Faculty, students recount campus ghost stories

The Guillot University Center is home to the ghost Priscilla who hung herself in the old dormitory O’Neal Hall, the current location of the GUC. The GUC has the third highest rating of ghost activity in Alabama.

by Student Writer Lauren Honeycutt

With UNA being 183 years old, the campus has its fair share of ghost stories. There is no way to prove if they are true, but some in the campus community have shared their stories.

Two buildings on campus have recorded rankings on the electromagnetic meter, which measures the level of ghost activity in a building.

Guillot University Center

The Guillot University Center ranked third in Alabama with a rating of 87.5 on the electromagnetic meter, according to mosthauntedplaces.org.

Debra Glass, a professional writer and tour guide for hauntings on campus, had an experience in the GUC.

Glass said her most recent encounter was with the ghost Priscilla who hung herself in the elevator in the old dormitory O’Neal Hall, the current location of the GUC.

“While telling the story of Priscilla on the ghost tour one night, one of the elevator doors in the GUC opened of its own accord, well after the building had been locked up for the night,” Glass said. “Moments later, the automatic front door swung open, remained open for several seconds and then closed. Perhaps Priscilla was coming out to hear her story.”

While there are accounts of paranormal encounters, there is also skepticism.

“Who says (electromagnetic) ratings are valid measures?” said Psychology professor Larry Bates. “Just because the meter gives off a high number, it doesn’t really mean (there are ghosts).”

Wesleyan Hall

Wesleyan has the 14th highest electromagnetic rating in Alabama, according to mosthauntedplaces.org.

“There has never been any supernatural activity in Wesleyan,” said Department Chair of Psychology Richard Hudiburg. “I’ve been in this building since 1988, and I have not seen anything ghost-related,” he said.

Willingham Hall

Senior English administrative assistant Dana Burbank, who works in Willingham Hall, said she encountered a ghost in 2006 while her student worker, alumna Nikita Duke, was helping her put things away for a retiring co-worker.

“I saw from shoulder up in profile this female with long, dark, curly hair coming out of the office and going into the stairwell and I thought, ‘Well, why is my student worker up here? I just sent her downstairs a few minutes ago,’” she said.

Burbank said when she asked her student worker, the student said she was downstairs the entire time.

“I can honestly say there was no one in this building, and she was coming out of a locked office and I had the keys,” she said.

The ghost made an appearance again in November 2015, said English instructor Stephen Melvin.

“As the door was closing, I saw the reflection of her completely translucent from head to toe,” he said. “I could make out every detail. She was wearing a white night gown which came up to mid-calf. I could see her bare feet.

“I stood there frozen for what seemed like a few seconds. I then looked behind me, and nothing was there. I looked back at the reflection, nothing there. I locked the door, shrugged and thought, ‘These papers aren’t going to grade themselves.’”

LaGrange Hall

Sophomore Mikayla Moore lived in LaGrange Hall from 2014-2015. She said she experienced supernatural activity in the bathroom.

“It felt like we were being watched the whole time,” she said. “The bathroom stalls would open on their own.”

The paranormal activity might be students playing tricks on other people, said freshman Mary Jones.

Glass said experiences vary from person to person.

“I think everybody has experienced some sort of inexplicable event,” she said. “It might be real or imaginary, but it depends on what the person believes.”