Widgets Magazine

LOMITA ARTS AND CULTURE BLOG

A ghost story from the halls of Cantor.

As one of the original buildings of the Stanford campus, the Cantor Arts center is certainly old enough to have been host to some creepy encounters with the (potentially) supernatural over the years. Here is one story, provided by Ray Madarang, a preparator at the Cantor Arts Center:

Approximately seven years ago, Ray Madarang came into work accompanied by someone special: his young daughter, age five or six at the time. Sometime during the day, Madarang was called down to the Cantor’s storage area to move some art. Reluctantly, he set up a cartoon for his daughter to watch while he was away. He also informed her that his co-­workers’ offices were just down the hall, and that she could go visit them if she needed anything.

Having set up his daughter in his office, Madarang then left for storage. After moving the pieces he’d been called to move, he found himself caught up in moving more and more art that needed to be relocated, and realized that he’d been gone a while longer than he had intended. Rushing back to his office to check on his daughter, he found her contentedly doodling on his desk. When he asked her how she was doing, she promptly replied that she was fine, and that “the lady” came into the office to let her know that her dad had gotten held up in storage.

At first, Madarang didn’t think much of this.­ ­It wasn’t uncommon for people to pop into his office looking for him­ ­but, nonetheless, he inquired about which lady had spoken to his daughter. She replied that it was “the lady in white.” Madarang again didn’t think this too odd, and went about his work for the rest of the day.

Some time later, on a round through the museum, making sure he’d done everything on his checklist, Madarang and his daughter happened to walk through the Stanford family room­­ in the Cantor where many of the Stanford family’s items and portraits are on display.

His daughter, walking behind him, stopped and pointed somewhere in the room, declaring that “that” was the lady she saw earlier. Doubling back, Madarang looked around in the direction his daughter was pointing, but saw no one. Confused, Madarang asked again who his daughter meant, and, looking for a second time in the direction his daughter was pointing, Madarang found himself gazing at the large portrait of Jane Stanford, dressed in white…