You’re walking down from Herrick at an hour so unholy that even the full moon above you shrouds itself in shame behind dense and dangerous clouds. Your session in the 24-hour study room has left you with numb fingers, a crick in your neck, and a lingering dread that clings to whatever spirit you have left in you. You try to turn your phone on again and again until you finally relent and admit to yourself that it’s dead and staying dead until you get back to your dorm. It isn’t as though you’ll get lost or anything – in fact, you stand before the most grounding landmark on campus: Alfred the Great, King of the Saxons. And when your gaze is drawn upwards towards where his likeness is wont to stand, you are met with… nothing at all. Which couldn’t possibly be right. Did they perform maintenance on statues? You were 75% certain that that wasn’t how statues worked, and anyway, you would have received about 45 emails about it. A worm wriggles beneath your immediate disbelief and transforms it into something far more sinister. Every nerve in your body fires off; something is deeply, deeply wrong. And instinctually, your eyes search for the missing piece of reality. They land on a familiar silhouette, shrouded even further in darkness underneath the branches of the weeping elm outside of Powell. A familiar figure, to be sure. But certainty settles into the hinge of your slackened jaw as soon as he drops onto all bronze fours and sprints directly towards you.
Mason Winfield, author of eleven books on supernatural-paranormal subjects – including a book about creepy creatures of western New York entitled Shadows of the Western Door – has given light to a myriad of cryptids and paranormal occurrences regional to our area. Perhaps one has heard of the ‘Great Snake of the Allegany,’ the serpent indigenous to the upper Allegheny river. Or maybe of the ‘White Bigfoot of Belmont,’ a massive light-colored creature once spotted “keeping pace with cars in the vicinity of West Almond on Rt. 244” decades ago. Entities such as these (entities that very well may be flapdoodle, malarkey, et cetera,) I’m certain are of concern to others in Allegany county. I would like to raise, however, creatures that are firstly perhaps a little more grounded in reality (less likely to be flapdoodle, malarkey, et cetera,) and secondly endemic solely to Alfred.
Everyone knows about the Saxon Squirrels (students trapped in the bodies of squirrels on campus after the victim loses their ID and subsequent vestiges of their humanity) and The Ornithologist’s Chickadee (chickadees that, through sheer spite and a taste for human suffering, have developed a set of razor-sharp teeth and an ability to smell fear as to prey upon innocent banders). Last semester, a discovery was made that has yet to reach the public. Though everyone is well aware of the foul-tasting water at Alfred, very few know of its root cause.
The resident Water Imp, of course, is to blame. Through careful observance of heat signatures, the Water Imp will dance in the wells with its little imp feet every weekday from 8pm or so to sunrise. It will also teleport between pipes and occasionally block water fountains with a dense, magical sludge (sources state the substance tastes like it could be sourced from Ade – chemical testing concludes it is, in fact, imp scat.) Affected fountains range from blocked entirely to capable of producing a small stream that cannot even be raised to one’s lips.
But even still, this is all old news. After weeks of on-field research and dedicated journalism, I, Friend the Truth-Seeker, alone have discovered new creatures to report upon. I previously mentioned the ‘White Bigfoot of Belmont’ reported around West Almond. Well, I looked into this a little more closely upon reports of a mysterious, humanoid figure running across campus roads whilst playing a harmonica. And though it sounds outlandish and maybe a little libelous somehow, I believe the white sasquatch that has been spotted in our area is, in fact, famous singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. He has been found floating outside the window of the academic course about himself and sprinting alongside cars to see if his songs are being played on the radio. This may be in direct conflict with his alleged residence in Malibu present-day, but through various anecdotes and photographic evidence, it is an indisputable truth.
If anyone who is in possession of a genuine necronomicon, is capable of performing exorcisms and/or exterminations or is uncannily adept with a sewing needle (to bind the imp to the pipes), myself and my team who shall continue to remain nameless would deeply and thoroughly appreciative of your assistance with my continued research.