Living at the dorms is always an experience.
Since my first semester, I’ve lived in one of the oldest dorms on my university campus. There are no individual apartments here. Instead, each floor of the building is one giant apartment that people use together. In my case, I lived with thirteen other people.
Everyone living here has their own room, but everything else is shared. There are a kitchen, a common room and two bathrooms including showers.
To be honest, living here isn’t exactly great. The building is old, as I said, and hasn’t been renovated in years. The worst though is the number of people that are herded into one place together.
Showering is often an awkward affair since you never know who might barge into the bathroom while you’re in. The worst though is the shared kitchen. There’s always chaos. At least one person is stealing other people’s food. The pans and pots are in almost perpetual use. Worst of all though, half the people don’t bother cleaning up after themselves. The dishwasher doesn’t help at all.
That’s why I always look forward to the semester break. Almost everyone leaves to go home and to visit their parents. I on the other hand always stay. Let’s just say I don’t get along with my parents all too well anymore.
Having the whole place to myself is fantastic. I can shower whenever I want, I can use the kitchen however I see fit, and I never have to worry about my chicken nuggets going missing.
One morning though, when I got ready to leave for my part-time job, I heard one of the showers running.
I was slightly annoyed because I’d hoped I’d have the place to myself for at least a couple of weeks. I decided to wait for whoever else was here to finish showering and made myself a cup of coffee.
While I sat in the kitchen drinking my coffee and preparing breakfast, I could still hear the shower. By now it was almost twenty minutes. Hurry the fuck up, I cursed to myself, some of us have things to do!
After another ten minutes passed, I started to get seriously annoyed and decided to check things out. When I entered the shower and called out I got no answer. Once more I called out, but still no reaction. Finally, I’d had it and went forward to confront the person only to find an empty shower with the water still running. You got to be kidding me! Whoever was in here just left and didn’t bother to turn the damned thing off. For all I know, they could’ve been out ages ago. Great, and now I’ve got to hurry to make it to work in time.
For the next couple of days, similar things kept happening. At times I heard the water running in the bathroom, at others I heard someone rummaging in the kitchen. Whenever I went to check things out though, I saw no one.
I started to get a bit unnerved at this point, but I told myself that whoever it was, probably avoided me. Most likely they had hoped to have the place to themselves and weren’t too fond of interacting with me. God knows we’ve got our share of weirdos here.
In the evening I decided to hang out in the kitchen and see if I could catch a glimpse of my sneaky flatmate. I prepared myself a nice meal, put on some music, but even after almost two hours, there was no sign of anyone.
I sighed, but before I left I put out a little note saying ‘Hello, how about a chat tomorrow evening?’
It was a few days later when I returned from work that I met someone on the stairs. It was a Chinese guy, who I assumed to be an exchange student. When I greeted him, he nodded and hurried to leave.
Could it be this guy? Nah, there’s no way. Each floor has different locks, there’s no way for him to get in.
“Hello!” I called out when I entered, but I got nothing but silence for an answer.
“Hey, I know someone else is here, how about we have a talk?”
I cursed again and went to the kitchen. My little note was still there, on the table, right where I’d left it. I was about to throw it away when I noticed a frowny face below my message.
“Oh come on,” I mumbled to myself. This was getting ridiculous. I’d had it with this. I went from room to room, knocking on every door. Hell, I even listened, but everything was quiet.
I started to get a bit crept out at this point. Before I went to bed that night, I made sure to lock the door to my room.
Things took a turn for the worse the next morning. I was busy preparing breakfast when one of the cups from the cabinet behind me came crashing down. With a loud clang, it shattered to the floor. My heart skipped a beat, and I jumped back. How in the hell did that happen? Hadn’t I closed it? Cups don’t simply fall down like that, do they?
I quickly gathered my coffee and my cereal and hurried to my room. This was starting to get more than a bit creepy.
That evening, when I returned from work, I heard the shower running once more. I turned it off and called out again, but I was still all alone.
From then on other things kept happening. At times I found the items in the bathroom misplaced. At others, I heard the toilet flush or the water running, yet I never saw who actually did it.
After a week this really started to get to me. Was someone playing a trick on me? But how in the hell did I never see them?
I decided to wait around in my room and the moment I‘d hear anything I’d rush out and confront whoever was out there. When the shower was turned on once more, I barged from my room out into the hallway. Whoever you are, I thought, I’ve got you now.
“Okay, you can come out now. This was funny for a while, but enough is enough,” I called out.
No answer as expected.
“Alright, that’s it.” With that, I ripped open the bathroom door.
I had a ‘Got you’ on the tip of my tongue, but all I found was an empty room. I checked the showers, but there was no one there. How the hell was that possible?
I felt goosebumps all over my arms. Someone had to be here, this made no sense.
Only after a while, I saw it. It was a note lying on the bathroom floor. I went forward and picked it up with shaking hands. It was the note I’d left in the kitchen. On it was my message, the frowny face and a ‘Hurry Up.’
I rushed back to my room right away and locked the door behind me. Fuck this, seriously, fuck this!
I reasoned with myself and tried to find a logical explanation, but there was none. Someone had to be in the bathroom. There was no other way. A person can’t just up and vanish, can they? We are on the third fucking floor!
Then a new thought slowly crawled into my mind. I went to my computer and looked into the history of the building. All I found on the university’s page was the date the building had been constructed.
When I started to search around on Google though, I found a thread on an old university forum from the early 2000s.
Young woman found dead in her dorm room
I shivered. There’s no freaking way.
As I read through the thread, I learned that in 2001 a young woman, named Lisa Richter had been killed by her then-boyfriend in one of the rooms in this building. The body was only discovered by accident and showed severe signs of abuse. As I continued reading, I learned that the perpetrator had kept the victim in her own room for days before he eventually murdered her.
