The Hauntings of Southwestern
A collection of mysterious encounters on campus.
October 31, 2022
October 31, 2022
Have you ever felt a sense of dread as you walked through the halls of the Cullen building while the floorboards creaked beneath you or swore you saw someone or something darting across an open doorway in your residence hall? In its 182-year history, Southwestern has housed generations of students, and even some spirits, so it’s no wonder it may be haunted. From whispering ghosts to prankster poltergeists here are a few bone-chilling tales of paranormal encounters at Southwestern.
Lori Boren Friend ’89
During my freshman year in the mid-eighties, I had an unusual experience that I still tell people to this day. While I was in my dorm room in Mabee Hall, my roommate and I were going to sleep and had just turned off the lights. There was a sensation on my arm that felt like an ant crawling up it. I rubbed my arm, then felt it again, so I rubbed it again. It kept happening. I was honestly getting a little annoyed. As I continued to feel this very light rubbing on my arm, I heard someone close to me whisper, “Goodnight, Lori.” Thinking it was my roommate, I said, “Goodnight, Leslie.” And she said, “That wasn’t me, Lori, but I heard it too.” We both jumped up quickly and turned the lights on. Needless to say, not much sleep happened that night, and the lights stayed on. Other mysterious happenings continued in our suite. Once, our suitemate saw a shadow reflection several times in our mirror when she was alone, and I had items moved around when no one was in the room. Getting used to it wasn’t easy, and it freaked us out for quite a while. We did a ouija board to see who or what was there, and when we asked, the board spelled out “Laura.” I must admit I was always suspicious of who pointed to those letters. However, I left the board on the table that night in its box, and the next day, I was the first one up, and the board was out of the box and set up to play again. It was a crazy time at Mabee Hall!
When I lived in Brown-Cody Hall, I would hear a tennis ball bouncing above me every night beginning at 3 a.m., the witching hour. One night, I went up to investigate, but there was nothing and no one there. I returned to my room and heard the ball bouncing again. I started throwing a tennis ball at the ceiling to get the person above me to stop when suddenly the ball started banging against my door. I heard this ball bouncing noise every night until I saged my room.
Cindy Creekmore Giesen ’94
The year was 1990, and it was my first year at Southwestern. I was studying with friends in a second-floor classroom in Mood-Bridwell Hall, which was very quiet. I think we were the only folks in the building that evening. It was quiet and still, and I remember it felt eeire. While we were slacking off on our studies, the door slowly creaked from almost closed to all the way open. Then it slammed shut! We were freaked out and thought it must have been a ghost. We ran out of the building, and I never studied there again. To this day, I feel uneasy in Mood.
I was falling asleep on the third floor of Clark Hall, and I looked up from my phone, and I saw a woman with light hair and a white nightgown facing the wall. She appeared to be glowing. After I saw her, she started walking toward my wall and vanished when she got there. I was so scared and immediately went to bed. She was definitely a ghost.
Sharon Lundgren ’89
I was a student at the University between 1985 and 1989, and someone used to tuck me in at night. While I was an upperclassman, I returned to my room late one night from studying and went to bed. My roommate and I had a two-person room with beds across from one another. She felt a depression on her bed and thought I was leaning over to see if she was asleep, which wasn’t something I did. She yelled my name to stop but realized I was in bed across the small room, and she was a little freaked out when she realized it wasn’t me. We also had a connecting bathroom with suitemates who shared a hallway to the main door. They left earlier the next morning for classes, and my roommate and I were in the bathroom curling our hair and whatnot. While in there, a balled-up paper from an earlier cram session for an exam flew out of our trashcan across the room. We both saw it. Our door was locked, and no one else was in there. I laughed because I thought it was funny, but my roommate was upset and asked me to make it stop, I didn’t know what else to do, so I just asked it to stop aloud. And it did. Things quieted down for us after that.