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The Scarlet

The student newspaper of Clark University

The Scarlet

The student newspaper of Clark University

The Scarlet

Clark’s Creepiest Corridors

Have you ventured to these spooky spots on our campus, where hinges creak in doorless chambers?
Who knows what may be found in the basement of Estabrook Hall – if you can find the door! All photos by Marcus Palumbo.

Editor’s note: this article was originally featured in this year’s Halloween edition.

Greetings fellow spooky seekers! ‘Tis the season of haunting and heebie jeebies. In honor of the spirit of the Halloween season, it is my privilege to bring to you a brief overview of some of the most creepy spots on Clark’s campus for your viewing pleasure! This list is not comprehensive, and not all of these spots are open to the general public, but we don’t feel that should prevent you from getting to enjoy these creepy spots from afar!


The Pit in JSC:

I’ve spent quite a bit of time in JSC, but I was still unaware of the existence of the pit as a space of a most liminal quality until more recently. The pit is a dark floor recess that goes as a pitiful excuse for a common area in the basement of JSC. However, in the times I have visited, there has never been anyone using it for that purpose, or even using it at all. There are no windows, and the walls are bare. While this space is not nearly as creepy as some of the others on this list, it was certainly startling the first time I saw it. While it no longer has the same haunting aura that it did when I first saw it, it still isn’t the kind of place one wants to spend a long time in. But who knows, maybe one day I’ll find myself actually using this space as a common area, but until that time comes, the pit will certainly stick out as one of the weirder features of JSC.  

JSC’s pit.

The Creepy Elevator in Jefferson:

Many of us experience Jefferson as a place for classes, and visiting professor’s offices. But, those who venture to the furthest reaches of Jefferson will find a site not of this century. Through the coursing arteries of Jefferson Academic Tower runs the creepy cage elevator. The entrance is unassuming enough; it looks like a regular door. But when one grabs the handle and pulls open the door, a skeleton of metal criss-crosses finds its way across your field of vision. If you dare to open the door to the elevator itself, it will slide open with a metallic ratcheting sound, and reveal a small interior. The control panel has an early 20th century feel to it, with an oversized switch controlling the one light which illuminates the inside. While this elevator requires a special key to operate it, on rare occasions when the elevator is accessible on other floors, a team of two or more people can activate the elevator for a brief joyride using a secret method known only to a few. When riding this elevator, the bare brick walls of the elevator shaft glide past the bars of the cage. Be careful to keep your hands and legs inside the vehicle at all times on this ride! For maximum creepiness, consider turning off the inside light, and riding this lurching crackling elevator in the pitch darkness.

Jefferson’s elevator. Enter if you dare!

The Basement of Estabrook:

I had heard legend of the basement of Estabrook, but despite trying multiple staircases and the elevator, I had been unable to locate the entrance to this mysterious underworld. However, one day I realized that the answer had been hiding in plain sight all along, disguised by the markings on the door giving the appearance of a fire exit or utility space. Once I found the entrance, I mustered my courage, and descended into the world below. It was a world of shadow, as light only managed to make its way in through a few windows. What was most striking about this location was that it was very clearly in regular use; there were art projects in progress and walls covered with colorful graffiti. Yet, at the moment I visited, it appeared completely abandoned. This gave the space a very uneasy feeling. If you choose to visit, be aware that THE DOOR TO THE BASEMENT LOCKS BEHIND YOU. While I believe there is another way out, it’s probably a good idea to have a friend on call outside who can let you out if you need help.

Can you summon the courage to descend the stairs to the basement of Clark’s third-oldest building?

The Backstage of Atwood:

This is a location you really shouldn’t access unless you have a legitimate reason to be there, insofar as you can even get access to it! While this area may be unfamiliar to most Clarkies, those who frequently work in Atwood might know the horrors it holds. The basement is creepy, sure, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. The narrow staircases bring you from room to room packed with old props and other forgotten items that seemingly no one could find a place for anywhere else. Once, when back there, I spotted an Advil container that expired in the year 2000. But the creepiest spot of all is a room far back in the space between Atwood and Jefferson, where one can find shelves full of rocks from the defunct Geology department. Going back even further is a dark corridor of stacks and stacks of filing boxes, with loose papers strewn so dramatically that they make walking difficult. The air is thick with dust (and maybe asbestos? It just gives that vibe). In the far back of this corridor is the most surprising find of all: original theses, dating all the way back to the 1920s, line the shelves along the back walls. Most are carefully tucked away in boxes or envelopes. In truth, it is sad that these papers have been left in a place so inaccessible and full of disarray. Hopefully Clark will clean this place up and put these thesis papers in a safer storage facility. But for the time being, it surely is one of the creepiest and most spooky spots on campus!  

Backstage in the Daniels Theater in Atwood Hall looks like a good place for a ghoul.
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