Technician Sidekick Still Working at Haunted Auditorium

For Matt Parr, SRU’s Facilities and Planning Energy management technician, there is someone that - though passed away - hasn’t yet left his side, especially when doing his work in Miller Auditorium.

After hearing about Baelfire Paranormal Investigations’ findings in Miller Auditorium, Parr found one of their conclusions interesting, given a past with his old partner in crime in the energy conservation aspect of his job.

When it comes to temperature control and energy conservation throughout every building on SRU’s campus, Parr makes sure students aren’t too hot while sitting in Eisenberg, and not too cold in front of their computers in the Advanced Technology and Science building, among many other tasks.

But for a year and a half after Parr was hired, he had a Heating Ventilation Air-Conditioning Technician by his side named Dave Nulph, who took a strong interest in what Parr was doing.

Because Parr could have used the help, Nulph became his sidekick, and the two worked side by side to tackle SRU’s energy and temperature control issues left and right.

Parr said that in September 2006, Nulph noticed a lump on his neck and was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, a disease that Parr knew would be fatal.

One project that Parr and Nulph started working on was fixing four air-handlers that where having control problems in Miller Auditorium.

Parr said that people were always uncomfortable during shows in Miller, and that this project was one that he and Nulph had developed quite an interest in finishing.

“We always talked about finishing Miller Auditorium,” Parr said. “We had done many other projects such as rehabilitating the Union MPR room, and when we got that straightened out, we decided to get to work on Miller.”

During their work on the air handlers in Miller, Nulph became too weak to work. Parr says even in his weakened state, Nulph seemed adamant about finishing the work on the auditorium.

Parr said that they had finished three out of the four air handlers, and that he told Nulph he would wait on him to finish the fourth.

“He talked about it a lot and that’s all he ever wanted to do,” Parr said. “He was always upset. He wanted to come back into work to help me finish everything we had started here.”

On March 28, 2008, Nulph, 52, lost his two-and-a-half-year battle with lung cancer, leaving Parr to finish the last air handler and conquer other problems across campus on his own.

Parr said that at Nulph’s funeral, he spoke about his friendship with Nulph and about all they set out to accomplish at work. He said Nulph’s family approached him with hugs and kind words.

“They all came up to me and said, ‘So you’re the reason why he loved his job so much,’ and told me how much he always talked about projects like Miller,” Parr said.

Parr said that it was evident that Nulph was passionate about getting Miller Auditorium up and running.

In the months after Nulph’s death, Parr began to experience some occurrences that made him believe Nulph was still around.

This past February, Baelfire Paranormal Industries reported three findings in Miller Auditorium, one being an older man who Parr believes is Dave Nulph.

Parr said that over winter break, he was taking a break in a panel in Miller when he felt someone tap on his shoulder, only to turn around and see no one.

The tap on his shoulder made him think about his old friend, Parr said, and he decided to walk down to the basement where Nulph would go when he needed to rest, due to his weakness from the chemotherapy.

Parr said when he stepped down into the basement, he stepped into water that was already at his ankles.

“I know Dave felt like that was his building, because I felt like it was my building, since we had done all of that work down there,” Parr said.

Parr believes it was his friend who tapped him on the shoulder, and in a way told him he needed to check out the basement.

“I wasn’t going to go down there,” Parr said. “Something hit me and told me to go down there.”

Parr said he was reminded of Nulph another time while in Miller, when he found something in one of the panels, something that he had lent Nulph a long time ago.

While cleaning out a panel in the auditorium, Parr found a rare type of pliers that he lent Nulph but never got back from him.

Parr said that he knows Nulph would’ve told him if he came back into work to do something while he was still alive, and that he had seen him, but not in Miller because Nulph had become too weak to work.

“I have no idea how these pliers suddenly appeared up in that panel,” Parr said. “It was the last panel that Dave had been working on.”

Parr said that he does believe it could be his friend that is in Miller Auditorium, after hearing what BPI concluded.

“The little girl found in Miller supposedly fears this man. That doesn’t make any sense, but it makes more sense that my buddy doesn’t know that the building is done and he wants to come back and help me finish it,” Parr said.

Parr said that Nulph never talked about dying, and only ever talked about things he wanted to accomplish when he got better, and fixing Miller was one of them.

“If you talked to the guy, you’d never know he had anything less than a bad cold,” Parr said.

Parr believes his old friend is still around and watching over him when he does work around campus.

“Every time I’m working on something and I make that little move that just prevents me from messing up or getting electrocuted, I think he’s with me,” Parr said.

Parr swears he thinks he’s still going to see Nulph around campus every day, whether it’s on campus or in a machine room, something that may be a result of spending every day with someone.

Parr also said that since he and Nulph finished their work in Miller, there haven’t been any complaints about the temperature, which is a change from needing to have an HVAC employee present during every performance.

Parr says he thinks his friend’s spirit may have something to do with that as well.

With not many details from BPI on the identity of the older male ghost in Miller Auditorium, it’s hard to say for sure who he is. But as far as Parr is concerned, he’s a really great guy, just trying to finish a job that he was passionate about until the end of his days.


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