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Fall

Elizabeth Ortiz, MS, F-ABMDI

I love the smell of fall. It is my favorite season and I happily wait for the indicators that fall has arrived, such as the changing of the leaves, the cooler weather, pumpkin lattes and Halloween. Granted, Halloween does not have the same meaning for me as it does to others. Many look at this holiday as a time to dress up, eat extra chocolate and tell ghost stories. I just appreciate the holiday because it is fun to see peoples’ ideas of what is scary. Many are scared of ghosts and this holiday seems to bring out all sorts of ghost stories.

Regis University is a university known for its beautiful architecture, landscaping and rich history. What is not often verbalized are the ghosts walking on the campus. What ghost wouldn’t want to be associated with such a beautiful campus? I know I would want my spirit to walk between the trees on the campus and the beautiful sculptures associated with the university’s rich history. I would like to see the alleged ghosts that walk in the Main Building.

This ghost or ghosts have been known to shut doors and walk in the basement and the fourth floor of the Main Building. Many have tried to explain the shutting of the doors by explaining the doors were shut because a window was left open and a current of air happened to come through the building and it shut the door. But how do you explain when multiple doors abruptly slam shut? From what is known about air currents, it has never been documented that an air current can make sharp right and left hand turns, let alone randomly decide what direction it wants to go to shut various doors. I don’t believe we are the only ones that inhabit this planet.

For example, in the summer of 2012 a horrific event took place in Aurora, Colorado. James Holmes murdered numerous innocent individuals at the showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” The darkness of his actions were felt in my office. The air had a strange sense of heaviness and the walls felt as though they were going to cave in from all of the sadness. Where the bodies were kept there was a stillness, a stillness an earthquake could not shake.

As it is in the coroner’s office, death does not take a break and additional deaths needed to be investigated. I was the next investigator on duty, thus the next call fell upon me. I can specifically remember I had to investigate the death of an elderly male who had died at home. The death was a natural one, but he did not have any pre-arrangements so he had to be transported to the coroner’s office. One of the things I have to do when I investigate a death is remove all of the deceased’s property. We do this to ensure it does not get lost when the deceased is picked up by the funeral home, but also because it can be difficult to find family members after time has passed.

This particular man was taken to the coroner’s office and our office waited for family to select a funeral home. The family selected a funeral home the next day and the removal service was at our office later in the day. When the pathologist assistant went to the cooler to verify his identification, there was a Saint Michael medallion on his body bag. The medallion had been placed on his chest. Who placed it there was unknown because he left his residence without any property. Nobody has access to the cooler but somehow Saint Michael, the chief opponent of Satan and assists souls at the hour of death, was inside of the cooler.

To this day we do not know how it got there. I believe that some spiritual being was making their presence known and was taking care of all who had died, particularly those who had died in that theater. This is something I will always hold dear in my heart. Even though evil was present on July 20, 2012, those individuals left our office accompanied by a much greater being and with much love.