Demarest Hall on the College Avenue Campus is worthy of far more than a simple account relating what the RR Team found on a brief run-through during the summer. There’s a real history behind this place! Social unrest, cupolas & weather vanes, special interests groups, amazing parties, life-long struggles with housing & Res Life, rumored suicides, underground tunnels- it just goes on and on. However inadequate, this RR spin on dear old Demarest, which merely features “double déjà vu”, a glimpse of the traditional Demarite artwork and some of ye’ old history will have to suffice ‘til we can pay another visit to this most unusual home to some of Rutgers finest.
Built in the 1950’s, Demarest is actually one of the younger buildings on CAC and it was first the home to the RU football team before it became the residence for Honors and Special Interest students. The main lounge area is huge, long and well-suited to holding squadrons of linebackers or hordes of frenzied emo-kids rockin’ out. It was in this main lounge that one member of the RR Team had an unusual personal experience, and no not that kind of personal… “When standing down by the fireplace in Demarest, I got that eerie, sort of stomach-turning feeling of recognition. Puzzled, I focused on the little football guy statues or andirons and this time it really hit me strong. I had been down here before, standing just like this before the fireplace in this long, huge lounge. Even the iron football statues looked so damn familiar, but where did I see this? I know I never was in Demarest before. Heck, I didn’t even reside on campus as an undergrad. I’m sure I never saw any pictures of the Main Lounge, so where, when? The feeling of recognition was undeniable and then on the tip of my tongue, I recalled it. I HAD DREAMED of this place not too long ago (maybe a year or so) and what’s really, really CREEPY and TRUE is that I’m a fairly lucid dreamer and I recall dreaming about this place and KNOWING in my dream that I was experiencing déjà vu. In other words, I had dreamed of the Main Lounge in Demarest and in that dream I was certain I had been in this place before. I can only call this “double déjà vu”. Or maybe my dream was in some way predictive of the déjà vu I would experience when I actually physically stood in Demarest for the first time. Are you confused yet? This is far more terrifying in its eeriness than I can ever properly explain.”
Needless to say, this half of the RR Team was struck rather badly by this Demarest experience and was sort of reduced to a blithering idiot for the rest of the investigation. Luckily, the colder, more sober half of the Team kept his act together and subdued the blithering idiot with Gatorade and some brightly colored bits of string while he continued onward, stopping only to take some pics of the floor-to-ceiling artwork in the rooms adjacent to the lounge. Good stuff that!
Demarest has many stories of suicides & deaths swirling in its wake; the last we heard was during the Ghost Tours on CAC. Actually it was our friendly Ghost Tour Guide who told us her creepy experience in the Main Lounge area. She claimed that while hanging down there with a group of friends late one night, they all noticed a guy standing alone near the fireplace. They didn’t know him and just kept talking amongst themselves. Then one girl shrieked and said “Oh my god- his head just fell off” and the “guy” who apparently was decapitated just disappeared from the group’s sight. Now our guide seemed kinda goofy, but she also seemed fairly sincere while recalling this story. While we don’t really understand the details, (I mean he just “poof” disappeared? Just like that?) we’d love to hear some more! Any takers?
Until we meet again, Demarest…