Thursday, January 21, 2010

Week 5


By Ashley Hartford

Some say playing with Ouija boards opens a door to “the other side.” But what if the door to the spirit world never fully closes? Does the invitation for outside forces to enter entail a full-access pass for spirits to wander our world at will? For Northwest student Brett Richey, solving these questions may be the start of explaining what happened on a freezing, winter night in Millikan Hall.

That night, a group of students two doors down from Richey’s room pulled out an Ouija board and began to call upon the spirit world. While Richey took no part in the paranormal activity, he soon became the central character in this game-from-beyond.

“I was roused 20 minutes prior to the experience in my sleep,” Richey explains, “because for some reason I felt something was in the room that wasn’t supposed to be.”

All of a sudden Richey’s bed became ice-cold, which he finds strange.

“Any student knows when you have the heaters on in the High Rises it’s hotter than hell,” he says.

Before this moment, Richey never had any contact with the paranormal. Suddenly, he was overtaken by an outside force.

“I felt a coldness on me,” Richey describes, “and then a pressure on my chest.”

At that time, Richey tried to sit up, but was locked in place.

“I was sitting just a few minutes before,” Richey says. “It was as if something was confining me to my bed.”

With no physical strength to fight the force, Richey says he did what anyone would do in this threatening situation.

“I started praying.”

While the prayer kept Richey’s mind free, his body remained trapped under the force for an uncomfortably long period of time. After 15 minutes, Richey was released and crawled from his loft to his desk where he quietly sat and read his Bible.

“I kept looking over my shoulder every second because I felt something still there,” he explains.

After a while, Richey felt the presence of the intruder fade away. Afraid to sleep on his loft, Richey made a bed on the floor.

“I cradled my bible to my chest and prayed for a short while,” he says, “before falling asleep.”

To this day, Richey does not know why the force attacked him. He is a firm believer of the paranormal; however, he believes we will never fully understand it.



By Michael Clements

A late-night light mysteriously turning on leaves a northwest Missouri man questioning what he saw.

Cody Schimming says it was the only time he ever saw a ghost in his life and he wasn’t scared at all.

It was in the middle of the night three years ago when Schimming was sleeping on a couch in his basement. He woke up to a light turning on without anyone nearby to turn it off on its own.

“I remember waking up and suddenly seeing a glow from the light,” Schimming said. “No one else was around but I did see something that wasn’t like anything I have ever saw.”

Schimming’s great-grandmother died when his mother was 13 years old. Schimming has seen photographs of her and says what he saw looked similar to the pictures.

“It was dark and gray shadow-like and it looked like her,” he said. “I never met her of course before but it looked just like her and swear it was her.”

Although Schimming did say he wasn’t sure of what he saw because he was sleeping.

“It may have just been my eyes playing tricks on me but I swear what I saw was her whether it was real or not,” he said.

Schimming said after he rubbed his eyes, the shadow like ghost disappeared when he looked back towards the light.

“After that I got up and turned the light off, it was a pull string type light and then I went back to sleep on the couch,” Schimming said. “I really didn’t think about it then because I was too tired but when I woke up the next day I was really freaked out about it.”



By Logan Campbell

At night, even after you’ve checked the doors to make sure everything is locked and secured, strange things happen.

Sherry Winters had just put her kids to bed and made sure everything was ready for school and work in the morning. She had locked the doors and gotten ready for bed. When she was lying down to fall asleep she heard the sound of pots banging together into the kitchen.

She got up to see if her kids were cooking a late night snack or if someone had snuck into the house. When she walked into the dining room she saw someone at the stove, but she did not recognize him. She stood and starred at this figure as he appeared to cook on the stove. She said it was then she realized she could see through the figure.

Winter said she didn’t know what to do but watch. She didn’t want to disturb this figure and make him angry. She said the figure walked from the kitchen into the living room and sat on the couch. She was shocked to see such an event and was also scared at the time. Winters said the figure was around six feet tall and looked to be some kind of night worker.

