These tales are taken from personal accounts, witness testimony, and convincing retellings. Any likeness is coincidental. For entertainment purposes only. Reader discretion is advised.
The Christmas Visitor
For so many Indigenous descendants, Haskell Indian Nations University is a joyful place. Students come here to improve themselves and honor their tribes. Lifelong friends are made in the classrooms of many buildings. True love can be found in the shade of the elder trees that stand like protective centurions across campus. Haskell can be downright magical. For some students, these days will be among some of the best of their lives, and sometimes when their lives are over, they come back.
I have been told this story by multiple, credible sources on different occasions. It occurred during the Christmas break around the early 2000s. Two night-staff were working quietly in the front office of Osceola-Keokuk Hall. Some athletes were staying in the building over the break, which is why the staff were there. This particular night the building was devoid of residents as they were off celebrating the season with loved ones. It was a frigid night. The staff members who were working told me that sometime around midnight they heard a gentle tapping that turned to a frantic rapping on the office window. The staff stared at the window and saw no one, but could see the subtle vibrations of the glass as the pounding continued. It stopped. One staff member went outside to see what could be causing the phantom noise. He saw nothing out of the ordinary. He walked back into the lobby of OK Hall and looked at the glass doors where he had just come from. What he saw made his blood run cold. The mark of a face, pressed against the glass, was visible. The other staff was summoned to bear witness of the mark. They took pictures.
I have seen the pictures in the staff member’s private collection of paranormal photos at Haskell. He showed me two photos. Indeed, it did look like the face of a man was pressed against the window. I could see his cheek, nose, and eye-socket smashed sideways on the glass. The face was made out of the frost of the night, much like if you were to put your hand on a cold glass window and the handprint remaining lingers. More shocking to me was the second photo. It was the same face but from a different angle. In the second photo, the face was not pressed sideways against the glass, it was pressed straight forward onto the glass. His full frontal face was on display as if he were looking straight into the lobby area. The features were clear. It was an Indigenous man. I asked why the face mark had changed. If it were a smudge then the changing of the angle would not create a whole new image. The staff member showing me the photos agreed. It was very abnormal and only solidified the possibility of a paranormal encounter.
The pictures were shown to various workers on campus. One of the older employees recognized the face on the glass. He told me it belonged to a friend of his who attended Haskell with him. This revelation was corroborated by others who confirmed that this indeed was the face of somebody familiar. I was told that this student had grown up and passed away after a tragic life. He was remembered as recounting his time at Haskell as his happiest. It makes sense that upon passing, this particular individual would visit the place he loved so much. I feel like it is that way for many who pass through these halls and sleep in these dorms. He was just another alumni visiting a beloved place. I think that is a lovely thought.
Thank you for reading The Stories of the Supernatural this semester. I hope you have enjoyed the various stories of the unseen world as they pertain to this campus and institution. Look for more stories next semester, but perhaps under a different title. I am thinking of renaming the column something more creative. Email me with any suggestions.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a beautiful happy New Year! Stay safe my friends and remember, you are probably the scariest thing out there.
If you or someone you know has had a paranormal, supernatural, or preternatural experience at Haskell Indian Nations University and would like to share your story please contact Joe Singh at joseph.singh@ haskell.edu