Based on the New York Times’ “Metropolitan Diaries,” the Middletown Diaries will include awkward, funny, novel, or sweet (and this week, spooky) anecdotes, stories, or memories that happen at Wesleyan and in Middletown. To submit to the Middletown Diaries, please email email@example.com.
May 2019. Finals week, a dark and rainy night. I was in Olin, desperately trying to finish a paper. It was for my favorite class, and my favorite teacher (Rashida Shaw McMahon, duh), but I just couldn’t write it!
After every few sentences, I’d grab my phone. I told myself it was just to check texts, but then, 10 minutes later, I was deep into my friend’s cousin’s classmate’s Instagram account.
So, I decided to switch up procrastination techniques and take a walk around Olin. I love the stacks, so I thought maybe they’d inspire me. I decided to do a loop, up to 3A, down to the basement, then back to my desk on floor two.
When I got to the very top of the stairs, I noticed a book lying on its side. Normally, I wouldn’t give it a second thought, but something compelled me to look at it. Maybe it was because I was trying to procrastinate, maybe there was a more sinister reason.
I walked to the book. It looked relatively old, but upon opening it, I noticed that it came with a CD, so it couldn’t be ancient. Looking at the inside cover, I saw that the book was about weight-loss hypnosis. That’s right. The book taught you how to lose weight through hypnosis.
I’ve never really liked the idea of hypnosis. Too unsettling. But for whatever reason, I decided to flip through the book. It was like the book was making me do it.
That’s when I started to notice the yellow lines.
I paused on a page to look more closely. Sewn into the pages were pieces of yellow thread, some forming words, others just ugly lines. I flipped back to the first sewn page, and realized that the words made a sentence.
“You know what you made me do”
My blood ran cold. I quickly shut the book, dashed to collect my things, and left Olin, certain I’d just been cursed. I’m not the superstitious type, but I’m nervous. It’ll take days before I’m ready to go back to the library.
October 2019. Spooky Season. I was on another Olin procrastination walk, and headed to floor 3A. The (cursed) book is gone, and I was left wondering…wondering where it went, wondering if I’ve already suffered because of the curse.
Or if the worst is yet to come.
It was just a normal Saturday, and I was heading back from a night out. I swiped into my house, excited at the thought of my bed awaiting me.
When I opened the door and began to step inside, I realized something was off. On the floor below me was a trail of white paint that continued up the stairs indefinitely.
With Halloween approaching, it seemed likely that this weird occurrence could be related to the upcoming holiday. A bit spooked, but even more tired, I ran upstairs to my room.
The next day, the paint trail remained. I looked around and saw a paint can that I had not noticed before. It all made sense. At least I hoped.
It all started when Chris opened the cellar doors and two snakes slithered out and tried to bite him. Shortly afterwards, our friend Drew Weiss said he felt a presence in our house. There was no denying it: we had an Entity.
We started noticing more signs after that. Sometimes doors are impossible to open or swing open on their own; sometimes lamps will fall off tables when there’s no one near them. Though we cannot access our basement, the light in it switches on and off periodically.
At the beginning of the year we had a party to welcome the Entity into our household—recognizing, of course, that it’s really more us being in its space than it being in ours. The party was held on Friday the 13th, which of course is a big day in the Entity Community. We played songs such as “My Boo” and “Goosebumps” to show our enthusiasm and support for all facets of Entity life.
Sometimes people try to tell us that we have a “ghost” or a “poltergeist” or even that our house is “haunted.” However, we wouldn’t dream of trying to label the Entity as anything more than just that. It makes for a wonderful housemate and when it’s ready for us to learn more about it, we will.
-Sophie Elwood, Pryor Krugman, Max Halperin, Andrew Callahan, Christopher Desanges