Ghost Story

Folk Belief- Ghosts: Penelope

Penelope is the resident ghost at the University Apartments in apartments 3a and 4a. Warnings of encountering this ghost are passed down from apartment to apartment every year. Murphy’s story goes as stated:

“On the first week of school, I went into the bathroom and I proceeded to put my boxers and clothes on top of the toilet. I got out of the shower and found my clothes on the floor with the bathroom toilet seat up. Take in mind that none of my roommates were here and the bathroom door is locked. So then I went to wash my clothes and I put my clothes into the washer. When my clothes were done I started to put them in the dryer and I noticed there was a lacey blue pair of panties in my laundry. Disturbed, I put them in the trash can. When I got my clothes out the dryer, I folded them and noticed another pair of lacey blue panties in my laundry. So I shut the dryer and left my clothes and ran upstairs. That was Penelope.”

I found Murphy’s interpretation of Penelope to be full of comedic relief from a type of folk belief that is usually deemed as scary. I believe this ghost story can be used as a marker of identification. Students on Xavier’s campus may start to know Murphy as “the person who has encountered a ghost or the person who can tell good ghost stories.”  This ghost story can also be used as a right of passage for new roommates who will move into apartments 3a and 4a. Former residents will determine whether the new residence of 3a and 4a can become a part of the Penelope group, by testing to see if they have come in contact with Penelope.