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Mu Beta Psi: Monterey manor murder

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Cara Cooper

Editor-in-chief

Roanoke College has a long history in Salem, and with many historic places comes a paranormal history that people do not know about.  One of the places on RC’s campus with the most haunted past is the Monterey House, the property on the corner of High Street.

The home still has many relicts of the past.  The basement of the home has an old tuberculosis ward, still equipped with old beds, chairs, and a drain in the floor for draining blood of those affected by the disease in the 18th century.   Most are not brave enough to venture down there, due to the poor lighting, musty smell and cobwebs. The last stair down to the basement is also not quite structurally sound as it dips and creeks when you step on it.

“I wouldn’t stay there” said Sonya Frostad ’13.

The Monterey home is currently used as a guest house for campus visitors.  It was only recently acquired by the campus, after its previous owner refused to give it up to the school.  The Chapman family lived in it during the Civil War, when their son, an RC graduate, was captured and executed by Union soldiers.

“It is a lovely 18th century home,” Frostad said.

Frostad, a brother of the Mu Beta Psi fraternity, along with Colleen Weber ’13, is co-chair of the Monterey Manor Murder: a haunted tour.  The fraternity will be leading tours around the home this weekend.

The tours create a fictitious murder in the house and leads visitors through the area.  The tour is meant to explore the ghosts in house as well as investigate the alleged murder.  The group will be ghost hunting, and creating their own haunted house in the real haunted house.

Mu Beta Psi plans a haunted house on RC’s campus every year.  In previous years, it has taken place in Olin hall, and the basement of Catawba dorm.  This is the first time they have used Monterey.

The group will not be venturing down to the basement during the tours, simply because of the sheer creepiness of area.  The tour will take place on the outside of the building.

The freshman INQ class, “Ghosts and human perceptions”, taught by Dr. Tom Carter of the English department, will be doing ghost readings the following night after the tours are over.  Classes in the past have found ghost readings while staying in the basement for the class.

The fraternity will offer two versions of the haunted tours.  The family version will be from 6:30-7:30.  This is for professors with younger children and other kids from around the community.

The more mature version will take play from 8:00-10:00.  Roanoke alumni, faculty, students and staff will receive a discount with their student ID’s.