It’s a fact that UH Mānoa has some creepy bathrooms that no one would dare walk into alone, especially at night. As a student on campus, I can say that I’ve used a fair share of these bathrooms, and it’s true that they’re a bit eerie. But of all the bathrooms on campus, one in particular caught my eye: the women’s second-floor bathroom in Spalding Hall.
My friend and I visited the bathroom together, and just being in there made us feel nervous. Although it was daytime, we couldn’t stand being in there for more than five minutes. After my friend and I left, she started telling me a story about a friend who had encountered something in that bathroom. After listening to this story, I didn’t know if I could believe it, so I asked her for her friend’s name and contact information to get the real details.
But this wasn’t enough. I wanted to see if anyone else had experienced something in that bathroom. So I visited my brother’s old Ilokano teacher that had an office in Spalding, and he directed me to an Asian studies professor. These are their stories.
Lend me a hand
Last semester, Joy Chan, 20, psychology major, was getting ready to leave school one late Wednesday evening after she accompanied her friend to visit her professor on Spalding’s second floor. Before leaving, she decided to use the bathroom that was near the stairs, but her friend urged her to use another.
“I’ve used this bathroom before and always have gotten this feeling like someone’s watching me,” said Hawaiian language major Malia Smith. “It gives me bad vibes.”
But Chan, thinking that it was all in Smith’s head, chose not to listen.
Upon entering the bathroom, Chan said that it seemed “sketchy.” The walls had holes, the paint was coming off and the bathroom also seemed to double as a storage room. Various boxes, plastic storage containers and computer equipment were stacked behind two white boards, about 5-foot-5 in height, which served as dividers.
Chan made a right and finally entered the five-stall bathroom area, and it was empty, humid and quiet. When she started using the bathroom, she heard a distinct noise.
“It sounded like something banging against a metal shed door. It wasn’t a big bang; it was just a slight bang. I thought it was the wind causing it,” Chan said.
When she finished using the bathroom, she waited a few moments before leaving the stall, then heard the same noise again. She finished up and rushed to wash her hands, but as she was drying them she heard it again.
“Honestly, I thought it was the wind. But I saw that the window was shut and the main door was closed, and I started getting a weird vibe because there’s no way that noise could be caused by nothing,” Chan said.
As she made her way out of the bathroom, she thought she saw something out of the corner of her eye. She described it as a white shadow passing behind her and she stopped for a moment and heard the noise again.
After completely turning around and facing the divider, she slowly walked up to it.
Chan said she wanted to find the source of the noise because she didn’t want to seem crazy.
So she placed her hand on the white divider on the right, noting that it was covered with a soft fabric. She gently pushed it but didn’t hear anything. Then she tried again, but this time gripped the hard wooden top and shook it vigorously, finally eliciting the noise.
With a sigh of relief, she decided to leave the bathroom. She lifted her hand but felt a sudden weight on it. She tried to move, but the weight on her hand prevented her from doing so.
“It felt like someone or something on the other side of that divider placed their hand on mine, but there was no one there. There was no hand,” Chan said. “I got the hell outta there.”
Chan found Smith outside and confirmed that there was something strange about the bathroom, telling her that she never wanted to go to that bathroom alone.
“I never thought that things like this actually happened until I experienced it for myself,” Chan said.
Hide and go-seek
Asian Studies professor Janice Wong had just picked up her 8-year-old daughter Katie from Saint Francis School up the hill from campus when she realized she had left a folder with her students’ papers in her last class, so she returned to campus to get it.
She had planned to leave her daughter in the car because it wouldn’t take long to run to her class and grab the papers, but her daughter insisted she go with her.
Wong and her daughter rushed up Spalding Hall to the second floor. This wasn’t her normal classroom, but she had switched rooms with another teacher for a bigger space for the day. Luckily for her, the doors were still unlocked; Department of Public Safety had not yet locked the main doors like they usually do. When she entered the classroom, her manila folder was on the desk. Grabbing it, she headed out.
As she made her way out of the classroom and past the brown double doors, she decided to make a stop at the bathroom before setting off on her long drive home.
“Once I entered the bathroom, I thought I read the sign wrong. Even my daughter asked me where we were,” Wong said.
She took notice of how aged the bathroom looked, as well as the small storage space with the barrier-like boards in front of her. But she continued walking into the empty stall area.
Her daughter told her that she didn’t need to use the bathroom, so Wong told her to wait outside the stall. But as soon as Wong entered and began to use the bathroom, she could hear her daughter heavily stomping her feet. She assumed that her daughter was trying to hurry her up, but when she heard her steps become more distant she got a bit worried. She called out to her daughter, but her daughter didn’t reply.
“It was after I called her for the third time when she finally responded. But she didn’t say anything; I could just hear her laughing.” Wong said.
After hearing her daughter’s laugh, she became worried, wondering what her daughter was laughing at. She finished up in the bathroom and hurried out to get her daughter – only to find her in front of the white barrier.
According to Wong, she watched her daughter point above the white border, jumping up and down, laughing. But there was no one there.
“I asked my daughter why she was laughing, and she said that there was a lady playing with her, popping her head up and down from behind the board and looking at her,” Wong said, adding that she felt chills after her daughter told her that.
Wong also stated that the light was on and she could clearly see that there was no lady visible.
Feeling a bit uneasy, Wong guided her daughter back into the stall area, telling her to stay right behind her. She continued to wash her hands when suddenly her daughter started laughing again.
“She told me that that the lady was playing with me now,” Wong said.
Wong said she looked back to her daughter, who was smiling. Thinking she was just playing a joke, Wong shrugged it off. But as she turned back to face the mirror, she saw someone in the last stall poking their head out and looking at her.
“That thing had big dark eyes. It was slightly looking out of the stall and at me,” Wong said. “After seeing that, I grabbed my daughter and ran out of the bathroom. I just wanted to leave.”
According to Wong, this incident happened during her second year teaching at UH. She said that she heard of ghost activity that happened in buildings and such but didn’t really believe in it.
“I definitely believe in that stuff now,” Wong said.