Supernatural Suitemates and McMahon Hall Hauntings

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Supernatural Suitemates and McMahon Hall Hauntings

GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY ESMÉ BLEECKER-ADAMS

GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY ESMÉ BLEECKER-ADAMS

GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY ESMÉ BLEECKER-ADAMS

By MARIELLE SARMIENTO, Features Editor

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My roommate always says that McMahon Hall is the best place to be haunted because every mysterious noise, disembodied footstep or blood curdling shriek can be always be explained — this building houses hundreds of college students who study and hang out at ungodly hours of the night. However, there are a few supernatural occurrences my roommates and I experienced that can’t be explained by the nocturnal routines of an undergrad. 

One night during the first week of the semester, all my roommates sat in our living room when the door to one of our bedrooms slammed shut and all conversation halted. A quick investigation involving our kitchen knives and a frying pan resulted in an open window and air pressure being the culprit for the autonomous door. However, this led to my new suitemates, Isabella Malfi and Natalie Grammer, both Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’21, casually mentioning that a ghost lived in our apartment, which they had also lived in last year with different suitemates. 

Ghost Deck Victory 

At this exact time last year, Isabella and Natalie sat around their dining table in McMahon with the whole apartment to play Cards Against Humanity. Isabella’s boyfriend, Jack, insisted that they needed a “ghost deck,” a randomly dealt pile that each player takes turns drawing from to throw into the mix. The game began and the dealer chose the funniest, wittiest card for the prompt — a look around the table and no one displayed signs of triumph. The ghost won fair and square since players submit cards anonymously. Except the ghost kept winning — again and again and again. 

Ghost: 1, Apartment 15H: spooked, but impressed. 

Paranormal Knocks 

This was a disconcerting tale for my suitemates Julianne Holmquist, FCLC ’21 and Margot Reid, Gabelli School of Business ’21, and I to hear since we had also just escaped another supernaturally occupied dorm from the previous school year. While Isabella and Natalie were playing card games with a ghoul, Julianne and I spent a year dealing with faint rattling on our front door with no one on the other side. It sounded like someone jiggling their key in the lock, but unable to get the door open. After a few spells of this, we realized the window was open, so the air pressure was likely causing our door to shake and sound like ghostly knocks — problem solved, mystery incorporated. 

One afternoon, we heard a jarring RA-knock, like the it’s-quiet-hours-during-finals-and-you’re-throwing-a-party knock. Except it was a weekday afternoon, and we were quietly doing homework. I got up to answer the door, and no one. The knocks continued, the door shaking incessantly like someone trying to break in.

“The windows!” Julianne exclaimed. Ah, yes. How could we forget to close the windows?

“Julianne,” I said, after a loop around our apartment. “None of the windows are open.”

Glass-Shattering Ghoul

Had the devious ding-dong-ditcher gotten into our apartment? Apparently.

Julianne was alone in our apartment. She opened up the kitchen cabinet, and broken shards of glass rained down. One of our drinking glasses had not just cracked or broken, but shattered as if smashed by an external force, and now its tiny shards covered our cabinet. Swallowing even the smallest particle of glass could have meant a deadly puncturing of the esophagus. Good thing glass shards now covered all over dishes.

Scarier than that, we made Julianne do the dishes.

COURTESY OF HALEY VAN DEN BERG

Supernatural Soul Swapping

Not all of our unearthly encounters were ominous. 

Last semester, everyone was stressed and in the midst of studying. Isabella was walking out of their shared bedroom and Natalie was rounding the kitchen corner to enter their room. 

Isabella describes it as if her soul left her corporeal body, and she saw herself pass through Natalie.

Natalie said it felt like when you’re walking against a strong gust of wind and it goes through your clothes, but it was their bodies that passed through one another. 

I’ve made them tell this story over and over again, but I never make it through the end without chills. Living with Natalie and Isabella, there’s definitely something paranormal about that friendship. They’re the kind of best friends who click so supernaturally that a metaphysical incident like that doesn’t seem so unlikely.

The McMahon bumps in the night never cease, my suitemates swap souls in the kitchen and screams from the vents are a regular occurrence, but at least we don’t live in McKeon.