As Halloween approaches, whispers of Francisco the ghost of Mt. Clef hall resurface. Students of the first-year dormitory have had several spooky encounters throughout the years at one of California Lutheran University’s oldest residence halls.
“I opened my eyes and I thought someone was there looking at me and I looked over at my roommate and he was in bed,” resident Chris Noji said. He explained that the figure he saw was standing near the door.
Students wander the halls, study in their rooms, hang out in the “Plounge” hearing different sounds and images throughout the day wondering who it might be only to realize that no one was there.
The tale of Francisco is one that has been told for years since the residence hall was built in 1961.
Former resident Kaitlyn Loughlin said, “Before I came here, they told us the story on my tour. The story is about how a little boy ran into the construction site as he went after a ball and never came back,” she said.
Christina Whyte said that one day she came back to her room to find the bathroom door locked and the temperature turned to 90 degrees. Whyte insists she was the last person to leave and return to her room, and said “Sure I believe in the ghost.”
Another encounter happened with residents and roommates Terehna Soriano and Estelle Santini.
“My roommate was talking to her friend about ghosts. She has a lamp that is turned on by touching it, and every time the word ghost was said, the lamp turned on and off,” resident Terehna Soriano said.
Some students spread awareness of the ghost by taking to social media where mentions of Francisco have been documented since 2011.
A statement issued on Twitter to then perspective student Lauren Graf said, “if you ask around, we actually have a couple campus ghost stories, but the Mt. Clef ghost is definitely our most famous.”
On the same day as the encounter with the lamp, Soriano took to Twitter and tweeted, “THE MT. CLEF GHOST IS TURNING OFF MY ROOMMATES LAMP YALL OMG SPOOKY SZN IS HERE.”
Another resident Garrett Wyatt tweeted his concern about playing a jazz album because he thought it “summons the Mt. Clef ghost.”
Typically, people are afraid of ghosts, but in this rare case the residents enjoy Francisco.
“If he’s there, that’s cool,” Noji said.
Sophomore and former resident Karyme Lara Chagoya said, “Some of my friends wouldn’t like me talking about him, but I would say ‘yo chill, he’s a friendly ghost.’”
While many residents do not mind knowing that something is lurking around, some residents say that the ghost is made up.
“It was a thing, but I didn’t believe in it,” Loughlin said. The reason being that she never had a personal encounter with the ghost. She believes in ghosts, rather she doesn’t believe that this particular one is real.
Loughlin relates the building’s age and structure as the cause for the noises people hear.
“I think they believe it and it’s true for them, but it’s an old building,” she said.
“I heard someone run down the stairs, then heard the door open, but never heard it close,” Lara Chagoya said.
Other residents believe that it is all a mind game that people build up and exaggerate to get attention.
The question of the existence of this ghost is in the air, and it seems as if there is nothing to do but embrace that residents might have visitor from time to time.
“I think it’d be cool if there was a ghost. It’s like an extra friend,” Noji said.
Although it is Halloween season, Francisco has made himself known throughout the years and does not look like he will stop spooking people anytime soon.