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 Tuesday, October 24, 2006 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


CU-Boulder's Non-Paying Residents
By Steven Bryner, senior, English

There lies a history in each of the buildings constructed on CU-Boulder's beautiful campus. Some of the histories have been recorded throughout their existence. Some have been passed down through oral tradition, but many still remain within the buildings, longing to be told again. Do you believe in the paranormal? Do the sounds that go bump in the night curl your skin or raise the hairs on the back of your neck? 

Chris Pacheco, assistant director of the Student Academic Services Center, attended CU-Boulder in the mid 1980s. After having spent many years on campus as both a student and staff member, he has heard several accounts of the paranormal. When speaking of some specific stories, Pacheco noted, "They only happen early in the morning or late at night."

One account tells of an administrative assistant who early one morning was having trouble exiting the door of a women's restroom. She peered around the swinging door and saw a red pair of women's shoes. Pleading to who she thought was a co-worker to open the door, she confessed that the joke had worked – she was scared. There was no response. The woman forced the door open with all her strength, but the hall was empty. Her co-worker later defended the claim of having just arrived. In total disbelief, the assistant grabbed the co-worker, pulling her out from behind the desk.

"She had on a pair of black shoes," Pacheco says.
In a similar story, a man noticed a pair of red women's shoes under a stall door in a men's restroom. He told the woman that she could not be in there, but there was no response. He continued to admonish her, standing in front of the stall door. Still there was no response. He stood aside to wait for the persistent woman. At the sound of the stall door closing, he looked but saw no one. As he approached the exit door, it was closing as if someone had just gone through it. He looked over the entire floor only to realize he was the last one in the building.

Then there's a tale told by a classmate of Pacheco's, who quite often used the third floor rooms of one of the buildings to finish homework. It was around 5 a.m. when her hard work ended for her final term paper. After gathering some of her things, she reached for her coat and found a female, translucent figure standing next to the coat rack. She fled the building at once, vowing never to return. Pacheco later found her term paper still in the typewriter.

"She was a no-nonsense medical student," Pacheco remembers, "When she called me later, I could tell in her voice something wasn't right."

There are other stories of ghostly tenants who have been sighted in Sewall, Cockerell, Farrand, Willard, Macky and Hallett. Some testimonies report ghosts or spirits haunting stairwells, towers, and even entire floors. Most campus residents pay rent – maybe there should be a more detailed inventory of CU-Boulder inhabitants!

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