Hallowed are the halls of UTD, rich with history and prominence. But recently there has been a shift in the air, one only the most attuned students will have noticed. According to the UTD grapevine (specifically a supernatural-themed Reddit thread far too hidden for any typical student or faculty member to find), there is a new disturbance in the Jonsson Performance Hall. Reports of a phantom presence playing the piano in the dead of night have surfaced. Innocent late night study buffs are coming forward, traumatized by their ghostly encounters. To investigate these claims, I have travelled down to the bowels of the home of the fine arts.
The fruits of my search will not disappoint you.
At first, I too was taken aback by the mysterious piano that played by itself. As I walked down the steps of the Performance Hall, getting closer and closer to the stage, I began to see spectral fingers tickling the keys to a revered, classical melody: Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.”
By the time the song ended, the fingers weren’t the only things I could see. In the once vacant seat sat the translucent figure of a man wearing circular brown-framed glasses, and the fading presence of an ugly sweater vest. Once he spotted me, I could not tell whose frightened screams were echoing louder in the hall.
Luckily, after I apologized for startling him, he agreed to do an interview with me. The following is the transcript of my interview with the ghost who haunts Jonsson Performance Hall.
AMP: What’s your name and how did you die?
Jonsson Hall Ghost: I’m Jared. Haha, oh boy, I was hit by a car right off the intersection of Campbell and Floyd.
AMP: How old were you?
JHG: Let’s see, I was born in ’83…died in October of ’02, so I suppose I’m — I mean, I was 19.
AMP: 19! That’s, like, college age. Does your lost youth torture you in the afterlife?
JHG: Nah, man, it’s all pretty sweet. I just hang out, you know, taking in the vibes.
AMP: Right, but do you wake up in the chains of agony from your life tragically cut short?
JHG: Ah, actually, you know, it’s pretty quiet. This morning I read the back covers of fourteen textbooks. Actually, come to think of it, things get a little boring when —
AMP: Anyway, what were your last words before you died?
JHG: Not anything remarkable. It was probably something like “Is that a car?”
AMP: Tell me, Jared, why do you haunt the Jonsson Performance Hall? Is there a sinister significance behind it? What about its dimly lit stage draws your haunted spirit? What eerie aspect of it acts as a magnet to your macabre essence? What gaunt attraction captivates your ghoulish form? Wh —
JHG: Whoa, man, you’re going postal. Totally wigging out. Are you OK?
AMP: Yeah, I’m fine. What is eternal damnation like?
JHG: You need to take a chill pill. But to answer your question, it’s nice and quiet and dark. No one bothers me. It seems like the school’s Arts and Humanities budget still doesn’t pave the way for many performances.
AMP: OK, Jared. We get it; everyone likes poking fun at the STEM school. But what haunts you?
JHG: Not gonna lie, bro. All I do is play music and crave a burrito. It’s not much different from when I was alive. Back then, I’d wake up every morning and —
AMP: Actually, that’s all we have time for. Thanks for speaking to an AMP representative!
So obviously, I’ve cracked the case. The specter that haunts the Jonsson Performance Hall is a boy named Jared.
Like all of us, Jared had hopes and aspirations. He had shining potential, but it was tragically cut short by an unspeakable demise (that he spoke about). The interview transcript is wrought with contextual evidence that our friendly local Jared is in deep denial about the sorrow he feels for his departure from the land of the living.
What can we do now but support our ghostly friend? We must come together as a campus and provide a shoulder or an ear to Jared in his time of need. Because who knows — one day, you might find yourself waking up in the darkened halls of UTD for all of eternity.