A Message From the Ghost In That Old Portrait

I. Jacobs '23

art by J. Han '22

Every once in a while the Jug receives submissions from people that aren’t staff writers. The following was delivered to the magazine in the form of a tattered red letter that evaporated immediately after its message was copied down. We have researched the supposed sender and have confirmed that his story aligns with known historical facts. While it is unclear why he chose this moment to reach out, we have hypothesized that it is a response to the recent cases of vandalism in residence halls, however, this could not be confirmed. Despite our limited knowledge of its motivations, we have decided to present to you, dear reader, the message from the ghost in that old portrait:


Hey guys, it’s me, Jebediah Crossgraves, the fourteenth president of this establishment. I was the first to institute monthly department meetings and my plans for the maintenance system revolutionized the efficiency of waste disposal. However, despite my devotion to my job, you probably know me as that creepy guy in the painting in the main hallway. Yes, that’s me.


You probably see my eyes follow you. I promise I’m not looking at you. When I was painted, they told me to look down, so I looked down. I get that you think a ghost would be interested in you, because you think your life is so special, but I don’t care about your friend group’s gossip or the midterm you are pretending to study for.


Why would I?


Who dies, spends their life trapped in a cursed portrait of themselves and whiles away their time getting kicks from Kelly’s blow up on Friday or differential equations?


And yet! You always seem to quiet your excitement when you see me in the corner of your eye. You all make jokes about “that creepy dude” and complain that I’m distracting you from your homework. I have feelings, and it’s not my fault that the university decided to shove me off to some old wall of some random room.


So, I have a request for you:


Stop glaring at me when you get up to leave because you can’t focus with me there. It’s not my fault. Neither of us wants me there.


Sidenote - I have no fucking clue what the book in my hand is about. They just told me to grab something heavy from the library.

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Brown University, Providence, RI

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