Welcome to Roundabout Oxford, a podcast from the University of Mississippi Libraries.
Last spring, a student reporter interviewed me for a class assignment. We were sitting in my office in the basement of the J.D. Williams Library and it was a perfectly normal interview, mostly about what I do in my everyday job.
A completely ordinary interview that is, until the very last question.
"Do you think there's something here?" he asked. "something strange here in the library?"
"What do you mean?" I asked.
He cleared his throat before continuing "Have you ever felt like something is here with you, you know when you're alone in the building?"
I looked at him and realized that he wasn't joking. In fact, he was quite serious. I paused a moment before asking my own question. "You mean after the library is closed, and everyone is gone? When the building is empty and I'm walking around in the quiet...You're wondering if anything...unexplained ever occurred?
The young reporter's eyes were wide as he leaned forward, waiting for my answer.
"No." I answered. "I have never felt...a presence."
The reporter's shoulders sagged and I actually felt a pang of disappointment myself.
Libraries I suppose, seem like they should be haunted. They are usually old, large and drafty, with shadowy nooks and echoey stairwells.
So to be honest, that vibe does kind of get in my head as I walk through the library at night, alone.
Perhaps the air conditioning system does sound a little like whispers.
And why is the air suddenly freezing cold.
Are those my footsteps I hear?
And what about the shadowy movement behind that bookshelf...could it be a trick of the moonlight?...or could it be something...something from the beyond?
On this episode of Roundabout Oxford, we explore human's fascination with the dark and the unknown. Stay tuned.
University of Mississippi Libraries, "10/30/2020: The Unknown" (2020). Roundabout Oxford Podcast. 2.