Winters could not figure out who the figure appeared to be or if she even knew the previous owners. This was the first of a few encounters she has had with the man. She has been up late watching movies and has seen the man walking by to sit on the couch. She hasn’t said anything to him in fear of what might happen with the man. Winters’ children have also been up with her when the figure has been in the house.

“The figure is calm when he walks through the house,” Winters said “He has never tried to harm anyone, so I just let him be.”

Winters says she hasn’t tried to research who the previous owner of the home was, or who the man could be in the house. She just finds it interesting that she saw this man a few times in her house trying to eat and sit on the couch.

Now when she goes to bed at night and she hears the pots clanging around, she knows it is just a ghost trying to grab a bite to eat.



By Jesse Shipp

University of Missouri-St. Louis, more commonly known as, UMSL, a Jesuit school along the Mississippi river on an urban campus, started its prestigious history in 1957 with the purchase of the Bellerive Country Club and the 125 acres it sat on. At this time it was known as the “Normandy Junior College”. Six years later, due to the buyout from the University of Missouri System, it became the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Before this, the land the Bellerive Country Club was located on, it’s been reported that it was bought by John Baptiste Charles Lucas in 1803. Twenty-five years later, in 1828, John sold the land off to his son, Robert Lucas. During this time Robert’s daughter and her friend, on New Year’s Day, were ice skating on a pond that was on the land, the ice gave way and they both drowned. After the school became the University of Missouri-St. Louis, enrollment began to climb, so more dorms were needed. The pond the two girls drowned in was drained to build a 130,000-square-foot, suit-style residential hall, which is now know as Oak Hall.

In 2008, with leaves on the ground, days getting shorter and colder, two freshmen suitemates, Brittney Skinner and Madi Baer, decided to stay in their suite for the night instead of going out. Despite having their own rooms, Brittney decided to hang out in Madi’s room to watch TV with the door closed. After a while of watching TV and talking, Madi and Brittney heard a door slam. They gave each other concerned looks and went to go check it out, thinking another roommate had shut their door. They went to Brittany’s door, which was closed, although Brittney had left it open. When they opened the door they discovered that the shoe rack that Brittney hangs on the back of her door had been flung across the room.

“With the shoe rack, it’s just about impossible to shut the door without putting force into it,” Brittney said.

“It was just us two in the suite, we thought one of our roommates came back, but that wasn’t the case, something slammed my door, I don’t know what but something did,” Brittney said.

Both girls decided to pack up some of their things and go to a friend’s house; they didn’t come back to their suite for a week. When they returned, they didn’t experience anything else like that for the rest of the school year.



By Melissa Morkus

Numerous reports have been made over the years about paranormal activity happening in cemeteries. Seeing apparitions, orbs or hearing voices are common things that people experience in these particular locations.

Brian Wiemann, 22, has first hand had one of these paranormal experiences. One night Brian and two friends decided to head to the Blue Springs Cemetery located in Blue Springs, Mo. With them they brought a video camera to record any paranormal findings.

As Brain and his friends walked for a few minutes through the graveyard, they came across three tombstones places closely together. As they were about to read what was on the tombstones a red vintage car, estimated to be made in the 1950s startled them.

“I couldn’t hear a sound until the car pulled up right next to us,” Brian said.

Shocked by the sudden appearance of the vehicle, Brain and the two other males ran back to their car, still with the video camera capturing footage. Later that night, Brian looked through the video they captured and found something they had not noticed once before. Three orbs, very clear and noticeable, were visible in the footage they captured when they approached the three tombstones. The three orbs also appeared to follow Brain and his friends as they ran to their car.

Brian wanted to copy the tape for evidence of his paranormal experience, but the second time of viewing the tape, no footage was found.

“Everything had been cleared without any reasonable explanation,” Brian said.

Some consider ghosts to be a figment of the imagination; something fictional. But with so many reports and sightings of unexplainable findings, such as Brian’s, it’s hard not to at least consider the paranormal not being so abnormal after all.

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