The murder happened in one of the rooms on the first floor of the building.
This can’t be. Something like ghosts can’t… My thoughts were interrupted when I heard a ruckus in the kitchen yet again.
Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit! What the hell is going on here!?
The noise subsided as soon as it had started, but there was no way I’d go out there. For the rest of the evening and the night, I sat huddled together on my bed. Over and over I repeated my mantra of ‘Ghosts aren’t real’ to keep myself from panicking.
Only when the sun finally came up was I able to muster up the courage to actually leave my room.
Step by step I carefully walked down the hallway towards the kitchen. It was in utter chaos. All the cupboards were open, and cups and plates had been shattered on the floor. In the middle of all that I saw a small piece of paper.
When I went forward, I saw that it was the same note yet again. The same freaking note that I’d written a few days ago and that I’d found in the bathroom last night.
There was my message, there was the frowny face, there was the ‘Hurry Up, and now there was a ‘Room 1-7’. The note fell from my shaking hands.
“No freaking way,” I mumbled, “this shit can’t be real.”
“W-What the hell do you want?” I brought out in a shaking voice. Nothing. Fuck!
“Leave me the hell alone! I’ve got nothing to do with any of that!” I finally called out in desperation.
I could almost feel a presence behind me. I jerked around and then I saw it. All over the walls, I read the same thing:
I screamed up in a panic, rushed from the apartment, down the stairs and out of the building.
Only once I was out in the open was I able to somewhat calm down. I couldn’t stay there anymore. There’s no freaking way I’d stay any longer in a freaking haunted building.
After a while though, reality came back to me. I couldn’t just leave like that. All my things were still there and… Fuck!
There was no freaking way that I’d go up there again. At least not on my own, I told myself. What could I do though, everyone I knew was gone for the semester break!
After long minutes I mustered up the courage to step back into the building. I took a deep breath and was about to make my way back up when I saw the emergency board in the entry hall. It had the number of the dorm‘s caretaker on it, in case anything urgent, like a burst pipe, came up.
I felt like the biggest freaking pussy on the planet when I took out my phone and called the number.
“Emergency line, how can I help you,” I heard a grumpy voice on the other end of the line.
“Eh, sorry for the early call, but there’s well, a problem with the showers in my dorm,” I lied. “It might be a problem with the pipes.”
“Goddamnit, that again? What floor are you staying on?”
I quickly told him that I was living on the third floor and made up a problem that I hoped was convincing enough. It was about fifteen minutes later when an older man with a toolbox arrived. When he saw me, he eyed me for a moment.
“You the one that called?”
I nodded and followed him upstairs. Once more I felt like a freaking idiot for calling this guy out here. In my mind, I already prepared an excuse once he found out nothing was wrong. Well, nothing except the freaking ghost haunting the place.
I opened the door, and the two of us stepped inside.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” he cursed when he saw the ‘Room 1-7’ markings all over the walls.
“Oh that, I don’t know,” I started, but the guy turned towards me and confronted me.
“You high, son? Is this some sort of stupid prank? I dare you to-”
“It was here last night when I got home! No clue who did it. Maybe it was the guy staying on the first floor. I might have left the door unlocked and-”
“You goddamn young people, if I find the one who did this,” he started and made his way towards the stairs again.
„Wait, where are you going?“
“Well, what do you think? I’m going to see if anyone is actually downstairs and you are coming with me. If not, then you’re in for a lot of trouble!”
With that, he went down to the first floor and unlocked the entry door.
“Anyone home?” he called out as he stepped inside.
He walked through the place, cursing under his breath at the general mess it was in. I slowly followed him. Wasn’t that Chinese guy living here?
He walked through the hallway and started to knock on each individual door calling out again.
While he did that, I suddenly started to hear something else. It was a sort of wailing or crying.
“You know, I don’t care what kind of-”
“Shush,” I motioned for him to be quiet. Then I started to walk into the direction where the noise was coming from.
“Now what? I’ve got no time for any of your bullshit!”
I didn’t listen anymore. Instead, I strained myself to hear where it was coming from.
Finally, I stood right in front of room 1-7. As I put my ear against the door, I could make out muffled crying and sobbing.
“Hey, everything alright in there? What’s going on?”
“What the hell are you,” but the man broke up when a muffled scream reached us.
“Well I’ll be damned,” he cursed and stepped towards the door.
He took out the master key and unlocked the door.
At first, we didn’t really see a thing since the room’s sole window was closed off by black curtains. Once our eyes got used to the darkness, we saw that the room was in utter chaos. Everything inside was trashed.
None of that didn’t matter though. What mattered was the gagged and bound Asian girl in one of the corners of the room. Her eyes were wide, and she was shaking.
“Jesus Christ,” I said and went forward to help her.
While I was busy to remove the gaga and the rope that bound her to the heater, the caretaker called the police.
It turned out that the girl was an exchange student from China and the actual tenant of the room. What had happened was that a fellow student was recently kicked out of his dorm. When he had no place to stay, she offered to help him out and let him stay with her until he found a new dorm room. After a while though, the guy started to get violent. When she tried to leave and get out, he tied her up and locked her inside of her room.
It turned out that she was in a very similar situation to me. Apart from her and her supposed friend, everyone else had left. No one would’ve noticed her.
If the caretaker and I hadn’t stumbled into her room by accident, then the worst might have happened.
When the police asked me about the ‘Room 1-7’ all over my walls, I could only shake my head. I explained that it was just there one morning and I had no idea how any of it could’ve happened.
Deep inside though, I knew who had done it.