Disclaimer: I do not own, nor am I affiliated in any way with TAPS, Ghost Hunters, or anyone associated with them. The only things that are truly my own are my imagination and the ideas that come from it.
The sky was just beginning to get light when I opened my eyes the next morning. A deep feeling of contentment filled me, and I smiled, trying to recall the dream that had left me feeling so wonderful. I stretched and rolled over to find Spook lying next to me. Recalling the previous night’s events and out conversation in the study lounge, I sighed and snuggled closer to him. It hadn’t been a dream that had made me so happy; it was real. Spook smiled in his sleep and wrapped his arms more tightly around me. Feeling safe and secure, I soon drifted off to sleep again.
When I awoke the second time, the sun shone brightly through the window. I sat up and realized with disappointment that Spook had gone. Pushing my hair out of my face, I glanced at the clock and gasped. We were supposed to meet Dr. Cuomo and Dr. Anderson at the Admissions Office at noon; it was already 10:30.
An hour later, I had showered and dressed and was just tying my sneakers so I could run down to the convenience store for coffee when there was a low knock at the door. I pulled my hair into a ponytail as I crossed the room. When I opened the door, I found Spook standing there with an impish grin on his face, holding two cups of coffee and a small paper bag. “Care for some breakfast, Sleeping Beauty?” he asked. He handed me one of the coffees. “I hope I got it right.”
I took a sip and smiled. Just the right amount of cream and a touch of sugar. “Mmm, this is perfect. Thank you.”
He smiled, obviously pleased with himself, and offered me the paper bag. “I wasn’t sure what you liked with your coffee. There’s a blueberry muffin and a breakfast sandwich in the bag.” I claimed the muffin, and Spook took the breakfast sandwich, and we ate quickly so we could head across campus to the Admissions Office. Jason, Grant and Amber were likely already there setting up.
By the time we walked through the doors of Stegman Hall and took the elevator to the second floor, Jason, Grant and Amber were waiting for us in the hallway. By the look on Amber’s face, I sensed that Jason had told her what we had heard from Jared. We all went into the Admissions Office, and Amber greeted the secretary, who directed us to the room where prospective students were interviewed. I glanced around the room; it wasn’t much different than it was when I had had my admissions interview a decade ago. Artificial palm trees still stood in the corners, and on the wall opposite the windows hung a large portrait of Earl Stegman, for whom the building was named. A faint shiver ran down my spine as my eyes drifted to the date on the plaque and I realized that Dr. Stegman had been the Dean of Students the year Mary Sarah Bollinger had perished in the fire. For a brief moment, I wondered if he might have been one of the officials who had blackmailed J. W. McKnight. Not wanting to think about that at the moment, I pried my eyes away from the portrait, swearing I could feel Dr. Stegman’s eyes staring disapprovingly at me, warning me not to reveal what we had found.
Jason and Grant rechecked the equipment, joking comfortably back and forth, while Amber nervously shuffled her notes; obviously she had never done a reveal with anyone as important as the university officials, and she was anxious. Realizing that she now knew about the incident concerning Dr. diPaola and Jared’s friends, I sensed Amber’s apprehension over the possibility of the same thing happening again.
Finally, the door opened, and three people walked in and introduced themselves. Dr. Cuomo, the Dean of Students, was a short, dark-haired, middle-aged woman. Her thick, heavy-rimmed glasses and conservative-cut navy blue suit gave her a stern appearance, but her warm smile as she shook everyone’s hands revealed that she was actually a friendly, open person. Dr. Anderson, the new Alumni Relations Director, was a tall, brown-haired man with an athletic build and piercing blue eyes. Unlike Dr. Cuomo, Dr. Anderson had a personality that matched his strict demeanor. I judged Dr. Anderson to be about my age, and since he was new to the staff, I wondered if he was trying to prove himself by putting forth a firm front.
