What with Halloween upon us, you
may be interested to know that Ray Brownell and Mike Hilton didn't wait for
this holiday to consider the ghostly possibilities of Alice Van der Veer.
You know the story: in 1672, young
Alice and her father were supposedly burned at the stake by an angry mob,
somewhere near what is now Jackson's
Garden, after dad killed one of his daughter's suitors.
Those in the know say that Alice's
ghost strolls – perhaps floats – up to the garden from the Stockade area on the
first full moon of summer.
And so it was on July 15, that
Brownell, the director of the annual fund, and Hilton, campus fire safety
officer, became … well, believers.
Brownell and his colleagues were
hosting a national gathering of some 150 annual fund officers, most of whom
were staying in Davidson. On the night of July 14, the first full moon of
summer, the campus power went out. And stayed out.
So, very early Tuesday morning,
after the disruption had caused problems with the building's fire alarms,
Brownell and Hilton had the unenviable task of waking the visitors and moving
them to the Ramada Inn.
The early hour notwithstanding,
the guests were quite agreeable, Brownell reports. Some even seemed to enjoy
the adventure, he said.
Later, it was Hilton who called
Brownell's attention to the legend. The ghost of Alice,
it seems, had haunted the conference. Though there was no sighting, the two are convinced that she had a role in causing the power outage and resulting migration.
Undeterred, though, the meeting of
STAFF (Sharing the Annual Fund Fundamentals) will again be hosted at the
College this July, with or without Alice.
And sometime around the first full moon of summer.