In the spirit of Halloween, staff writer Cate Alspaugh asked UNC community members whether or not they believe in ghosts.
Sophomore Perry Carter heard that Alderman Residence Hall has a ghost who sits in a rocking chair.
She’s not the only one with a UNC ghost story. From the Carolina Inn to Gimghoul Castle, there are multiple places on campus rumored to be haunted. But this interest with the paranormal isn’t specific to UNC.
Religious studies professor Barbara Ambros said she has noticed scholars approaching ghosts in three ways.
“On the one hand, there are those who try to debunk them, and they try to provide some kind of scientific theory to show that they’re not really there,” she said. “Others have turned to psychology and have said, ‘It’s about the power of suggestiveness.’ The third approach studies ghost stories as folklore.
“Not many of us try to prove that Bigfoot exists, but we may study the people who try to,” Ambros said.
“I believe in energy. Since the beginning of Earth, there’s been no input or output of energy. And I think when you go into a room and someone’s had a fight there, there are pheromones and a little extra charge in the room.”
junior, Romance language major
“I do not believe in ghosts. Being dead’s the easy part. You got to fear the living. There’s too many other things to be worried about other than the dead.”
senior, information science major
“Not like Halloween-y ghosts, if that makes sense. I think spirits could be a real thing.”
junior, global studies and anthropology major
“Not really, but I know my stepmom does because the house that she lives in … they experience weird things, and they’ll try to do things that appease the ghost. I haven’t lived there, but I think that is one thing that would change my mind.”
Campus Recreation business and sport clubs operations assistant
“I don’t believe in ghosts. I haven’t had any reason to believe in ghosts. At night, I never think about ghosts being in houses, and I think scary movies play it up. I don’t think they exist, but, you know, I haven’t experienced paranormal activity.”
senior, psychology and sociology major
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