I turned my eyes to the third person, whom we hadn’t been expecting; when I realized who it was, I tensed and took a step back towards Spook, who sensed my apprehension and laid a protective hand on my shoulder. Jason took a step forward to introduce himself, and the man’s voice boomed, “Dr. Roland Harris, Willow Lake College President.” Dr Harris had been the President long before JoEllyn and I attended, and I was somewhat taken aback to find that he was still here. He looked the same as he had a decade before, and in all the photos I had ever seen of him–slicked back hair that was gray all over except for just above his ears, where it was black, and beady dark eyes that glittered coldly beneath his bushy eyebrows. Dr. Harris had never come across as a people-person and had never seemed to take much interest in the students; he was more concerned with making sure the college ran smoothly. We hadn’t been expecting Dr. Harris to join us for the reveal, but as he looked pointedly at each one of us, I had a feeling I knew what role he would play. My eyes met Spook’s, and I knew from his expression that he felt the same way.
“Well,” said Jason cheerfully, motioning for everyone to sit down. At least he seemed unperturbed. “Now that introductions are taken care of, let’s get down to business.” Once everyone was seated at the conference table, Jason looked at Amber and continued, “As you know, the Willow Lake Paranormal Club asked us to assist them with investigating some of the claims here on campus.” He turned to Dr. Cuomo and thanked her for allowing TAPS to come. She acknowledged Jason’s thanks, but her smile disappeared quickly when Dr. Harris and Dr. Anderson caught her eye and glared at her. Jason and Grant exchanged a brief look, and Spook raised an eyebrow at the exchange. Jason went on as though he hadn’t noticed. “Amber gave us a run-down of the reports from the various buildings. Amber?”
Amber fidgeted and glanced nervously at Dr. Harris and then at Dr. Anderson. I could understand her apprehension over Dr. Harris being there, but I was somewhat puzzled why she would be nervous around Dr. Anderson; after all she worked with him in her job at the Admissions Office. She turned her eyes to Dr. Cuomo, who smiled encouragingly at her, and then focused on her notes. “We focused our investigation on four buildings on campus: two of the residence halls–Borland and McKenzie–the Lawrence Fine Arts Building, and Appleton Hall.” She looked over at Dr. Anderson, a bit less nervously this time, and added, “We also checked out the Annex next to Lawrence at Dr. Anderson’s request.”
Dr. Harris aimed a glare in Dr. Anderson’s direction, and Dr. Anderson smirked before explaining, “Professor McClure claims that her supplies keep rearranging themselves. She insisted that an investigation be done in her classroom.”
Dr. Harris snorted derisively and made a derogatory comment under his breath before turning to Amber and growling, “Is that all, Ms. Feldmann?” Amber nodded and sat back in her chair, looking as though she wanted to escape from the room. Despite our differences during the investigation, I genuinely felt sorry for her. The tension in the room had become thick, and as I studied Dr. Harris’ face, I shuddered as I thought not for the first time since I’d known of him that Dr, Harris almost fit my father’s description of the devil.
After a moment, Grant cleared his throat and directed his attention to Dr. Harris and Dr. Anderson. He began, “TAPS’ goal in investigating places where paranormal activity has been reported is not to prove hauntings, but to disprove them. Our first task in any investigation is to attempt to disprove claims. That being said, we’d like to share some of the claims that we were able to debunk.” Dr. Anderson nodded, looking a bit less antagonistic, so Grant continued. “One of the claims in McKenzie Hall was that the water in the ground floor bathroom would turn on by itself.”
Dr. Harris snorted and mumbled, “Bullshit.”
Grantleaned forward to look at him and explained, “If someone goes into an empty bathroom in the middle of the night–or even during the day–and the water comes on by itself, it’s understandable that they might get a bit spooked and call it paranormal.” Giving Jason a smile, he went on, “Now, Jason and I have both worked as plumbers, so when we hear that particualr claim, we immediately think plumbing and not paranormal. We soon found that there was a simple problem with some of the older fixtures in that bathroom that makes them unable to handle increased water pressure, making the faucets seem to turn themselves on. Fix the pipes, and no more faucets turning themselves on.”
Dr. Anderson smiled with satisfaction and wrote something down on a notepad. Jasonand Grant went on to share several other experiences that we were able to explain away as air currents moving through the buildings, noise from heating or air conditioning systems, or even people being sensitive to high EMFs. When Jason explained that hypersensitivity to high EMF levels could make someone think they were experiencing something paranormal, Spook nudged me and gave me a smirk, recalling my experience on the levee.
Both Dr. Harris and Dr. Anderson seemed pleased with the explanations Jason and Grant gave, and I relaxed a bit, thinking that maybe this reveal wouldn’t be so bad after all. Dr. Anderson leaned forward to ask, “What did you find in Professor McClure’s ‘haunted’ classroom?”
