Spooky Myths and Urban Legends Associated with 6 US Universities
If you love a good ghost story, Halloween is the perfect time to indulge in these spooky tales.
As October comes to an end, America celebrates its favorite holiday with candies, novelty costumes, and carved pumpkins. But, if you feel you are too old for trick-or-treating, that’s okay, because we got fabled stories from six US universities that will keep your hair standing on end this Halloween.
The Rafinesque Curse at Transylvania University
Students of Transylvania University are familiar with the folk story that can explain any mysterious unfortunate events at the school: Transylvania University is cursed. The supposed culprit was a former professor Constantine Rafinesque—“the Mad Botanist”, as his pupils called him—who laid a curse on the university after he was fired by president Holley. A year after he left, Holley unexpectedly died of yellow fever and the principal campus building was consumed by fire, leaving only Rafinesque's works mysteriously undamaged. “Rafy”, as he is now known, may be unfairly blamed for random misfortunes for most of the year, but every Halloween season, students celebrate Rafinesque Week to pay honor to the infamous professor.
The Miller Auditorium at Slippery Rock University
When you think of auditoriums, you tend to picture a lively performance and an excited audience. But contrary to the saying, “the show must go on”, at some point, spectators and performers return to the real world and an auditorium becomes just a dark, quiet, empty hall. The Miller Auditorium at Slippery Rock University is not an exception. After the death of the auditorium’s namesake, Emma Guffey Miller, accounts of strange sounds and visions of a ghostlike image of a woman started circulating among students and staff. Thespians of the university even swear to have a tradition of placing a baby doll on stage to shun bad spirits, but stories say that the doll has deteriorated over time, leaving only the head intact.
The Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University
The Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University in Chicago has hosted reputable musicals such as the Les Miserable, The Phantom of the Opera, and Miss Saigon, but it is also another source of horror stories of spirits lurking the halls once production lights go out. Its former executive director, Dulcie Gilmore, recalled a time when she was giving a group an architectural tour of the theater when a lady asked what production was in rehearsal despite the stage being empty. The lady, along other guests, claimed to have seen a person in Native American costume cross the stage. Gilmore later found out that the theatre was built on a site at which a young Indian chief and his princess were killed in a battle.
The Studebaker-Hanawalt Hall at University of La Verne
By now, you're most likely thinking, "So parts of the campus might be haunted. Big deal! I won't be hanging out at the auditorium, anyway. Besides, I have the comfort of my own dorm room…" and you're probably right, unless you’re living in University of La Verne's Studebaker-Hanawalt Residence Hall. Students seem to be convinced that the dorm is haunted by eerie sights of a young girl in Sunday clothes, sounds of strange screaming and footsteps heard around the halls, which some skeptics attribute to the building's old age, but the rumor asserts that the mysterious occurrence is the troubled soul of a female student who committed suicide in the second wing of the dormitory.
The Walker Hall at Oklahoma City University
If you’re a freshman at Oklahoma City University, you might have already been warned of the friendly ghost that wanders the Walker Hall. The seven-story dorm is best known for its sun deck on the roof, which is said to be the favorite spot of one previous co-ed student named Elsie, who frequented the deck to unwind during her spare time. Legend has it that Elsie, distressed with the pressures of her studies, jumped off the deck. Another version of the story claims she was pushed by an estranged lover. Her presence at the hall continues to be felt according to students who would hear strange knocks on their door only to be greeted by an empty hallway. Elsie is also said to occasionally play electrical tricks—making lights flicker, unplugging appliances from outlets, and turning air conditioners as low as possible.
Haunted On-Campus Housing at University of Kansas
Ghost stories at residence halls are apparently more common than you might think. At the University of Kansas, several paranormal experiences have been reported by students in not just one on-campus housing. The Corbin Hall is allegedly the previous home to an unnamed girl who had taken her life in one of the rooms, which today serves as a trash room after residents refused to live there. Even a bustling fraternity house isn’t spared the horror stories that attract paranormal investigators who want to know more about what’s lurking in the Sigma Nu fraternity house. The ghostly sights of a dark-haired woman is said to be Virginia, wife to a former Kansas governor, whose body was found hanging in a closet in the third floor. Women who stay the night at the fraternity house would often find scratches on their backs the next morning. Remember when your parents warned you about hanging out with fraternity guys? It doesn’t sound as silly of an advice now, does it?
Guia Arevalo was raised in Dubai and graduated from the Far Eastern University in Manila with a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Piquing Guia's interest is never a challenge — she could be immersed in a documentary featuring anything from Chris Rock talking about African American hair to David Attenborough in a bee suit. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, being on Reddit, and learning graphic design.