With Halloween around the corner, there are specters and ghouls out and about—yet one of these paranormal beings may be real and not just some student on their way to a costume party. Students documented a haunting that occurred in Erie Hall back in 1985. The spirit of a teenage boy visited the residents of suite C2D1, growing obsessed with Christopher Di Cesare, a resident of the suite at the time.
Reportedly, the spirit made its first appearance to Di Cesare in February of 1985, appearing first as a ceaseless, disembodied voice that persisted even when Di Cesare put on his headphones. The next night, the spirit made an appearance as an apparition rising out of Di Cesare’s roommate’s stereo.
This understandably shook Di Cesare, and he relayed his experience to his suite neighbor, Jeffrey Ungar. Ungar was an amateur photographer and writer at the time, so he decided to chronicle the supernatural events as they unfolded. Consequently, Ungar recorded both photographic and auditory evidence of the phantom.
Over the following months, the ghost of the teenage boy became increasingly bold, going so far as to attack Di Cesare in the shower, leaving him with three bleeding scratches on his back.
The phantom abandoned the suite after Father Charlie Manning came in to perform an exorcism, but not without leaving behind a legacy. In its wake, the spirit left two dozen witnesses, evidence of its presence and—most of all—a relic on Geneseo’s campus.
Some theories say that the spirit was one of a teenage boy, Tommy, who reportedly hanged himself on the campus grounds.
No one has reported another major sighting of Tommy in the last 30 years, but that does not stop any of the students from wondering if he is still around, roaming the halls of Erie.
“We didn’t know about the haunting before we got our suite,” English major sophomore Jennifer Galvao said, one of the current residents of suite C2D1. “We only realized our suite was the ‘haunted suite’ after registration.”
Galvao and her suitemates claim that they have not had any experience with the ghost so far this semester. “I don’t think it’s real,” she said. “But I can still creep myself out if I think about it too much late at night.”
There is something undeniably unnerving about the thought of living in a haunted building, even without evidence in favor of the ethereal being’s presence. In a situation like this, some students may feel it appropriate to find a means to rid themselves of the ghost, but Galvao and her suitemates don’t seem to have an issue with the possibility of an apparition.
“I don’t think we’d get rid of him,” Galvao said. “He seems like a peaceful guy, so I don’t see why we can’t coexist as long as he cleans up after himself.”
In the end, we may never know the truth about the haunting that took place in Erie Hall all those years ago. Nonetheless, the myth still makes for a way to spend time with our fellow classmates in the spirit of the season.