Last Thursday, McFarlin Library hosted a ghost tour that promised the exploration of the haunted upper library floors. TU students registered for the event, expecting to hear rudimentary ghost stories and learn the lore surrounding the library on campus.
Things were relatively normal. The librarian explained the history of the floor and quipped about being quiet or else “the ghost will hear” him. The cheesy jokes were expected, the light tone comfortable and the content mildly interesting.
Of course, things changed when the librarian headed into the basement, the catacombs of books awaiting viewers like an old friend.
Then, a creak.
The librarian genuinely seemed surprised. He joked, “Must’ve been Farly the Ghost.”
A male voice grumbled.
“Or campus security?” the librarian offered, his voice noticeably nervous.
The camera panned to the culprit: the hunched figure of an older man sitting at a desk. As the librarian came closer to the mysterious apparition, viewers could hear nonsensical murmurs from the man.
“Hello, are you supposed to be here, sir?” the librarian asked.
When the slouched man turned around, the librarian let out a relieved sigh. “Oh, it’s just Clancy,” the librarian said. “Wait, Clancy? What are you doing here?”
“For eighty-six days,” Clancy began, stopping briefly to wet his lips, “I have traveled through the underpass that connects our earthly realm. Conversed with the fickle gods, their words stilted and hollow. Danced in the moonlight with the spirits of yore.”
Clancy hunched over again, hands coming to a comically large amulet around his neck. Its gem shined with an iridescent glow, teals and blues and greens swirling upon the pendant. His fingers tapped twice against the barrage of colors.
“They said I went to Iowa,” he said. “Hades. Purgatory. The inferno. I have journeyed through the metaphysical plains with a pickaxe and a tome of necromancer spells. I have seen the horrors of the world, the blight of forgotten history. Iowa.”
“I wanted to save TU. Raise our confidence. Support that sexy, sexy cybersecurity major,” Clancy continued, voice shaking in indignancy. “I did what I could. And this is what I reaped.”
Clancy wrapped his frail hands around the amulet and threw it to the ground; its tempest of colors violently swirled, its brightness an eye-burning visual. “You talk to him,” his voice boomed. “You talk to this Farly.”
“He sold me the Amulet. Kept it in his pouch. He told me I could fix my mistakes. Find the praise from the TU community I so desired. Instead, he led me to Ruin,” Clancy’s eyebrows furrowed. “I never found my Fruition.”
Then, Clancy’s gaze went to the camera, a jolting glare delivered to the audience. “But now,” he said, hands wringing together, “we can find it together, can’t we?”
The librarian tried again. “I’m sure we can—”
“I hope you are ready to meet our Maker, sir, because he is not kind to the straggler.”
And, in that moment, the shine of the amulet was too bright, too much. The camera fell to the ground. The image went black.
The Zoom meeting officially ended after that. After reaching out to the investigators who searched for that cursed librarian, they reported that he moved to Iowa. All was well in Iowa.