Professor haunts Brink Hall — Investigating hauntings in historic UI building
Brink Hall was built in 1936 at the University of Idaho to serve as a men’s dormitory. Nowadays, the building functions as faculty offices for the Statistics, English, and Math departments. For a long time, rumors and legends have circulated about Brink being haunted with ghostly spirits.
According to campus rumor, a professor who hung himself in his office haunts the third floor of Brink Hall.
“There’s some weird things that have happened,” a member of the third floor Math office of Brink Hall said. “There’s a key cabinet in a locked closet and one day I opened the door and all of the drawers were slid out except for the ones with keys in them.”
Of the four people who had keys to the cabinet, none of them claim to have slid the drawers out.
“Sometimes doors open and close when nobody else is here,” another member of the third floor of Brink Hall said.
Many different theories exist on supernatural phenomena. One explanation is infrasound. Infrasound is a low frequency sound wave that can cause chills and sensations of fear in the listener. A 2003 experiment in England found that when infrasound was added to the background of concert music, 22 percent of audience members reported feeling uneasy or sorrowful.
Scientists believe buildings believed to be haunted are simply high conductors of low frequency sound. This also explains why most supernatural experiences happen when a person is alone. The more noise from more people, the less likely that one person is to hear the infrasound.
“(I believe in ghosts) not in the Hollywood sense,” UI freshman Emily Brown said. “I believe that people can leave emotions left over after they die in the electromagnetic field.”
Many paranormal theorists turn to the First Law of Thermodynamics in order to explain ghosts. In physics, according to the First Law of Thermodynamics, energy cannot be created or destroyed. So many paranormal theorists believe that when a person dies, their energy is converted into a scientifically undetermined form of electromagnetic energy. That is why on paranormal shows such as “Supernatural,” the characters will use EMF meters or other devices used to measure electromagnetic fields in order to search for ghosts.
There is a modern-day stigma to believing in ghosts. When I attempted to interview anyone for the story, almost every person I contacted immediately erupted into gales of laughter at the idea of investigating haunted buildings across campus. However, “Ghost Hunters” a TV show about investigating ghost haunting pulled more than 2 million viewers in the season finale this February, which leads me to believe people are statistically more likely to be more curious then they would like to admit.
With this in mind, I contacted Campus Security and Facilities in order to arrange a ghost hunt in Brink Hall. Word of warning, do not trespass on campus buildings for ghost hunting without prior permission from security. Trespassing is a crime that is prosecutable by law.
Once I received authorization from Facilities and Campus Security, I researched ghost hunting strategies. In order to directly contact a spirit, one is supposed to hold a séance. During a séance, the participants summon a spirit so that the spirit can communicate and answer questions. The spirit does this by possessing the leader of the séance who acts as a medium. No less than three people are supposed to be able to hold a séance.
In order to conduct the séance and capture any paranormal activity, I assembled a team of ghost hunters. I brought along a photographer in order to help capture events and three other people in order to conduct the séance properly.
The team arrived at 11 p.m. to explore the depths of Brink Hall. A security guard met us outside of Brink and was kind enough to stay with us and ensure our safety. So we bravely climbed the stairs to the third floor in order to reach the spot where a psychic had said 10 years ago the spirit of the professor lingered.
We reached the third floor of Brink to discover lights blazing brightly from the ceiling instead of the dark hall I expected. The security guard then informed us that the lights of Brink run on an emergency circuit and there is no way they can be shut off. According to my research, spirits often do not reveal themselves in blinding florescent light so we set off to find darkness.
The only rooms in Brink Hall without lights were the men’s and women’s restrooms. We congregated in the men’s restroom to call the male spirit of the professor. We performed the séance multiple times, but failed to summon the professor or any other spirits of Brink Hall.
The Ghost Hunting team explored all of the dark regions of Brink Hall we had access to. We performed the séance multiple times in the Polya lab past midnight and we still did not manage to summon any spirits.
But even if we did not summon any ghosts, my ghost hunting team and I managed to be a group of teenagers who ghost hunted in a building without befalling a terrible fate.
Aleya Ericson can be reached at email@example.com