolutely positive that she had seem the ghost as she entered the parlor. She told me that as she entered the parlor from the outside she noticed an older woman sitting in an overstuffed chair near the door. The chair was facing the firplace with it's back against the door. The student stated that she could clearly see the woman's reflection in the mirror over the fireplace, but as she turned to say hello to her she dissapeared. When we first entered the parlor, I noticed that the chair mentioned in the story was no longer there as it had been the last time we had investigated the College. During the first investigation another team member and myself had both noticed that if you had someone a few feet behind you as you entered the parlor it was possible to see their reflection in the mirror. This might explain some but by no mean all of the stories concerning the parlor. For example in the student's story above, the student was alone so the reflection theory would be applicable. We took some photos and had the voice recorders running. We kept a vigil and after a while we decided to call it a night. We thanked the four students and discussed the night while promising to review our evidence during the next couple of days. We discovered one EVP that was captured in the library and shared it with the students. Randolph College has many impressive people in it and we hope to return to it in the future.