The Hunt for Campus Haunts

Posted: October 30, 2017 12:00:00 PM CDT

Conrad HallEvery campus has its stories of harrowing haunts—ones that render the haunted houses of Halloween festivities as relatively mild. The University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) has documented the history of many of its campus buildings, some of which include these haunted tales. If you’re on campus, online, or have moved beyond campus life, it helps to be aware of what might scare.

So read on, if you dare.

Calvin T. Ryan Library

There’s no better place to start the hunt for campus haunts than the Calvin T. Ryan Library, which is the source for all stories of ghostly encounters in this article. Make what you will of the tale of this building’s spooky librarian:

“On May 20, 1986, a large classroom on the Library’s second floor was dedicated as the Anna V. Jennings Room, in honor of Anna V. Jennings, the first librarian of the college, who served from 1905 through 1939. There have [been] reports of ghosts being seen in the Library; the story goes that the spirit of Miss Jennings is haunting the building because it was named for someone else.”

Ludden Hall

Lovers’ spats of decades past may not be entirely true, but they make for entertaining stories. Although Ludden Hall was razed in 2006, its haunted tale lives on. Believe it or not, because the anniversary date is coming up fast:

“Ludden Hall is reputedly haunted. The story goes that in 1963, a Ludden Hall resident, ‘Bobbie,’ was killed in a car-pedestrian accident at 11th Avenue and 26th Street after a serious lovers’ spat with her boyfriend, a Theta Xi who lived in Randall Hall. Bobbie supposedly returns each year on November 4th, the anniversary of the accident to find her boyfriend. On that day in Ludden Hall, beds shake, blinds rattle, and whitish spirits are seen floating above beds. Bobbie only appears, it is said, to Theta Xi’s, Theta Xi Little Sisters, or girls who are dating Theta Xi’s. 1970 was the worst year for these hauntings (seven years, of course, after the supposed accident). As with most ghost stories, this tale is more colorful than accurate. There has never been a fatal car-pedestrian accident at that intersection.”

Jennie M. Conrad Hall

Perhaps the most terrifying accounts of apparitions have come out of Conrad Hall*, which currently houses administrative campus offices. Fortunately, this spirit sticks to certain rooms:

“Conrad Hall is reputed to be haunted. The spirit haunts only the west end of the third floor, especially Room 318. The spirit is known as Stella, the Alpha Omicron Pi founding sister who first occupied Room 318. Sounds and visions are most common during the week before students move into the dorms. ‘Stella’ appears at night and sits on students’ chairs and beds. Students sometimes wake up to find ‘Stella’ sleeping beside them. Fans change speeds for no reason, water taps are turned on by no visible hand, and heavy pieces of furniture are heard being moved about. The only rooms involved are 301-304 and 315-319.”

Learn more about UNK campus history, and see the many other resources available for your research needs, through the Calvin T. Ryan Library. Have a spooky Halloween!

*Shown in photograph: Conrad Hall construction, 1957.

By: Rosanna Vail

Category: General, eCampus

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