February 16, 2017

Some places, I'm sure, are haunted, while other places do the haunting, and sometimes it's hard to tell which. But I have an idea. Imagine that you have stumbled upon an old, tired chapel while on a walk in an unfamiliar city. This place wasn't in any guidebook, you realize, but it's so charming that you have the selfish desire to keep its location secret, safe from prying cameras.

So rather than take a few pictures and move on to the next street, you take a second and look up. Imagine how many people have stood where you now stand, have breathed the very same air in this space, have colored the buildings before them with their own unique memories and places in history. Imagine all the souls who have lived and loved and fought and died in this city, have heard these same church bells tolling for the past five hundred years. Old or young, in between, famous or unknown - so many Lives have intertwined here. And now you can add your name to that list of visitors known only to the God who watches over this place.

And now listen to the silence that surrounds you like a wordless prayer. It is around midnight - children's laughter has long ago faded away, and most of your fellow tourists are probably already too drunk to appreciate a haunted, haunting place like this.

You, my friend, are a lucky soul.

By Jessica Costello '19, from the 2016 edition of the Cairn, the College’s literary and art journal.