Illustration: Izabella Balcerzak

Ryerson’s Ghost Olympic world records

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By Skyler Ash

The 16th Biennial Ouija Olympic (BOO) started in the Quad on Oct. 24, with ghosts from all over the city coming to take part. The BOO is held every two years, due to the rigorous training the ghosts have to endure to prepare for the event and their struggle to leave purgatory.

Former Ryerson President Sheldon Levy was responsible for bringing BOO to Ryerson. Three years ago, Levy put forward a bid of $26 million and won. “I was so delighted to be able to bring this event to our school,” said Levy. “We’re such a diverse bunch at Ryerson, but ghosts have been the one thing we were missing.” The organizers at BOO said that the only other bid they received was from OCAD University, who put forward a bid of $15 as a joke.

Events have already begun, and many of the city’s highest profile ghosts have medaled. Howard Hillen Kerr, Ryerson’s only principal, took the gold for fastest apparition in broad daylight. “I’ve been practicing for months,” said Kerr, who died in 1984. This is Kerr’s 12th gold medal at BOO, putting him just two behind the record currently held by Ryerson’s namesake, Egerton Ryerson. Ryerson is known for being adept in the long-jump scare, 100-metre fly and being a huge racist.

This year’s BOO is expected to be the most well-attended, due to the venue’s convenient location in the downtown core. Sir Robert Falconer, 5th president of the University of Toronto, was “extremely pleased” to hear that the event would be held at Ryerson. “It’s just a quick subway ride from my haunting,” said Falconer, who has only ever won a bronze in the brightest ethereal glow-off.

After numerous student reports of weird sounds in the Quad, Ryerson officials announced the event in a press conference after concerns for safety. “There’s nothing to be worried about,” said Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi. “It’s just a couple dozen ghosts who’ve all been dead for some time and haven’t moved onto their afterlife. No big deal.”

Lachemi also announced he would be attending many of the events along with his “good friend” Levy. “I got matching shirts made for Sheldon and I that say, ‘G(h) O(st) Ryerson!’,” said Lachemi.

“I think the joke is a bit forced,” said Levy, “but I appreciate the sentiment, and will be in attendance.”

Events are taking place all day and night in the Quad. All students should have received an email to their Ryerson account detailing the events, as well as a voucher for half off popcorn and refreshments.

Closing ceremonies will take place in the Quad on Oct. 31 at 11 p.m., after which students are welcome to join the ghosts for an after party at Lachemi’s house. “It’s BYOB,” said Lachemi.


Sid Drmay, former Ryerson jam taste-tester (died June 14, 1991)
On their technique: “You have to have the right ratio of sadness to scream. There’s a fine balance, but if you try hard enough, you can make it happen.”


Alanna Rizza, former Ryerson skateboarder (died Dec. 12, 1971)
On her technique: “My motto is be loud, be proud. Ghosts get a bad rep for scaring kids, but it’s part of the job description. I’m just playing to my strengths, which are blood-curdling screams and scary hand gestures.”


Thomas Skrlj, former Ryerson arts student (died Aug. 21, 2016)
On his technique: “You have to both be there and not be there. Really sneak up on people. You should be present but not noticed, that’s the real key.”


Justin Chandler, former Ryerson exotic dance prof. (died Sept. 30, 1986) On his technique: “Being an exotic dancer, you learn to manipulate the crowd around you, and now I transfer that skill to object manipulation. Also, a lot of hip gyrating. Yeah, you’d be surprised how much the hips count.”

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