Elliot Hall haunts Ball State with true ghost story

Although the "Haunting of Will's House" is over and done with, its images are nightmares waiting in dark corners.

Grade: C-

Although the "Haunting of Will's House" is over and done with, its images are nightmares waiting in dark corners.

With Thursday night quoted among college students as the beginning of the weekend, the turnout for the opening of the annual haunted house seemed tepid compared to other haunted houses.

It begins in the rustic gathering room, and a man, senior Jason Hawley, hovered over in a long navy coat and began the storytelling, which mixed a little bit of fact with lots of fiction.

The original story about the haunted floor of Elliot hall?

According to Hawley, the haunting begins when a man by the name of William Schaumburg, who was a World War II veteran, returned to Muncie after an injury due to the war. He lived on the fourth floor of Elliot hall, while his girlfriend resided in Lucinda. After his girlfriend broke his heart, he returned to his residence and hung himself.

What was the story Hawley told to scare the house goers?

William Davidson just returned from WWI because of nerve gas exposure, and because of that exposure, went to a mental ward. That mental ward, Hawley said, was the fourth floor of Elliot Hall and was once part of Ball Memorial Hospital. William was about to receive a lobotomy, but after killing three nurses, he hung himself.

And so the tour of the haunted fourth floor began. Hawley stood right under the noose where William ended his life. He asked the tour group if there were any mental receptors in the group.

Before the journey began, a woman strapped to an electric chair met her death, when the masked character hit the switch. She screamed, she writhed in pain, but she just didn't convince.

Then Hawley, the leader, was gone.

Draped over every corner, along with distant screams, always appropriate for someplace haunted, the path lead towards a maze of three different rooms.

The first room was that of a ghoulish bar. The drunken dead were passed out, swerving, gurgling and trying to talk, but all that came out were grunted moans. Surprisingly, a non-ghoul creeped in and sat down at the bar, dressed nicely in a ribbed sweater and trendy jeans.

After the bar, the next room's strobe lights blinked and danced. In the confusion of the flashing lights, two black mattresses fell down, and zombies slowly and clumsily began to chase in search of human flesh. The only human flesh that was available rolled their eyes and turned out, walking toward the exit sign.

There was no surpise when they walked into a lighted room featuring a coffin with a vampire trying to climb out. No one's heart raced, only laughter possessed the vampiric surroundings.

The light at the end of the tunnel, after Hawley showed himself again, was a room with artifacts from WWI placed about, along with an Egyptian statue of a god. The group stood there, confused and bored, not sure where to go next. But then a soldier came in, shot Hawley, and by true surprise, the Egyptian god walked after one of the group members as she shrieked.

But remember the cardinal rule of haunted housing: no touching. Sadly, that's exactly where the fears and anxiety stayed: untouched.


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