Welcome back to Meredith Myth Busters. With Halloween around the corner, the third part in this series will touch on a more spooky element of Meredith: ghosts. Many Meredith students have heard tales and legends of ghosts roaming around different places on Meredith campus.
Although many members of the Meredith community may claim that there is “no such thing as ghosts” or that Meredith is not a haunted campus, some students feel differently, including Maggie Barnhill. Barnhill is part of the Class of 2024, and she lived in Poteat Residence Hall during the 2020-2021 school year. She shared a room with her friend, Anna Prince, and also lived with two suitemates. She says that, leading up to her experience, she had only heard murmurings of ghost stories and encounters.
“I have heard various mentions of ghost stor[ies], but mostly of others' paranormal experiences on campus,” Barnhill said. “From what I hear, these experiences primarily take place in the [residence] halls.”
Barnhill’s ghost encounter happened during the fall of 2020 and initially started off with some small, creepy instances that gradually became scarier as time went on.
“Before the incident, we mostly noticed our TVs turning on and off or changing channels without us doing so, our Alexas randomly coming on and answering questions we didn't ask or randomly changing the music we were playing on them, one of us hearing someone call us when no one had spoken and a few things in the two dorm rooms moving without us remembering doing so,” Barnhill said. “These instances, understandably, freaked us out, but we dealt with them as best we could.”
However, it was not until late one night in September or October that Barnhill became truly frightened about the situation.
“It was late, at least 2 a.m., and we were laying down to sleep. I slept in the bed furthest from the door. I was almost asleep when my roommate asked if I had said something,” Barnhill said. “I sat up to tell them no, but when I looked in their direction I saw a large, male-presenting figure standing in front of the dorm door.”
Maggie called this moment “terrifying.” She explained, “I had never felt unsafe or in danger in the dorm until then.” At this point, Maggie began to scream.
She said, “Even though I had eyes on the figure for a solid five to 10 seconds before a light was turned on, there was nothing there after my roommate turned a lamp on. We refused to sleep with the lights off the rest of that night.”
When asked if she thought Poteat was haunted, Barnhill said, “That night was the only time the presence there felt threatening, but I [now] refuse to live in the residence hall again.”
After telling this story, Barnhill also mentioned that during her brief time living in Brewer Residence Hall, her paranormal experiences were “lesser and not as extreme, but still present.”
With this information in mind, we’re letting you decide if this myth is busted. Have you heard any myths or legends regarding Meredith College that you want busted? Email The Meredith Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org) or DM The Herald on Instagram (@meredith_herald). Until next time, stay safe and sleep with one eye open, especially during spooky season.
By Hannah Porter, Opinion Editor