Harvard Explained: Rooming Myths

Party suites and river views aren’t the only criteria by which to pick a room. One must also consider the

Party suites and river views aren’t the only criteria by which to pick a room. One must also consider the secrets that the room’s four walls might conceal, some of which have sparked age-old myths and rumors that still manage to frighten residents today.

Eliot has always had a reputation of housing Harvard’s elite, but rumor has it that its residents haven’t always received the royal treatment. “I heard that in Eliot, you have to sleep in the servants’ quarters as a sophomore,” says Jasper N. Henderson ’12. Some Eliot residents defend their house’s high-end status, such as Christine F. Matera ’11. “I’ve never heard of that,” she says. “That’s ridiculous!”

Winthrop’s new housing rule, which no longer guarantees seniors “n+1” housing, has led its residents to fear the possibility of being sexiled well into their senior year. Some residents who are granted a stroke of luck prove this myth to be false. “We had the last senior housing lottery number and still ended up with ‘n + 1/2’ housing,” says one anonymous senior, who offers a solution to fellow residents who find themselves without luck. “You can always kill a roommate.”

Dunsterites have more to fear than just a long walk to and from the Yard. The infamous and supposedly haunted room H-21, the rumored site of a 1995 murder-suicide, makes Dunster the campus’ spookiest residence. However, most loyal residents are able to sleep soundly. “I’m not concerned that I will suddenly murder my roommate or be murdered by her,” says future resident Sarah B. Rosenberg-Wohl ’12. Indeed, undergraduate residents need not fear finding dried bloodstains underneath the varnish of their floorboards; H-21 is now a proctor’s suite.

Adams’ reputation for being a theatrical and dramatic house might have lead to the recent rumors about vampires residing in the the house’s underground tunnels. While students have yet to start hanging cloves of garlic on their doors, the dim lighting and dark wood of the gloomy house, which could be the perfect setting for the “Twilight” sequel, only perpetuate the rumors. “Don’t vampires live in Adams House?” asks Hunter M. Richard ’12. “It has like an aura of spiritual darkness.”