Students, workers speculate about caf specter
Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013 11:10
Acansa Dining Hall employee Christie Gerdes felt a cold presence. She heard keys jingling, as if swinging on a ring as their owner strode past. Yet there was no person—at least no living person—to be seen.
“I opened up the building by myself, which is creepy at 4:45 a.m.,” Gerdes said. She wasn’t expecting to be joined by fellow employees until around 7 a.m., so the sound set her on edge. The jingling continued, footsteps absent, passing within three feet of her at the salad bar before fading out of earshot.
“I collect skeleton keys so I know what they sound like,” Gerdes said. “But these sounded like modern keys.”
Fellow workers said Gerdes was white as a piece of paper when they joined her in the dining hall that morning.
“Oh, she was scared,” said Acansa employee Paulette Glitton. Paulette is no stranger to the cafeteria ghosts, having had multiple experiences with them herself.
Not everyone is certain of the ghosts’ existence. Six-year employee Ann Leggett said, “I’ve never noticed anything. I don’t believe anything about them.”
“Out of the four years I have been working here, I’ve not seen anything out of the ordinary,” Acansa employee Mike “The Great” Jones said.
Other employees, however, are absolutely convinced of an Acansa ghost’s existence.
“I’ve seen things, tons of things,” Ben Brevenback, another Acansa employee, said. “There seems to be some ghost who uses the urinal and does not flush.”
On occasion, Brevenback will look for a warm pot of soup in the hot soup and salad bar line, but find nothing but broth. “The only thing I can figure is that it’s some paranormal force,” Brevenback said.
Paulette has had numerous personal encounters with the ghosts. At one time, she was cooking in the back with fellow chef Cookie.
“We were working back there and all of the sudden the door just started opening and closing, opening and closing,” Paulette said. “I was so scared I couldn’t move.”
Paulette is now on more familiar terms with the ghosts of Acansa. “They won’t bother you, they’re just letting you know they are here,” she said.
“We don’t see it as much as we used to,” Acansa worker Miranda Perryman said. Perryman had an experience of her own when a door moved behind her. Yet when checked there was absolutely nothing behind the door.
Several ghosts have been known to haunt Acansa during its sleeping hours.
According to Paulette, the most frequent campus ghost is Pharaoh, a one-time grill worker who never realized he died.
“He’s tall, with good hair. He was a nice looking man. Good curly hair,” Paulette said.
According to official records, Pharaoh died in 2011 of a heart attack, Acansa employee Allan Gates said.
But official records and actual fact may vary, according to Paulette. “He didn’t die the way he was supposed to die,” Paulette said. “We say somebody killed him.”
While no students claim to have experienced one of these service-line specters, Paulette has a logical explanation.
“The students, they’re always here when it’s busy,” Paulette said. “Nobody can feel a ghost if there’s too much interference.”
Gerdes said the presence of ghosts often, but not always, goes unnoticed when there are other living humans nearby.
Acansa employee Joseph Tourville remembered a suspicious occurrence from a few years back when plates and an entire cake began sliding off their shelves, with no perceivable cause. “Two of the students saw that thing move on its own,” Tourville said.
“This place is haunted,” Paulette said. “There’s something evil here.”