Custodians share spooky tales of Halloweens past



Maintenance custodian supervisor Leila Ruiz shares her custodial horror stories on Thursday morning in the CUB Auditorium, which is supposedly haunted.

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen roots editor

After 67 years, it’s no surprise that the CUB has collected a few spirits since opening in 1952. Custodians often have odd hours, making it easier for them to hear the bumps in the night.

Leila Ruiz, maintenance custodian supervisor, has several spooky stories to tell after 41 years working for the CUB. 

The CUB auditorium has a ghost lingering around, Ruiz said. The audio/visual crew was putting everything away for the night after an event when an employee heard someone say, “Is there a second showing?”

The crew member said they saw a woman’s figure in the back of the auditorium. When they glanced away for a second, she was gone. 

Ruiz said the crew member who saw the sighting likes to tell new employees the story.

Ruiz also worked in the CUB before renovations in the 1980s. Before the renovations, the fourth floor had 30 hotel rooms, she said. 

One particular mirror stays in her memory from the fourth floor. A handprint, placed on the right corner of the mirror, would be cleaned every night, Ruiz said. Except the handprint would always come back.

Hotel guests complained the mirror was not being cleaned, but she said they would clean it off.

Her sister also worked with her for 11 years, and together, they tried to rationalize how it happened, Ruiz said.

“There’s a hotel guest up there that never checked out,” she said.

Ruiz comes into the CUB at 4:30 a.m. The halls are dark, sometimes the elevators go up and down without having someone push a button and the toilets flush by themselves, she said. 

“I see if anybody is up there, then you just blow it off,” Ruiz said.

Another custodian, who requested to remain anonymous, has a story that gave some residents a fright.

First thing in the morning, the custodians got a call saying a resident could not get out of their room. 

Someone had stolen cups from the dining hall and lined the entire hallway with them full of water, the custodian said. The person even put cups on resident’s doors so the cups would spill if they tried to open the door. 

The custodian said the person was never caught.

Ruiz also has stories from working alone. She said when she was working on putting carpet in the old CUB ballroom, that was there before the renovation, she opened the ballroom doors to get air. It was on a weekend when the CUB was closed and she was working alone. She said it was dark. A figure walked through the ballroom.

“I was supposed to be by myself. I never went after the person or shadow,” Ruiz said.