The haunting past of Harriman Hall

UB PARA encountered a ghost in Harriman Hall

On October 30, 2012

"Jacob" and room 303.

UB Paranormal Activity Research Association (UB PARA) will never forget the two.

The group believes it contacted a ghost on Thursday night.  

In its latest ghost hunt, the club investigated Harriman Hall and found clues it thinks suggest the building has a haunted past.

In the basement lounge, the club's ghost radar produced the word "Jacob" and then "dangerous" immediately after. Blips that club members believe indicate the presence of spirits came up on the radar.

Andrew Schop, a sophomore business major and treasurer of UB PARA, said he saw a shadow peeking around the corner of the staircase.

Other clues came up on the radar as well: "Christian," "king" and "Kepler." A club member used his iPhone to research the words and their relation. He came up with Susan Kepler from Buffalo.

"Oddly enough, there will be a memorial service for her in King James Christian Cemetery this week," Schop said.

The group often goes into investigations with no previous knowledge of common myths and histories. They investigate for clues and put it together later.

Part of the investigation involves the use of Electromagnetic Field (EMF) readers, which gauge an area's surrounding energy levels. By the stairs where they saw the shadow, the meter jumped from 200 to over 400.

The spike in energy levels could indicate the presence of a spirit, but it was likely exposed wires that triggered the EMF reader, Schop said.

Still, the group did not feel comfortable on the staircase.

Hannah Carrasco, a freshman biomedical engineering major, said the area gave her a bad feeling in her gut. She warned the others, "Don't go there."

Carrasco had the same feeling when the group went to the attic to contact "Jacob."

At the top of the stairs, they found three large, dark wooden doors. One stood out to them:

Room 303.

The club members took turns going to the attic because they believe large groups of people deter spirits.

Nicole Davis, a senior anthropology major and UB PARA's president, led the first group. Members said they got a lot of activity. Davis said she heard a voice.

"We saw a light on under the door," Davis said. "When we went in, I heard, 'Oh sorry.'"

The club members initially thought the voice came from a janitor and left, fearing they would get in trouble. They then decided to explain themselves and tell the janitor why they were there after hours.

But when the group went back to the room, no one was there. 

The Maglite flashlights proved otherwise.

Maglites light up when two circuits are connected. UB PARA uses Maglites to detect the presence of spirits. The group hopes spirits will cross the circuits and - with their own energy - turn the light on. When the spirits pull back their energy the light will go off, according to club members.

In the attic, the students asked "Jacob" to indicate his answers to yes or no questions by manipulating a flashlight.

They received a response right away.

"We asked it to give us a sign for one minute," Davis said. "It held the flashlight on very bright for one minute. Then I said time was up, and it went out."

To make sure vibrations didn't set off the flashlight, club members stomped on the floor. The hallway remained dark.

The students continued to call out to the ghost. Davis said one guessed the name "Jacob," and the light returned.

 The second group called out "Jacob" but was unable to contact the ghost. Still, something didn't feel right about the attic - especially the door on the left, Carrasco said.

"I don't want to open that door," Carrasco said. "I just got a rock in the bottom of my stomach when I was by it."

After several minutes of no activity, Schop volunteered to enter room 303.

Inside, there was the painting equipment Davis previously described. The room however, was still empty.

The students were spooked.

"I just walked into the other room and got a horrible feeling like someone was there," Schop said. "Someone did not mean us welcome, but harm."

UB PARA left immediately, vowing to never put any members in danger.

The investigation will be continued.



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