A locked door opens itself. Electric appliances turn on when no one is in the room. Strange sounds are heard from the fourth floor. A body is seen hanging from a tree.
Such spooky occurrences are rumored to happen without warning at Elliot Hall. Perhaps by themselves, these incidents would raise little fear. Yet some students and Muncie residents believe there is another answer -- ghosts that haunt the hall.
Whether these ghosts are real or not, they are the basis for the Elliot Hall Haunted House.
"Most residents have had ghostly run-ins," said Michelle Hildebrant, chairwoman of the residence's Haunted House event.
Though now in its 22nd year, students are still working to keep the haunted house new and scary.
"We continue to work to improve it because last year's wasn't especially great," Hildebrant said. "We've put in a new insane asylum featuring Hannibal Lecter."
The haunted house raised between $500 and $700 last year. Hildebrant said she hoped to raise at least a few hundred dollars each night the house would be open this year.
Those returning for the dorm's spooky thrills will still find familiar scares such as the White Lady -- a woman who supposedly hung herself in a closet on the first floor.
Although Elliot Hall's most legendary ghost, William Schaumburg, will continue to haunt the house, Hildebrant said students should not expect him to have remained the same.
"Will's always the star. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say that what we've done with him this year is really neat," she added.
Schaumburg was a soldier in World War II who came back disfigured. After his family and girlfriend shunned him from their lives, he hung himself on the fourth floor of Elliot Hall -- the floor where the haunted house is located.
Hildebrant said Elliot Hall will offer children's hours from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today. Although the kids will not be taken through the haunted house, activities will be offered including crafts and free trick-or-treating.
"We have this so families with older kids who want to come still can," Hildebrant said.332/+â+â-«*FHaunted House - 10/30DNEditorial332SORTF+â-ä2AUDT