Have you heard about the man in glasses? If you’re anything like me, you probably haven’t. I’m already a third-year student at Magill and I only just found out that my campus has an urban legend. This story is for those of you who haven’t caught wind of it yet, but you’re more than welcome to read along if you already know of it.
A month ago at the radio station I work at, we had a show on the theme of urban legends. My job was to gather public information on the stories people have heard about around Adelaide. My first choice of location to do a vox pop was in Rundle Mall due to the large variety of people there. The results weren’t exactly satisfying to say the least. Everyone spoke of the same things – the Adelaide Arcade Haunting, the Greenhill Road Body, Schneider’s Alley, and the Secret Tunnel Network. Interesting urban legends for sure, but I already knew about them, and it was getting quite repetitious.
I was about to call it quits when someone mentioned something about UniSA. As a UniSA student, obviously I was intrigued. However I didn’t have enough time to research it before the radio show. So I left it as a personal research project a week later. I organised a few more vox pops at the Magill, City West, and City East campuses of UniSA. My topic question was: Does UniSA have any urban legends of its own?
The answer was yes. I couldn’t believe so many people already knew about it. There are a few different versions of the story, so I compiled all the ones I’ve been told and chose the most common version to recount – and it goes like this…
15 years ago, a man began studying a bachelor of psychology at the UniSA Magill campus. He was a simple, fun-loving man, who never cared for a university qualification, but his girlfriend wouldn’t stop dropping hints and bragging about how attractive smart men were. Feeling inadequate, he swore to himself he would receive a degree with nothing but high distinctions.
The man soon became obsessed. He would study without a break, sometimes going days without showers and food. He lost contact with friends and family. His girlfriend only ever saw him when she brought lunch to him at the campus library and forced him to eat. Realising how unhealthy his plan was, she begged him to take a break. But he was dead set on persevering. By the end of the year, he was over worked, thin, exhausted, and stressed to the brink of crazy.
One night as he was walking home from the library to take a quick shower and return, the man realised he was being followed. He was too tired to make any effort to walk faster or defend himself, and a mugger easily pushed him to the ground and beat him up. The mugger took all his valuables and his backpack, but realising the man’s locket was cheap painted tin, he threw it to the ground and turned to leave.
Realising that his handwritten draft assignment was in that backpack, the man flew into a desperate act to get it back. He used the only thing he could to attack the mugger – the chain of his locket.
The mugger died of strangulation. It was the last feather over the heavy tower of stress and the man was driven insane. He made it his personal mission to murder anyone who got in his way of a high distinction. Tens of people died. Competing students, worried friends, strict tutors, and finally, his girlfriend. Concerned for his wellbeing, she tried to make a deal with the dean of the university to suspend his enrolment. And when he found out…
The man was only brought to his senses when the locket he used to murder his girlfriend popped open. It revealed a photo of the old days, his bright smiling eyes, and his girlfriend cheerfully kissing him on the cheek. Stricken with guilt, he committed suicide right there on the campus lawns. Strangled by his own locket, right beside his girlfriend.
No one is sure what happened with the bodies, but people say he was never given a proper burial, and so he still roams the campus lawns every morning around the hours of eight. If you stare into his eyes, or even look into his glasses, his locket imprisons your soul and you become obsessed with work and study, with no time to care about anything else. Any time the locket is opened, the imprisoned souls are freed and return to their owners. But until the locket is given a proper burial, the man in the glasses will continue to roam the campus lawns, jealously taking the carefree souls of others in attempts to free his own.
Words by Lealie Rosa Hayek