Urban legends at LC: what’s true, what’s fake

Illustration by Rachael Obermiller

By Mackenzie Bath

Stories float around Lewis & Clark’s campus about the things that have happened here. They’re a part of who we are, and it’s time to find out which myths are truth and which are fiction. The myths described below are from my personal experience listening to LC legends.

Myth: The dorm room and residence hall of Monica Lewinsky

The Legend: Rumor has it that Monica Lewinsky ’93, the infamous alumna of LC, lived in Platt Hall during her time at LC. After graduating from LC, Lewinsky worked  as an intern at the White House, and became famous after having an affair with President Bill Clinton while he was in office. The exact room is debated, but many students have claimed to live in the hall Lewinsky used to live in. Some students have even claimed to live in her old dorm room.

The Facts: Lewinsky graduated in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

“Monica was a transfer student to Lewis & Clark and never lived on campus,” Director of Housing and Orientation Sandi Bottemiller said.

Myth: A ghost haunts the Frank Manor House

The Legend: There are multiple stories about a ghost in the Manor House, which is one of the oldest buildings on campus. One story tells of a campus safety officer who saw a ghostly woman on the stairs who disappeared before his eyes. Another story describes the ghosts of laughing children in the basement. These stories come from some of the employees of the Manor House, who asked to remain anonymous.

The Facts: No two stories about a Manor House ghost are the same, which casts some doubt over the accuracy of  the tales. No one has died in the Manor House, according to public internet police records and “Lewis & Clark College,” a book by Stephen Dow Beckham on the history of the LC campus.

Myth: The theater is home to a ghost

The Legend: Waldo is a ghost that haunts Fir Acres theater. As a student who spends a lot of time in the theater, I have heard about Waldo many times. It is bad luck to say “Macbeth” in a theater, and some say that those who say “Macbeth” in Fir Acres are haunted by a ghost.

The Facts: For each production at Fir Acres, Waldo’s name is included on the sign in sheet along with the rest of the crew, and always signs in.

“That was one of the first things they told us as stage managers,” Caroline Wilkes ’20 said. “We had to put Waldo on the sign in sheet.”

“When you’re there late by yourself while you’re working on stuff he just kinda flickers lights, buzzes equipment and ruffles curtains,” Mia Convery ’19 said. “You have to leave the ghost light on for him and always say goodnight when you leave.”

“If you just yell ‘We’re doing art!’ then the noises stop,” Delaney Bloomquist ’18 said. “Waldo appreciates art.”

Myth: People have had sex in Watzek Library

The Legend: Some students have made their way into Watzek library after hours (and some during operational hours) to spend some quality time with their partners.

The Facts: One student has admitted to having intercourse in Watzek, but has asked to remain anonymous so as to escape repercussions for their actions.

“I’ve had sex in the library once,” the student said. “I wouldn’t recommend it.”

The act took place late at night, while few people were in the building. The student and their partner were in one of the study rooms, but didn’t specify which one.

Myth: A studentstole two whole pies from the Bon

The Legend: There have been many legends about Fields Dining Hall (the Bon). Two of the more common legends involve the  theft of a whole carton of ice cream and a cereal dispenser.

A couple of students say they heard of someone walking out of the dining hall with two entire pies on one of the days when Bon Appetit stepped up their dessert game. I was among people who had heard the tale.

The Facts: Illia Hayes ’19 was a witness to the stolen pies.

“I walked back into my dorm one day, and there they were,” Hayes said. This happened two years ago, in October of 2015. The culprit has never been caught.

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