Jason and Grant looked at each other, not missing his derisive tone, and Jason responded, “We really couldn’t confirm or debunk her experiences. We set up cameras in her classroom and did some EVP work, but we got nothing either on audio or video. Is it possible there’s something going on there? Sure. Is it possible there’s a logical explanation? Absolutely. We were just unable to find conclusive evidence either way.”
Dr. Harris looked at Jason with the same expression we had seen on Ed’s face when he gave his opinion of Professor McClure, so I was sure I knew what he was thinking. “So let’s get down to it,” Dr. Harris said impatiently. “Did your little group find any actual evidence of ghosts or not?”
“Actually, we do have a few pieces of evidence to show you,” Jason replied, opening the laptop. For the first time since Jason and Grant began presenting our findings, Dr. Cuomo leaned forward with excitement. I did note that she made a point of avoiding Dr. Harris’ eyes. “The first piece of evidence we’d like to show you comes from the Lawrence Fine Arts Building,” Jason began. “Grant and Kyr were investigating the third floor music wing when Amy radioed that she had seen a light on the stage area.” As Jason showed the footage, Dr. Cuomo leaned forward to see better, nodding with interest. Dr. Harris pulled out a pair of glasses and put them on. He looked closely at the screen before sitting back, looking unimpressed.
Grant jumped in to explain, “That may look like something paranormal, but it’s really not. It turns out that this was just a flashlight beam from a campus police officer who had forgotten we were in the building.” Dr. Harris and Dr. Anderson aimed superior looks at Dr. Cuomo, who sat back, disappointed.
Dr. Anderson drummed a pen impatiently on the table. “I thought we were looking at actual evidence. How does this qualify as evidence?”
Grant smiled as he cued up a second clip. “We wanted to show you that clip first so that you could compare it to what we caught later.” Dr. Cuomo leaned forward once more, her expression again excited and interested. Grant played the second video clip and pointed at the bluish light floating across the stage. “Do you see how this light is out in front of the stage curtain? In the other clip, you could tell we were looking at a flashlight by the way it reflected in the folds of the curtain. This light, whatever it is, is entirely free-standing; it’s completely separate from the curtain.”
“Quite an interesting piece of video,” Dr. Cuomo commented. I had to cover my mouth to hide a smirk as she was now the one giving a superior look to Dr. Harris and Dr. Anderson. Dr. ANderson watched the replay with a bit less certainty than before; Dr. Harris alone seemed to remain completely skeptical.
Jason leaned forward and said, “We went back to the stage area and tried to recreate this light, but we couldn’t do it. Again, does that mean we captured definite evidence of a haunting?” He shrugged and cupped his hands behind his head. “Not necessarily, but it certainly appears to be paranormal.”
As Jason and Grant continued to share the evidence we had captured, I closely watched the faces of our clients. It was quite obvious to me that Dr. Cuomo was a definite believer in the paranormal, maybe too much so. She was genuinely interested in the evidence we presented, and she wrote down a lot of the things Jason and Grant explained. She also asked quite a few questions, which irritated Dr. Harris. He was the most obvious skeptic of the three. No matter how compelling the audio or video clips were, his expression remained unchanged. I almost believed he had a face carved out of stone. The only emotion I could read for certain on his face was disdain; he seemed to be in disbelief that grown men could believe in such nonsense. After almost an hour of watching him, I realized I was becoming more and more irritated with him, and I had to fight the urge to reach across the table and smack him. Spook must have sensed my mood because he inched his hand over to my clenched fist and gave it a quick squeeze. When I glanced at him, he gave me a brief smile, which I reluctantly returned.
Jason cued up the voice Grant and I had recorded in Borland room 110. “This piece of audio was captured in the room where a male student took his life about ten years ago. The reports in this room include feelings of uneasiness and of being watched.”
Grant jumped in to add, “Kyr and I were trying to make contact with the spirit, but we didnt have much success except for what sounded like a sigh until Kyr shared something that the spirit seemed to connect with.” As he cued up the audio clip, Dr. Harris looked sharply at me. His eyes glittered coldly at me, and I shuddered as a feeling of uneasiness bordering on panic rose up within me. I wanted to look away, but I held his gaze, refusing to let this man intimidate me. “Here we go,” Grant said, starting the clip. “Listen for a voice right after Kyr stops speaking.”
