Is Central Penn haunted?

Some students believe spirits are their invisible roommates.

It’s scary stuff for these Knights.

By Jenelle Dulack

Knightly News Reporter

I was sitting with my friends who lived in Suite 161 when suddenly Jennifer Molter felt a rush of unwarranted anxiety.

“I feel like someone’s watching me,” she said, her eyes widening.

She looked like she’d seen a ghost.

She hadn’t, but was convinced she felt the presence of one.

Her sister is spiritual, and called unprompted, telling Jennifer that she was being surrounded by negative energy, one that was a railroad worker in a past life. The disheveled man was greedy and disgruntled, appearing in Molter’s life to form chaos and misfortune. He was supposedly angry that she recently rearranged her room.

I guess the phantoms are just as reluctant to change as the rest of us in flesh and blood.

More mysterious goings-on

For three nights in a row, Molter experienced a multitude of oddities.

She’s particular about where she puts her belongings, but she would frequently find her most important items, like her wallet, in a new location, or missing. She would arrive home and the drawers she knew she had closed were open. On another occasion, she found a loaf of bread inexplicably on the other side of her room, mangled.

These are not the only accounts of unexplainable apparently supernatural activity on Central Penn’s campus. Other students claim that the paranormal plays a large role in the culture of campus life. It’s customary, for example, to see a little boy running down the Underground hallway, or a man peering through the windows of Milano Hall, according to some members of the campus community.

One student seems to be the primary target of spiritual disturbances on campus, that being Yaire Diaz. She’s accustomed to being surrounded by specters, because back home, in Reading, she lives with two of them. One likes to say hello on the phone, and the other gives her hugs in her sleep.

She doesn’t mind them.

Really scary

When she arrived at Central Penn in fall 2020, Diaz lived in Suite 163 with two other women. Her roommates went home on weekends, and that’s when the apparitions were most restless. She would often find lights turned off and hear footsteps downstairs, where no one resided. These events were small and forgettable, and Diaz had convinced herself it was her mind playing tricks on her. But after a while, she became acquainted with a spirit who was more aggressive in her appearances.

“Now she scares the living daylight out of me,” Diaz said.

Kyle Alber eventually saw this apparition Molter began calling Her. One time, Alber went upstairs to retrieve one of Diaz’s belongings.

“Who’s that peeking around the shower curtain?” he called down to her.

Before Diaz could respond, Alber’s mouth was ajar and a shriek left his body that sounded as though the soul departing that, that thing, that had been ogling him might sound moving among dimensions. He returned with a broom, but no one was there to batter. Later, he went upstairs alone again and saw someone sitting on Diaz’s bed.

“As long as the spirits aren’t demons, I don’t mind,” said Alber, “except for the one in Yaire’s room. I don’t mess with that one.”

Four days later, Diaz went to bed, but the pressure of eyeballs on her felt like a physical weight, enough to wake her from her sleep. When she opened her eyes, she was met with another glowing pair looking at her. This happened at the same corner of her bed each night, an unspoken meeting place with no speaking – just exchanged glances. Diaz was not under sleep paralysis, but immobilized by fear.

Constant companions? Hope not!

During another incident, Diaz watched a locked door on the ground floor of her home swing open. She screamed loud enough for Molter to hear next door and she rushed over to see if Diaz needed help.

While nothing could be done immediately, Molter offered sage to cleanse the space of negative spirits. When smudging the room, the sage went out twice, coincidentally at the same location from which the spirit would watch Diaz at night. They placed salt on that spot, outside the doorway of her room and on the windowsill, as alternatives to the sage. She thinks it worked against her, trapping the spirit inside the room with her.

Days later, Molter and Diaz were in the common area of their house, sitting on opposite sides of the couch.

“Did you just punch my leg?” Molter asked.

“No,” Diaz replied.

“Must have been Her,” Molter said.

Alber, Molter and Diaz spoke about their sightings and realized their recollection of the spirit’s form was the same. Before them stood a young adult woman dressed in a flowing white dress. She’s not transparent, but is shrouded in shadows, regardless of where she is or what time of day she appears. Her eyes are light brown but glow in the night, and her thick black hair sometimes covers her face, much as does the hair of Samara Morgan in the movie “The Ring.”

As for dubbing the spirit Her, they figured they’d have to call it something, and they decided not to risk angering Her more by calling Her a name she wouldn’t like.

Dulack is president of The Knightly News Club.

Comment or story idea? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.

Edited by media-club co-adviser and blog editor Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi.