The Inside Scoop on the Crosswalk Demon of New Quad

by McKenzie Snellgrove

Any Centre student who has been anywhere near New Quad in the past few weeks has inevitably come in contact with the raspy and alarming voice emanating from the crosswalk signal. As soon as students press the button to cross, they are met with a grating “WAIT!” soon followed by a loud “WALK SIGN IS ON FOR ALL CROSSINGS!” Students living in New Quad dorms have complained about the disruption this voice has caused to their study sessions and sleep cycles. 

In the testimony of one sleep-deprived freshman, she says her nights have become a blur of hallucinations and waking nightmares where the demonic voice grips her in her bed, leaving her in a puddle of her own sweat. While these sweaty nights are no new occurrence in the AC wasteland that is New Quad dorms, she still proclaims that she has never felt terror and discomfort like this before. Another testimony comes from the crosswalk signal on the opposite side of the street, who affirms it is “deeply ashamed to be working alongside it” calling the defective signal a “disgrace to pedestrian safety and speakers everywhere.”

In light of this dire situation, the top-secret reporters of the Cento have gone undercover to discover the source of this terrifying voice. During the day, we seemed to be getting nowhere. However, once the clock chimed 12 under the dark night sky, all became clear. As we stared in awe, a tall gray demon emerged from the speaker and told us that if we wanted to cross, we must answer a riddle. One of the witnesses to this appearance noted that the demon looked remarkably as though the Abe Lincoln statue had come back to life after being electrocuted and tortured in Hell. In the grating screech, the demon asked “How many SAE’s does it take to screw in a light bulb?” After thinking for a moment, we guessed “three,” to which the demon responded  “NO! The answer is NONE! They’re all out on the porch.” Cackling, the demon swallowed up one of our reporters and was sucked back into the speaker. 

This terrifying encounter prompted us to do a deep dive into the history of this demon. According to Beneath The Columns: A History of the Occult at Centre College, the demon is McGee Moreland, an ancestor of current president of Centre, P Milly. When McGee attended Centre in 1914, he was killed in a horrific accident where a DPS horse-buggy flattened him on Main Street. Witnesses to the event claimed to hear him cry out with his dying breath in a raspy voice, “You can’t get rid of ol’ M. Milly that easily! This won’t be the last you see of me!” For the past hundred years, he has haunted lampposts, stoplights, and, now, the crosswalk sign at the place of his death. 

According to the book, this is also not the first time the demon has caused a disruption on campus. Back in the 80s, there were reports of students standing near the crosswalk when sparks fell from the light, catching their aerosol-filled hairdos on fire. When the speaker was originally added to the crosswalk, some claimed that when they pushed the button to cross, it would yell Latin curses back at them before turning the light yellow for 5 minutes. The college attempted to fix these disturbances to no avail. Eventually, the disturbance would die down until the demon was inevitably woken from his rageful slumber by cars running the red light, students jaywalking when the light is green, and music playing that is anything other than ragtime.

In recent developments, DPS has been attempting to exorcise the demon from the speaker, flying in a Catholic priest from the Vatican and the Warren family from the Conjuring. Then, just when it seems the demonic ghost of M. Milly is gone for good and the students are peacefully sleeping in their beds, the entire campus is jolted out of bed with a “WALK SIGN IS ON FOR ALL CROSSINGS!”

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