All three leaned forward to listen as I told the spirit about Trevor’s betrayal and our break up, followed almost immediately by a male voice. Dr. Cuomo gasped and sat bolt upright. For a second, Dr. Anderson’s face registered surprise, and he said, “Play that again.”
“Sure,” Grant said, cuing it up again. As my voice played through the computer a second time, I glanced at Spook; he was watching Dr. Harris with a cold, hard expression. When he noticed I was looking at him, he gave me a brief, gentle smile before turning his attention back to Dr. Harris.
The clip ended a second time, and Grant looped the voice. “Now, keep in mind that neither of us heard this voice at the time. It wasn’t until we played back the tape during evidence review that we heard this.” He looked at Dr. Cuomo and Dr. Anderson and asked, “Can you make out what the voice is saying?” He offered headphones to Dr. Cuomo, who put them on and listened.
“It sounds as though the voice is saying,’Don’t go.'” She handed the headphones to Dr. Anderson, who put them on after a moment’s hesitation.
Dr. Anderson closed his eyes and pressed his hands over the headphones so he could hear better. After listening a couple times, he said, “I’m hearing the word ‘lonely,’ or ‘alone.'” He offered the headphones to Dr. Harris, who raised an eyebrow and glared disdainfully at Dr. Anderson, who in turn looked away and handed the headphones back to Grant.
“We couldn’t agree among ourselves what the voice said either,” Jason responded. “Some of us heard ‘so alone,’ and some of us heard, ‘Don’t go.’ If we’re dealing with the spirit of a young man who ended his life over a break up, then either of those is possible.” He looked at me and added, “Around the same time, Kyr had quite an intense personal experience that tied in with the reports and possibly might have been evidence of contact with the young man who died in that room.”
As soon as Jason said my name, I tensed up and tried to catch his eye to discourage him, but to no avail. I felt the color draining out of my face as everyone’s eyes turned to me, waiting for me to share my experience. I looked to Amber, who gave me a tentative smile as she nodded for me to share. Spook reached over and placed his hand on my back before whispering, “Go ahead, Kyr. It’s all right.” I resisted the urge to look at Dr. Harris and Dr. Anderson, knowing full well what their opinion was, but I could see out of the corner of my eye that Dr. Cuomo was waiting eagerly to hear my story.
“Well,” I began, shifting in my seat and swallowing hard. “I thought I could encourage the spirit to communicate with us if I made a connection with him by sharing my own experience with a bad break up.” I glanced over at Grant, who nodded at me to continue, and then over at Spook, who smiled encouragingly. I went on, “As we sat there waiting for a response, an overwhelming feeling of sadness and despair came over me. The feeling was so intense that I felt like the only thing I could do was to…” I didn’t want to say the words. “…just give up. Grant realized something was happening, and he got me out of the room. As soon as we got outside, the feeling went away.”
When I finished, everyone was silent. I kept my head lowered but raised my eyes enough to look at Dr. Harris and Dr. Anderson. As I expected, Dr. Harris was looking at me disdainfully; Dr. Anderson’s expression was a bit harder to assess, but it seemed to be a cross between curiosity and disbelief. Dr. Harris shifted in his seat and opened his mouth to comment, but Dr. Cuomo beat him to it. “Kyr, are you saying you may have felt what this young man felt just before he took his life?”
I started to answer her, then hesitated and looked helplessly at Spook, who leaned forward and responded for me, “Some people are naturally more open and receptive to the spirit world and can not only sense the presence of spirits, but also pick up on their thoughts and emotions. Kyr has that kind of sensitivity, as we discovered during this investigation.”
“That is fascinating,” Dr. Cuomo exclaimed, jotting something down on her notepad before looking at me with concern. “Although I’m sure the experience was quite unnerving for you.”
I nodded, about to respond, when Dr. Harris spoke up. “Ms. Carter, are you telling us you’re one of those psychic loonies that are so popular on these so-called reality shows that so many of you young people enjoy wasting your time on?”
