Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 7, 2023 - Joak Leaves

manchester schwalm hall
Photo by Carly Greaves
Former residents of Schwalm Hall believe that ghosts haunt the basements.

Former Schwalm Residents Discuss Hauntings

Alyx Buffenbarger

To make way for the new Greek life buildings, Schwalm Hall will be demolished this weekend. Its resident ghosts will then be seeking out new accommodations.

“I do believe that it’s haunted,” said Piper Spyrka, former Schwalm resident. “I can tell you ghost stories.”

Spyrka’s friend, a former RA, encountered something supernatural years ago. “She would wake up in the middle of the night and her room was rearranged” they said. RAs have single rooms, so there is no roommate to be playing pranks. “Her door had been locked and no one could come in, but the chairs would turn and face her bed. She would have two chairs that were facing her bed, looking like someone had been sitting there and watching her.”

Spyrka said they had similar experiences in their own room. “Things that I had would get moved in the middle of the night and I didn’t have a quarantine roommate: when I’d wake up, the chair was turned, or bottles were moved.”

There are also ghostly reports from Schwalm’s basement, which was split into two. One side of the basement was widely used by the residents, as it held the kitchen area and TV lounge. The other side, however, was entirely empty aside from some stray pieces of furniture and other random storage. Although it was not well furnished, it was still open for students.

“It was just completely dark and very scary.” Adrian Allen, another former Schwalm resident, stated. Allen lived in Schwalm for his first two years at Manchester but has since moved to another hall due to Schwalm’s closing. “You would see stacks of chairs in a circle, then when you came back through, they would go back to normal,” he said.

Spykra shudders with the memory. “There was this weird feeling when you would walk in,” they said. Whether it was the air feeling thicker or just a general uneasy atmosphere, something in the basement was creeping out residents. “I went with a group of friends, and we heard a whispered ‘get out,’” they continued.

Whatever exists in Schwalm’s basement did not want to share their space, or perhaps they found scaring the students funny. Spyrka offered up their theory on who might be residing in the basement: “I feel like if a spirit did come back it was the spirits of the people that would pull the pranks in Schwalm.” The difference between pranksters and angered ghosts is vast, but both are plausible for the occurrences in Schwalm.

“In the basement, there are a whole bunch of rooms all closed off and locked,” Allen recalled his years in Schwalm, “Some even had padlocks to keep them shut.”

Allen spoke of the eerie vibe that the basement was home to and the paranormal activities that residents experienced there. “You would hear the whispers through the door.” Allen said. However, Allen wasn’t the only one who had heard human-like voices from these locked dorms.

“When I would go down to do laundry,” Spyrka said about school breaks when the dorm was almost entirely empty, “I would hear voices and they weren’t upstairs, they were close by in the locked dormitory rooms.”

Allen continued: “It sounded like someone was living in the room, but it didn’t make sense because they were padlocked shut.”

Schwalm’s basements are no stranger to mischief. There have been multiple past fires and other rumored shenanigans. To many students, it is not unlikely that there are ghosts of the past trapped behind those locked doors.

Currently, if students walk by Schwalm Hall on a Wednesday evening, they may hear the wails of tormented singers and screeches of electric guitars. Are the Psychedelic Furnishings of Schwalm Hall calling out for the Ghost of You?