When I first moved into Galloway 112, I was happy to be surrounded by bathrooms on both sides of my room. This way, I figured, I wouldn’t have to deal with noisy neighbors.
Boy, was I wrong.
Within a week of moving in, my roommate and I began to hear creaks and faint scuttling sounds at night. We figured it was either the fault of old pipes or the Galloway Ghost. Both were rational conclusions, but I personally sided with the ghost theory.
Over the next few weeks, the scuttling became nosier. It sounded like something was running around in the ceiling space between my room and the guest restroom. Occasionally there would even be animalistic noises coming from the area above my bed really late at night.
By that point, my roommate and I began theorizing that there were squirrels in the ceiling of our room. Whether or not they were being possessed by the Galloway Ghost was up for debate.
My roommate and I didn’t really care enough about these potentially possessed pests to put in a work order for them. They weren’t bothering us, especially when compared to the infestation of gargantuan roaches that we were dealing with. The scuttling just became a sort of background noise.
One day, all of my assumptions about my noisy neighbors changed. I was walking nonchalantly back to my room after a long day of class, when I noticed that a girl was standing in the guest bathroom filming something. Now, I knew that nothing that exciting could be happening in the guest restroom, so I asked her what she was up to.
Instead of answering, she waved me in and pointed up at the air vent in the ceiling. For a moment, it was just empty space. As I began to ask what I was supposed to be seeing, a face popped out to peer through the grate. It was a raccoon!
As we stood there watching the adorable creature, a bit of a crowd started to gather in the Galloway guest bathroom. We stayed there for a little while to laugh at Galloway Raccoon and get Snapchat videos of it. After one girl said that she was going to put in a work order for it, I went back to my room somewhat relieved that I finally knew the identity of my noisy neighbor.
I’m not sure if the work order never got put in, or if the maintenance staff was just confused. Either way, no one ever evicted the raccoons.
For the next month or so, I continued to be apathetic towards the situation. I was almost pro-ceiling raccoons; after all, I wouldn’t want to sleep outside in the frightfully cool fall weather either. However, they soon began to overstay their welcome.
A few weeks after we observed the raccoon through the grate of the bathroom air vent, Galloway suddenly lost internet connection. Zach Green emailed the Hall about the outage, saying, “The fiber connection to Galloway is broken. I can’t verify this specifically, but I believe vermin have chewed on it somewhere, causing it to disconnect.”
This caused some animosity towards the raccoons, but I figured that since a vermin problem caused the internet outage, someone would fix the vermin problem.
I was mistaken.
The ceiling raccoons went back to doing ceiling raccoon thing, like scuttling around at 3 a.m., and I went back to not caring. All was well until the early morning of my last final.
I had gone to bed early, determined to get 8 hours of sleep before my 8 a.m. Religion final. My plan was rudely dashed by the raccoons, who decided that 5 a.m. was the perfect time to have an all-out brawl. Getting woken up by screams and scratching is terrifying. They were positioned directly above my bed and I was sure that they would break through the ceiling and fall on my face at any second. I laid there for 20 minutes, half-hoping the ceiling would break and the raccoons would put me out of my finals misery. It took nearly an hour after the noise stopped for me to finally drift off into rabid raccoon filled dreams.
When I turned the lights on the next morning, there was a new blood stain on the ceiling directly above my bed. Suffice to say that after that, I was in no way pro-ceiling raccoon.
After my final, I put in a work order for the creatures. For some reason, there is not a check box on the work order form for ceiling raccoons, but I somehow made it work anyway. I hoped that by the time winter break ended, the critters would be moved to a less residential area.
I wish I could give closure to this story, say that my ceiling is no longer inhabited by raccoons. But that would be a lie. Just this past week, facilities decided to try a new tactic for evicting these squatters. The guest bathroom has been closed off and a trap has been set for the raccoons. I have no idea if they will ever be caught. Perhaps they will just become the indoor version of Hendrix’s feral cat colony.