I felt the color rising from my neck into my cheeks as I clenched my jaw and met his gaze steadily. A part of me wanted to tuck my tail between my legs and run–my father had used almost the same words to describe “that kind of people,” and I had never had the courage to disagree with him–but another part of me knew this man wanted me to be intimidated, and that part of me told me to stand my ground. How dare this pompous ass put me down and judge me over something he didn’t understand? At the exact moment I decided to confront him, Spook also moved to speak. I laid my hand over his and said evenly, “It’s okay, Spook. I’ve got this one.” I could feel the fire flashing from my eyes as I responded calmly, “No, Dr. Harris, I am not a ‘psychic;’ I am a sensitive. There is a difference, although I wouldn’t expect someone as closed-minded as you to understand. As for those who exploit their abilities on ‘reality shows’ for entertainment purposes, I wouldn’t go so far as to call them ‘loonies,’ although I would say that they are indeed either lacking in common sense or good judgment. I never asked for this ability, and if I could turn it off, I’d do it in a minute. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, although I’d love to see someone like you have to deal with it for just one day and see how much you mock others’ paranormal experiences.”
I was on a roll and was ready to launch a second attack when I felt Spook’s hand on my arm. I turned to him angrily, and our eyes met. He mouthed, “Cool it,” but his eyes shone with admiration and surprise. I glanced over at Jason and Grant, who were both staring at me in shock. Dr. Cuomo had placed her hand over her mouth, but her eyes sparkled with suppressed laughter as she looked at Dr. Harris, who stared at me incredulously; apparently no one had ever spoken to him that way before. Realizing what I had just done, I sat back, mortified.
Dr. Anderson was the first to recover and move to diffuse the situation. He turned to Jason and asked quickly, “Do you have anything else to present to us?”
Jason cleared his throat, giving me one last look, and recovered his composure. Cuing up the computer, he replied, “As a matter of fact, we do. We have an audio clip that Spook and Kyr captured when they investigated Appleton together. You won’t need headphones to make out what this one says; it’s crystal clear.”
As Jason started the clip, Spook’s eyes met mine, and I could see the tension in his face as he prepared to relive his ordeal. My vision blurred momentarily as I blinked back tears. He slipped his arm around my shoulders as I leanded against him and closed my eyes.
The clip began just after I had left the bell tower. The crackling sound of burning wood filled the speakers, followed by that chilling female voice, “Die with me.”
“Oh, my heavens!” Dr. Cuomo exclaimed, sitting back quickly and bringing her hands to cover her mouth.
Dr. Harris brought a fist down on the table and demanded, “What is this nonsense?” He glared across the table at Spook and me. “Where did this supposedly take place?”
I looked at Spook, who met Jason’s eyes before he answered, low, “I assume you heard all the background noise on the tape?” Dr. Cuomo amd Dr. Anderson both nodded, while Dr. Harris crossed his arms and waited impatiently for an answer to his question. Spook continued, steely-eyed, “That was the sound of the fire in the bell tower. That EVP was recorded shortly after the floor collapsed beneath me and just before a burning beam came crashing down next to me.”
“What!” Dr. Anderson shouted, his head snapping to look incredulously at Dr. Harris.
“Oh, my heavens,” Dr. Cuomo exclaimed again, also turning to Dr. Harris. “Roland, the reports you gave to the newspaper said that no one was in the tower at the time of the fire. How do you explain this?” She no longer seemed demure, timid, or afraid of angering Dr. Harris.
For just a moment, the color drained out of Dr. Harris’ face, and he appeared fearful, as though he knew he was trapped. For just a moment, he lost his air of superiority. Then just as quickly, his color returned, rising from his neck into his face, and his cold, glittering eyes turned to burning coals as he glared at Spook. “Young man, you brought that accident on yourself by trespassing in the bell tower,” he roared, ripping his glasses off his face and stabbing the air with them as he stormed. “No one gave you permission to enter that bell tower. No one,” He glared first at Dr. Cuomo and then at Amber. “Ms. Feldmann, you are a student here, and you work in the Admissions Office; you know that bell tower is off limits to everyone.” He turned his anger to me next. “Ms. Carter, you are a graduate of Willow Lake. That rule was in place when you attended here. You both knew it was unsafe to be up there, and yet you thought yourselves to be above the rules.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see that Amber was close to tears; she had the most to lose from Dr. Harris’ fury if he chose to punish our actions. However, Spook was not so easily intimidated. He uncrossed his legs and leaned forward, grabbing the arms of his chair so tightly that his knuckles turned white. His eyes flashed fire as he spat, “You’ve got a lot of nerve, Dr. Harris. We were never told to stay out of that tower; Appleton Hall was one of the buildings we were asked to investigate, and that bell tower is part of Appleton. The investigation led us into the bell tower, and so we went into the bell tower…”
Dr. Harris leaned forward as well, roaring back at Spook, “I would think that a locked door would make it quite clear that you were forbidden to enter…” Something suddenly occurred to him, and he looked to Jason and Grant, and then back at Spook with a bewildered expression. “That tower door is kept locked at all times; who let you people in there anyway?”
