I’ve had my share of ghostly encounters and strange experiences. So, I was understandably nervous about moving into the oldest and most haunted dorm on the College of Mount Saint Vincent’s campus. What made it even creepier was that I was going to be there a week before all of the other students because I was helping with college orientation that year. Marillac Hall was built in the late 1800s. Everyone had a ghost story about that place, but I couldn’t pass up a chance to live in that truly beautiful, historic building.
My room was on the fourth floor of one of Marillac’s two wings. The room was larger than the other surrounding suites. It had originally been the floor lounge, but had been converted into another dorm room to maximize space. This was a smaller floor and had fewer rooms than the other three levels in the building.
Every fall, my mother would spiritually cleanse my dorm room for the start of the school year by mopping the floor with perfumed water. My then boyfriend, George, and I went down to the kitchen on the second floor. As I turned on the sink, I sent a mental message to any spirits that might be in the building saying hello and that I was just borrowing a pot for some water. I don’t know why I did this other than that I was nervous. Directly after this, George and I both heard a woman calling my name from the stairwell above the kitchen. She distinctly said, “Tara, where are you?” in a sort of sing-song voice. Both George and I thought it was my mother and I answered, “I’m here in the kitchen. Don’t go walking around or you’ll probably get lost. This building is confusing.” We went up the stairs, but did not see my mother anywhere.
When I got back to the room, I asked her why she didn’t wait for me when I came up from the kitchen. She insisted that she had never left the room. That’s when George and I told her what we had heard. My mother’s eyes went wide. Our family friend, Artie, who had helped move me in, started giggling, “You’re in for a quite a year if they have already made contact with you, Honey.”
That night as I fell into an uneasy sleep, I could have sworn that I heard the doors upstairs opening and closing. I was the only one on the floor that night, so I kept telling myself that it was the wind running through a drafty, old building. Of course, that didn’t explain what I saw the next morning.