12180 Park Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98447. A place in which thousands of students roam every day. October 21st , Harstad Building, room 329. Nearly 130 years of other residents had called this 5 story building their home. They all crammed as many of their belongings into their jail cell of a room. Some even finding hidden gems from the past occupants. Many came and went, leaving nothing but memories in their rooms for decades upon decades. The following dweller having no recollection of the previous activities accompanying the territory.
There was a young lady who resided in this very location. She was short with short black hair that framed her face perfectly. Her thin arms matched the stature of her unwanted rectangular room. As a freshman entering PLU, she found herself in a dorm that would not have necessarily been her first pick for college life, but the rooms were larger than the rest, so she made do. The roommate she was paired with carried herself confidently and seemed to love every encounter she ever faced with this new school. As much as they contrasted each other, the two gravitated towards one another. Her roommate was probably the only aspect of this new life that she actually appreciated.
She already felt uneasy about the living circumstances. This particular hall was an all-female dorm, and always had been, besides its early years as the original Pacific Lutheran University. For years, this was the lone building in which only education took place in the upper floors while the basement housed underprivileged students. These students each had a box spring and mattress that are still shared amongst the Harstad ladies today.
The old building that had remained unchanged since 1890 already held so many untold stories that left its residents curious. The fragrant of stale air and elderly women had never seemed to fade. The young girl had been ambushed with stories the minute she entered the halls. Stories of women giving birth in the basement. People having names etched into their closets. Rooms having peculiar noises at night. Traditions they insisted she partake in like monthly celebrations for past women who left a legacy. Rules to be followed like never riding the elevator to the third floor alone on a Tuesday or always looking down before looking up into the bathroom mirrors. All of which put the freshman female into a flurry of emotions and curious state of mind.
Being mid-0ctober, there was always a sense of uncertainty in the air and ghoulish decorations covering the walls. Not to mention hallmates taking every opportunity to scare each other… this distinct young lady being one of the most frequent frighteners. She often found herself burrowing in a closet of someone down the hall waiting for them to return from whatever previously stole their attention away. This was a reoccurring event that left most everyone on their toes at all times.
On this exact morning of the 21st, everything seemed to be different. After an odd announcement of class being cancelled, the young lady lucked out and got to sleep in this cold, October morning. Although it was nearly afternoon at this point, silence flooded the halls along with scarecrows and spiders. Once the young girl gained the strength to slither out of her warm bed, she arose from her slumber and began to get ready for the day.
Cleaning hours had just ended, which would mean she’d have to fight for a spot in a fresh shower…she would soon find out that was not the case. She headed to the communal bathroom halfway down the stairs. For some reason, there was hesitation when she creeped closer to the entrance. She noticed something odd as she cracked the door open. The lights were off and the bathroom was empty, but she could feel the activity in the room. She glanced around the room searching for signs of life. To the left stood the large mirror, to her right were a line of stalls. Upon scanning the room she found feet under the stall. She could see in the reflection of the mirror the stall door wasn’t completely shut. Although her gut told her otherwise, she creeped towards the lifeless, lingering feet and gently nudged the door open. There, lifeless, propped on the toilet, contortioned against the wall, sat the body of an elderly lady.
The police department arrived. They began questioning her about the event, trying to piece everything together. She lied to every single one of them. She never once said anything about the stories of hauntings from the past or the fact that it was a Tuesday and she shouldn’t have taken the elevator to the 3rdfloor by herself. Or the fact that she looked in the mirror before looking down first. She told them nothing except the path she took to find her.
The truth was, this young girl had a strange premonition earlier that week. The most concerning part of this story may in fact lie in this encounter between her roommate and the young lady herself. 3 days prior to this discovery, the young lady living in 329 was preparing for bed. She was brushing her teeth with her roommate in that very bathroom and spoke these words, “Okay, I have never told anyone this before, but… my biggest fear is finding someone dead in the stall or shower”. 3 days later… she found her, dead, in the stall.