Spook relaxed his grip on the chair, stared coldly back at Dr. Harris, and replied through gritted teeth, “Apparently Mary Bollinger did.”
At the mention of Mary’s name, the color drained from Dr. Harris’ face a second time, and Dr. Cuomo gasped. Recovering quickly, though with a somewhat less superior attitude than before, he glared at Spook and challenged, “Nonsense! One of the maintenance workers obviously went into the tower for something and forgot to lock the door. These people found it unlocked and decided they were allowed to investigate there.”
“With all due respect, Dr. Harris,” Grant interjected, trying to diffuse the tension between Spook and Dr. Harris, “Several of our investigators did report that the bell tower door was locked, as it was supposed to be, but then it seemed to unlock by itself.”
Spook leaned forward to ask, “Grant, do you have the video footage from the stationary camera, of Kyr and me on the third floor of Appleton?”
Grant tugged at his lower lip for a moment, looking through the files on the computer. “I have that clip in here somewhere…” He quickly pulled up the video files from our second night of investigation and located the clip he was looking for. “How far into the tape do I need to go?” he asked Spook.
Spook leaned forward, rubbing his chin. “I’m thinking it’s about an hour into the investigation, around the time you…” He glanced at me and then back at Grant. “…around the time we switched up teams.”
As Grant fast-forwarded through the footage, he smirked at Spook, knowing he was referring to the fake illness he and JoEllyn had staged so that Spook and I would have to investigate together. He got to the spot on the tape where Spook walked past the camera to get to the bell tower door, and he rewound it a bit before beginning the clip. I groaned inwardly as I relaized he had started the clip towards the end of where I had told Spook about my experience. I really wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of everyone there–especially Dr. Harris–hearing that I had been frightened by a door.
The stationary camera had been positioned to capture the third floor hallway, so unfortunately, the bell tower door wasn’t in the shot. Still, it was quite obvious when Spook walked in front of the camera, that he had gone to check the bell tower door. Dr. Cuomo pointed at the screen and glanced at Dr. Anderson to indicate that she heard Spook rattling the door knob and shaking the door to make sure it was shut tightly and locked. Dr. Anderson nodded to indicate that he had heard, and then turned his attention back to the screen.
“What are those lights?” Dr. Anderson asked, pointing at the screen.
“That’s a laser grid,” Spook explained. “We use it to detect shadows or any type of movement during an investigation. Keep watching, and you’ll see how it works.”
Not long after, the video showed something disturbing the points of light, followed by Spook asking where I was. Dr. Cuomo gasped and asked, “What is that?”
Spook shrugged. “We never found out for sure; whatever or whoever it was didn’t stick around very long.” He held up a finger for silence as the laser grid returned to its original appearance, and then pointed to the screen as the creak of the bell tower door opening came from the speakers. The video showed Spook’s reaction as he discovered the bell tower door hanging open.
Grant stopped the video there and pulled up the clip of our investigation from the third night. “A similar thing happened the next night as well.”
The second clip began with Spook adjusting the camera and setting up the laser grid. A faint thumping sound could be heard, followed by Spook’s whisper, “Something is moving up there.” Once again we heard Spook rattle the doorknob before commenting, “Playing your game again, are you, Mary?”
Dr. Cuomo gasped again, and Dr. Harris sat up straight, his eyes turned to burning coals once more. Dr. Anderson tossed his pen down on the table and threw his hands up in frustration. “Okay, folks, I’m the new guy here. Apparently I didn’t get the memo, so someone please enlighten me. Who the hell is Mary Bollinger, and why does everyone else here seem to know about her?”
Jason muttered, “That seems to be the $64,000 question here at Willow Lake.”