Jess the Creep: Old Dawg House

by JESSICA ZALEWSKI '15


The moment you open the door, a pungent odor overcomes you, causing you to grimace. The rain makes the odor much ore overwhelming, and your eyes begin to water. Those last few moments of fresh air should be savored as you shut the door behind you. As you step in the door frame, the floor creaks beneath your feet, and that’s when you know you’re in the Old Dawg House, directly next to Schott Hall.

You choose to enter the room on your right. This is the legendary Costume Room your theatre friends might inform you about. Looking around the room you see racks upon racks of costumes, bins of pants, and a plethora of miscellaneous accessories on shelves. The closer you look at the costumes, the older they seem. For some reason a shiver runs down your spine as you graze past the vintage clothing, perhaps wondering if the owner of those clothes haunt the building. The paranoia slowly sinks in, and you choose to exit the room and further explore.

The room now across the hall is locked, so you’re left with two decisions: walk through the hall and see what other wonders it leads to, or walk up the steep, seemingly endless staircase. Something draws you to take the stairs, but you choose to save the best for last.

Walking through the hallway doesn’t spark a feeling of fear or anxiety. As a matter of fact, there’s nothing too different about this hallway. There are 3 quotes painted on the walls, obviously from previous school-spirited alumna. There is one room with a few racks of costumes on it, which leads to the senior patio, which is shining brightly on such a beautiful day. Your bright surroundings fill you with a sense of reassurance and courage that leads you back to the staircase.

There is a bright pattern painted on the steps blue with neon yellow and pink stripes. You’ve reached the top of the stairs and are standing in front of a large door. You open the door, and immediately regret it. This smell is much worse than that of the costume room…it smells of wet, old, plastic. There are no lights in the room, but the only object you can make out is a sink with a sign that says “do not run water; it leaks through the floors.” Wonderful, now you can’t wash your hands of the dust that has collected on them. There’s nothing more to see in this room, so you move on to another room which seems to belong to the theatre, full of shoes and hats. With every step the floors creak louder and longer, slowly building up more fear within you. ]You accidentally go to pick a hat up a bit too aggressively and find your hand stuck in a cobweb. You dance about the room, unskillfully attempting to shake off the cobweb, but continue to feel like there is something crawling up and down your arm. You put the hat back where it was, and close the door behind you.

Walking across the hall, you find a final door. This door is quite creepy because as the light of the outside brightens up the room, the door sort of glows. There are two objects on the bottom which are blocking the light on the other side of the door, almost like two feet. You’re now faced with another decision: run down the stairs, acting as if you saw nothing and carrying on with your day, or courageously going for the door. You choose option two, because you know you cannot live with not knowing what could possibly lie beyond the door. You attempt to quietly approach the door, but your silence is soon interrupted by a sudden gust of wind and the creaking of the floor. You pause, listening to your racing heart as if it knows something you don’t. Behind the door lies a lone desk sitting in the corner of the room. Alright, so that wasn’t quite as creepy as you were suspecting, but the overall feeling of the room isn’t inviting. The way the light casts shadows throughout the empty room makes your visit brief. The light shines they way it did before, but now you notice that there seems to be nothing obstructing the light from the other side of the door as it had before…you quicken your pace down the stairs and leave without looking back.

When asking Tessa Wheeler ’15 about her experiences as head of costumes in the building, she said “there is one room with a desk and an old wardrobe through which you could probably visit Narnia in. There have been times when costumes have randomly gone missing, and then we’ll find them a few days later.” So whether you’ve had the chance to visit it or not, next time you walk past the Old Dawg House, look at the old, white door that leads inside. Maybe take a peak at the antique windows that are not exactly the most inviting. Have you ever wondered what could be dwelling on the other side?