Wednesday, July 18, 2012

School Spirits: Sweet Briar College

Have you been watching the new SyFy show School Spirits? The first couple of episodes were okay -- nothing too scary, but interesting enough to keep my TiVo's season pass programmed. Tonight's episode, however, was quite a good time!

The entire hour was dedicated to Sweet Briar College, an all women's college in Virginia. The school sits on land that was once a plantation owned by the Fletcher family. Upon the patriarch's death his daughter, Indiana, inherited the land. Indiana had one child, a daughter named Daisy, who died of a congenital condition at the age of 16. Indiana, grief-stricken in her loss, decided to donate her land and money in order for the college to be built. It was her hope that by doing so, young women would be able to receive higher education, something that Daisy was never able to do.

Aww, what a sweet story. Makes you a little teary-eyed, huh? Of course, there's more.

The episode goes on to tell the story of three classmates (all current students graduating in the classes of 2013-2015) who have experienced ghostly encounters with Daisy. One of the standout stories was when two girls were riding in an elevator in one of the dormitories when the elevator took them to the 4th floor, instead of their desired 3rd floor. The thing of it is, you weren't able to access the 4th floor without the override key. When the elevator doors opened they found themselves staring into a room of old furniture. Creepier still was the fact that there was a single chair, facing directly in front of the elevator doors, as if someone was sitting there... watching them. The chair began to move, but as soon as one of the girls yelled, "Daisy, stop!" the chair stopped moving and the elevator door finally closed, taking them to the 3rd floor as they'd originally intended.

While, at first, the experiences were terrifying and unsettling (I know I'd pee in my pants if I'd seen the reflection of someone standing next to me when there wasn't anyone there), once the girls realized that Daisy meant them no harm they were all able to relax a bit. They even made an annual pilgrimage to her gravesite (on school grounds), bringing her flowers, and thanking Daisy and her family for the opportunity and privilege of attending Sweet Briar.

Some time passed when one of the girls was walking back to her dorm, alone, one night and heard someone whistle at her. (Unfortunately, the whistle was similar to the sound of my text alert on my iPhone and from this point forward it's going to scare the crap out of me every time I receive a text.) She looked around and in the distance saw the figure of a large man, dressed in black. She began to run, but as she looked back he was gone. All of a sudden she felt a presence behind her and, although she wanted to run, she was frozen in fear. Oh man, then the thing starts singing in her ear! Augh! I almost had to turn the damn TV off! (I, too, had an experience with an entity that was way too close for comfort. I'll tell you about that some time.) After she told her friends about the incident they did some research and found that Daisy's uncle (Indiana's brother) had been disinherited because of the shame he had brought to the Fletcher family. He was a drunk, an accused murderer, and the worst criminal the area had seen during his time. He was angry that he received none of the land nor money and even threatened to kill Indiana. The girls believed this was the person who was taunting them and terrorizing them. As far as we know, the incidents continue to this day, but the classmates refuse to be intimidated by him and call upon Daisy to help in their battle against him.

OK. I'm home by myself tonight and I'm extremely jittery after watching this episode. Every little noise makes me jump. So, good job School Spirits! Because of your decent storytelling and spooky re-enactments I can't help but give you three solid jumps on my Scare-O-Meter!

Sleeping with the light on tonight...

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