Oct. 28, 2015
It was late. It was dark — and I was working alone in the office. I left my suite to make a copy in another room. Suddenly, I heard distinct footsteps in the hallway and a door slammed. I assumed someone else was burning the midnight oil, but when I stepped into the hallway, no one was there. The previously open door to my suite was shut. With my heart pounding, I opened the door carefully — but no one was there either. I have no idea whose footsteps I heard or who shut my door, but, with a shiver up my spine, I hightailed it out of there.
If you haven’t been there before, Olds Hall can be pretty creepy. There’s even a room in the basement called the “bone room” because previous occupants may have stored specimens there a long time ago. A coworker of mine refuses to walk through one wing on the ground floor saying that he just gets the creeps every time he’s been there. And there have been other times I’ve heard unexplained footsteps or noises. Ghosts? Spirits? The wind? Perhaps they’re just the products of overactive imaginations.
Last week my office took a really cool tour given by Lynne Goldstein, the director of the Campus Archeology Program, and some of her students. Apparitions & Archaeology Haunted Campus Tour took us to sites around Beaumont Tower. We learned all sorts of neat things about MSU’s history, archaeology projects, things buried beneath us and even rumored campus hauntings. They’re giving the tour for the public this Thursday beginning at Beaumont Tower at 7 p.m. — if you dare.
For the record, without knowing my story, we were told that Olds Hall is rumored to be haunted with unexplained footsteps. So maybe it’s not just my overactive imagination after all. Some people swear I have a bit of the “shining.” Also, not one but two streetlamps went off when I walked under them on the night of the tour. Just saying…
Though we didn’t visit the location ourselves, Lynne told us one of the most haunted places on campus is the MSU Auditorium. There are all sorts of rumors of footsteps, whispered voices and a small ghost boy wandering the halls. If you’d like to see for yourself, visit the 7th annual Haunted Auditorium Oct. 29-31, put on by the MSU Department of Theatre.
It can be a lot of fun to think about ghosts and hauntings, especially during this time of year. Sometimes it’s entertaining to scare ourselves. But honestly, ghosts, zombies, vampires, Michael Myers and Freddie Kruger aren’t nearly as scary as things that really can happen to us. Unfortunately, there are bad people in the world who commit awful crimes — but not if some Spartan researchers have anything to say about it.
There are MSU researchers using their skills every day to combat crime. As researchers, investigators, advocates, teachers, mentors, scientists and engineers, they battle illegal animal trade in Africa, work to prevent sexual assault in communities across the United States, analyze crime scenes and curb urban youth violence. The MSUToday FEATURE: Spartan Crime Fighters, looks at seven of these researchers.
They are super cool people doing really cool work. Seriously, how awesomely bad-you-know-what are they? I would NOT want to mess with any of them. (And I can’t tell you how much I love this image. I’m absolutely putting a print on my office wall).
Carl Taylor (second from the left) is one of the researchers profiled in the feature. He is a professor in the Department of Sociology and has extensive experience in field research aimed at the reduction of violence involving American youth. Read his FACULTY VOICE: Living in the Third City-Nation, to learn more about his work and philosophy.
It’s not just faculty who are dedicated to fighting or solving crimes. Even undergraduates are getting in on the action. Patrick Vaughan is an Honors College senior majoring in mechanical engineering and doing research involving pediatric skull fractures. Watch the short video STUDENT VIEW: Researching Skull Fractures, to learn more about him. Roger Haut, a University Distinguished Professor in biomechanics, and Todd Fenton, a forensic anthropologist, have discovered findings in their research about skull fractures that could help solve abuse cases. Read the MSUToday story to find out more.
I don’t know about you, but while real crime is a very scary thing, I sleep better knowing that there are Spartans on the case. Who will always fight for peace, justice and a safer world for all of us? Spartans Will.
Top photo by Derrick L. Turner; photo illustration of crime fighters by G.L. Kohuth and Deon Foster