Is the UM Law Library Haunted?

Jason Wolf asks whether the fourth floor of the UM law library is haunted:

i think the fourth floor of the library is haunted. my proof is that i hear eerie music at strange times (like when no one else is up there except me) and it seems to be coming from the walls or the air. i’m not the only one who hears it, either. at first i thought it was someone’s computer, but it’s not.

Bricks on the Brain is dubious, but asks why the law library is so utilitarian, lacking the “hardwood floors or lush carpets, hardwood shelves, brass door handles, ornate light fixtures, portraits of prominent alumni, etc..” that he thinks raise the tone and are conducive to long hours of studying.

These are both good questions.

The law library looks Spartan because it was built with a firm eye on the bottom line. Doing it plush would have cost three or more times as much. That money would have had to come from somewhere. It couldn't come from the endowment, because there just isn't that much endowment. It couldn't come from tuition, because that's already too high. It couldn't come from crowding in more students, because we want smaller classes not larger ones. And it didn't come from donations, because no one gave us the many extra millions that would have been needed. So to “Bricks” I say — you're right, that would have been nice. If you strike it big in your law career, we'll still be here.

On the haunting question, I'd be perfectly prepared to believe that Soia Mentschikoff stalks the halls, especially the fourth floor which is where her most stalwart fans have their offices. But I can't figure out why she'd play music. Dropping something on you to get your attention might be more her style. Could it be the UM marching band rehearsing outside? Also, keep in mind that sound travels well through the floors. When the faculty member with an office under mine plays his CDs lound, I hear them.

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6 Responses to Is the UM Law Library Haunted?

  1. there is probably a better explanation than ghost. get a sound engineer to see if there are real sounds, once you’ve established that, then ask them what causes them, resonance frequencies, the music department library is downstairs, or some other logical and fun explanation. such as the whisper points in the capital dome, or the metal ductwork that brings sound up from basements in a myriad of buildings…..

  2. patrick says:

    The law library looks Spartan

    I’m originally from Ohio (in East Lansing now), so I have my own reasons for not liking UM or MSU, but I’d say you’d better be careful about calling anything at UM Spartan!

  3. Never noticed music on the top floor, but its probably coming from the hipsters in the faculty lounge…yes, there is a room labeled as such…

    What I wonder is if they’ve put some sensors on the elevator doors of death yet…I was surprised and a little saddened that I never saw anyone lose a limb in those doors, but its only a matter of time…

  4. Altoid says:

    Haunted? Think air conditioning ducts. The morning I took my comps in a library study room (not UM), I was surprised by a cellist playing scales and noodling around. What to do? Well, I looked up into the ducts, stood on the desk, and yelled “hey, pipe down, I’m taking my exams” (or something equally creative). The cello stopped, demonstrating that graduate school really is a community, and that sound travels both ways in the ducts. Why not try shouting and see what happens?

  5. Liza says:

    I would not discount the possibility of a haunting–I lived in a haunted apartment once. It was an old Victorian house split into two units, one downstairs and one upstairs. I lived in the upstairs unit and experienced the following strange things:

    – While sitting in my living room late at night, I saw a candle on a dish hurl itself off of a table. It had been nowhere near the edge where it might have accidentally fallen.

    – Another time while in the living room, I heard a loud crash coming from the bedroom closet, which was a huge walk-in style with shelves near the ceiling. A heavy box of books, which had been placed solidly on the shelf, and nowhere near the edge, had crashed to the floor.

    – Two blocks away at the 100 yr old Catholic school my kids attended, several of the staff there actually saw transparent figures on the stairs inside the building very early in the morning. One secretary said she felt a presence right next to her and a hand on her shoulder, but no one there.

    It really does happen!

  6. Maybe hauntings are possible…but if I were Soia, I’d haunt Chicago instead…better class of spirits, no doubt.

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