Ever since its establishment in the mid 20th century, Midlands, the senior girls’ dorm, has been plagued with paranormal rumors. Many believe that the dorm was built on the remains of a mental asylum. Others believe that the attic in the Midlands’ tower is exceptionally eerie and allegedly possessed by a lady ghost.
In order to verify these stories, one must look back to the history of the dorm.
The documents in the archive department state that no one actually knew what used to be on the land where the dorm is situated before it was bought by the school in 1911.
Initially, the purpose of the space was to serve as a training college for teachers. In 1941, however, the college became a residence for young boys studying at the school. Later, Midlands was made a girls’ dorm and to this day, remains one.
When asked if there were any paranormal activities at Midlands, Mrs. Prarthana Singh, dorm parent and alumna, said, “There is nothing that I have come across, ever.” Giggling, she added, “[Mrs. Ronita] is the only witch I know of.”
Mrs. Ronita Daniel, a dorm parent who has worked at the school for 12 years, said similar things: “I have night duties here. In fact, I am like a night owl. Day is night and night is day for me. I love the night-time. And there is absolutely nothing haunted about this place.”
However, Mrs. Daniel remembers some of the “surreal” experiences some people have had.
“There was this dorm parent who left; her name was Mrs. Mukherjee, and she said that she always felt someone breathing down her neck while walking in the hallway during night-time,” Mrs. Daniel said.
Minjae Kim, Class of 2020, had a similar experience to share: “I felt two different things breathing in the laundry room in the Rec Hall — even though I was the only one there.”
Some also believe that the attic tower room in the dorm is haunted. To this, Mrs. Prarthana responded, “I don’t know what the problem is; in fact, the girls love being in that room.”
However, students who currently live there have many stories to tell about some of the rooms.
Huijeong Lee, Class of 2020, saw one of her friends experience something unusual in the attic tower room. According to her, her friend had seen a dhobi bag that was hanging from the cupboard “swing randomly” in the middle of the night.
Another room on the second floor — the second one from the kitchen — is also perceived to be haunted. Diva Goyal, Class of 2020, experienced her room lights “randomly” turn off and she claimed that she had heard the “switches physically turn[ing] off.”
Two years ago, Erin Rupert, Shannon Amoils, and Hannah Verrier, three girls who came to Woodstock on an exchange program from South Africa, claimed to have seen a lady wearing a white gown, standing with an animal on Midlands basketball court at two a.m.
Mrs. Ronita Daniel said that she has often been “mistaken as a ghost” by students because she usually goes out late at night wearing her “white gown” to take her cat, Ginger, for a walk.
However, it turns out that two years ago, while the exchange students were here, Mrs. Ronita never went up to Midlands because she was an Alteridge dorm parent.
It’s been 78 years since Midlands was built, and all these strange occurrences still take place, none of which have ever really been explained — but Midlands’ aging building and rumors about what it was built over have made these rumours very pervasive, and the apparent supernatural encounters only increase with the years.
The fact remains that in the dark, in the dorm that has survived three generations, no one can truly tell if something lurks in the shadows around the corner — something that doesn’t wish to leave its home just yet.
Shivaansh Garg is the Sports Editor of The Woodstocker
Edited by Janvi Poddar
Photo by Knema Gardener