School Spirit: Ghostly Happenings at Carroll Community College
Carroll County has had a long, rich, sometimes turbulent history. Its towns have played a part in the Civil War, plantation economies, even the establishment of a hospital for the insane. It’s no wonder the county has spawned so many eyewitness accounts of paranormal/ghost activity, from homes (The Kimmey House) and hotels (The City Hotel) to bars (Cockey’s Tavern) and municipal buildings (Carroll County Courthouse).
Add Carroll Community College to the list of ghostly locations.
The Stooping Spirit
By far the most common spectral occurrence reported at Carroll is an elderly woman who is usually seen stooping over.
“In summer of 2012, I was working here fulltime in Environmental Services, and they assigned me to the K building,” recounted Deb Prejean, now an Academic Administrative Specialist for the Communication Arts Division. “I was probably there maybe a month or so when I saw this apparition. It was a lady in her 80s, small and frail looking. She had on a pink sweater and a pleated skirt, like they used to wear in the 1950s, and she was bending over as if to talk to a child or maybe take something out of the oven. I’d seen her two or three times down there, and then never saw her again.”
Prejean also said she witnessed the ghost in another adjacent room, sitting in a rocking chair. The old lady was never threatening or frightening to Prejean, nor did the spirit ever acknowledge her presence. “She was just there, doing her own thing, and then when I turned around, she wasn’t there anymore.”
Another Environmental Services employee, Michael Carter, also shared a paranormal experience he had in the same area of the K building.
“It was Halloween time,” Carter explained. “There was Halloween candy in a pumpkin in the kitchenette. One of my coworkers at the time was helping me clean, and she made a comment, ‘Mike, I’m hungry. I think I’m going to take a piece of candy out of this pumpkin. No one is going to care about one little piece of candy.’ Immediately after she said that, as she was reaching for the candy, the big screen TV suddenly came on. It went from a low volume all the way up to the loudest volume by itself. At the same time, it was flipping through all the channels, and it finally landed on a foreign channel with some Italian singer. And the weirdest part was, as he’s singing, in the corner of the screen it had the words: ‘YOU SHOULDN’T.’ I was trying to use the remote, but it was totally not working for me. The TV was just doing its own thing this whole time until I said to my coworker ‘Hey, this says you shouldn’t do that.’ I said it was probably talking about her wanting to take a piece of candy, and then I finally had control over the TV again.”
More Paranormal Phenomena
There have been other isolated accounts of paranormal incidents in other parts of the College, including several reports of shadowy ghost figures that appear in the hallways then vanish, and aural phenomena such as banging on walls and slamming of doors.
“In the Summer of 2019, one of my coworkers and I were down in the Café,” Carter shared. “Nobody was around. It was just her and me talking about something not at all related to this subject [of ghosts]. Then we both heard a voice that said ‘Mike, I need your help.’” Carter explained that the disembodied voice sounded female and had a sense of urgency.
“I looked at [my coworker] and she looked at me,” Carter continued. “Before she said anything, I asked her, ‘What did you hear?’ She said, ‘Mike, I need your help.’ And I’m like, ‘That’s exactly what I heard!’” To this day, Carter cannot explain who was calling for him or why they needed his assistance.
In the Spring of 2023, during the recording of a student testimonial in a room off the Great Hall, a strange voice can be heard. Other than the student and the production coordinator (who was not speaking during her testimonial), no one else was in the room or close enough to the mic for their voices to be picked up.
Ghostly occurrences are not restricted to the interiors of the campus. “I was leaving work one Friday and the CDL truck driver’s door was open,” recounted Steve Berry, Senior Director of Career & Continuing Professional Education. “I checked [the cab]. No one was in it, so I locked it and reported it to campus police, who said they reviewed the security footage and the door had simply opened on its own.”
To Carroll… and Beyond
Each year, thousands of students come to Carroll Community College to learn and grow, most of them blissfully unaware of its understated haunted reputation. Perhaps one day, someone will unravel the mystery of the ghosts’ identities.
Until then, the College joins many other places in the county where the boundaries between the living and the dead blur, prompting chilling tales of spectral encounters like those described above. Thankfully, Carroll’s apparitions are harmless, and maybe with a little coaxing, they might even help you with your classwork!