Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ghost sightings

Since arriving at college I have wanted to know about the history of the Alfred and it’s buildings. As soon as discussion started I found that conversation took a turn for the supernatural. Once a building was brought up someone inevitably had a story of of some kind about something that had happened with in these various buildings. Whether I believe them or not them or not there is some quite great about hearing a story about a “ ghost” or whatever you want to call it. Another great aspect of these stories at are also interesting to hear about is how someone telling the story reacted to the experience.

One story that seems to be the most reacquiring story of ghost on Alfred University's campus is the sighting of a man in civil war uniform roaming the halls of the brick. This kind of “sighting” always makes me wonder I know it may seem more convincing if more people ad seen this figure but for me I feel like the multiple claims to have seen this “figure” is somewhat unreal and fabricated, since it is a well known fact the the brick was converted in to an infirmary doing the civil war and that many people died there, is just common knowledge. I guess what I’m trying to get at is when reading or hearing these stories I question how much of it is fabrication of “thing” that is in your mind ( maybe in even a dream) but then connecting it to some kind of historical event. For example, I have had two people live in the Brick tell me that they have had dreams about walking through the building and seeing it all “ as it was when it was a hospital” and then with in dreams interacting with “people” and then waking up in cold sweat. Now I don’t know if these two people have spoken to each-other however what is interesting is yes they are somewhat connecting historical events of the location however where the flaw seems to be is in what time periods are explained. It is well known that is was during civil war times that a place like this was described but these dreams were set according to the tellers one in the 1920’s and one in the 1960’s, a little off.

Other stories of encounters are seeing a small boy with in the row of books on the second floor of Herrick library. There is also the claim that there is women’s spirt roaming around the CDC which has been seen by janitors while cleaning u and she has been seen in the top floor window from the back path behind powell and the science center. In 2009 there a “ghost hunter” came to Alfred and when doing a tour on campus, and was asked where he does like to do a ghost tour he picked the CDC and the brick to hold his “ghost tours”. Then entering the CDC he claimed that he felt a spirt of a young boy and a mother. When asked how is received these feelings or how they were different? he claimed that the spirt of most young boys were a lot more high energy while women sprits are more claim and seem to somewhat float through spaces. He then proceeded to explain that men’s sprits are more “rough” feeling and there is a sense of anger and your girls seem claim and as well with young boys to be an almost bouncy feel of them. Now something I feel is interesting about these claims about different gendered and aged sprits is that they almost seem of a stereo type for men, women and little boys and girls. I don’t know for a fact but I think there should be more of a definite/ complex answer as to why a spirt is cauterized as something. I think what I am trying to “map” with in this entry is not so much the actual ghost stories but to map where these people thought about these stories or came to these conclusions.


  1. I think that these ideas could also tie into the skunks of Alfred and other more ephemeral memories. Those moments that aren't necessarily concrete enough to be mapped, but worth mentioning on maps to give the reader a closer connection with Alfred and its creators.

  2. Do you know who the little boy or woman could be? i think it would be interesting to look back at past obituaries (granted it would take a long time) to figure out possible figures for these images. Do you know of the people who have seen them? Perhaps getting into contact with them (if they are still around)could give some clues as to who they were( if the stories are true)
    If more information can be found on these they might be a fun part of the transformation group. Mapping histories of people's legacies as ghosts and who they were in life, even if its not true.

  3. The Brick wasn't an infirmary during the Civil War - rather during WWI when it was being used as a barracks for the Student Army Training Corps on campus. The infirmary was needed when the country got hit with an incredibly bad strain of influenza. 7 students and faculty died on campus from it.
    The "ghost" in the Steinheim is often referred to as Abigail Allen whose husband, Jonathan, built it - both of their ashes were stored in the building for many years after they died (it was a museum at the time) - the Allen's lived in a house next door that is no longer there. They did lose a son at a young age while living there...