Larla Schnutter and the Mystery of Mohn Hall

It isn’t easy treading the paths of St. Olaf, knowing what I know. That there are things many of us don’t understand – can’t understand – don’t want to understand. That there are (probably) ghosts centuries old haunting this very campus. I, Larla Schnutter, vow to uncover the spooky secrets this college (probably) has to offer, using my detective skills, my girlish gumption, and the 500 words allotted me in this newspaper. I, Larla Schnutter, am the paranormal investigator this seedy town has been waiting for, the private eye Northfield deserves.

. . .

I sat on the floor of Mohn 702, the room dimly lit by electric tea lights, rain dribbling down the windows in dark gushes.

The door opened and in walked a blonde broad — Callory Nordlund, the most popular girl at St. Olaf, as admired as she is Norwegian (100 percemt).

“Sorry about the power,” she spoke in a raspy whisper, barely audible above the rain. “Apparently, I shouldn’t plug in my laptop, my hairdryer and my straightener all at once.”

I eyed the tea lights, which seemed only to have a “flicker” setting.

“That’s alright, Callory. I prefer to go old-fashioned anyway.” I turned back to my typewriter and continued tapping out our English essay.

“I hope we can still finish our project,” Callory said, sitting down beside me. We were writing a partner essay on “The Turn of the Screw” and its use of the unreliable narrator. It was hard to focus with someone so distractingly attractive sitting two inches away.

Suddenly, there was a CRACK! Our heads shot up to see the mirror on the door fall to the floor.

“Crap!” Callory crawled over to the mirror. “This is the third time this month.”

I felt a tingle in my ears, like there was a mystery itching to be solved.

“Callory,” I said, “Have you had any bad dreams recently – perhaps felt a sudden chill out of nowhere?”

Callory stared at me blankly.

“Got any dead relatives? Perhaps a vengeful ex-lover?”

But she was already getting Command strips and trying to tape the mirror back up. She was only using four of them. That wasn’t enough to hold up such a large mirror, especially if you have a dead relative’s ghost keen on ripping it off. I was about to mention as much when Callory turned around, tears in her eyes.

“I’m sorry, I’m just having the worst day. Can we finish the essay tomorrow? I think I’m going to watch ‘Gilmore Girls’ and eat Wheat Thins until I fall asleep.”

I was about to object but the tears in the dame’s clear blue eyes hushed me up. I stood, hoisting my typewriter up along with my ash tray and glass of scotch. I nodded goodbye to Callory as I closed the door behind me. I heard another CRACK followed by a whimper from inside. I grimaced and hurried away, but in my rush I ran right into someone.

“Excuse you,” said the someone who looked about thirty-five and was all dressed in ‘70s hippie garb, tie-dye and all. He pushed past me as I struggled to concoct a sly comeback. I spun around to stun the mysterious man with my wit but discovered the hallway to be completely empty, as though he had disappeared out of thin air. Curious.

I am not wooed by Callory’s womanly wiles, however something definitely fishy is going on in Mohn Hall. Could it have anything to do with Hilleboe Chapel?


(Based on true events)