Campus ghost tour leaves students watching for spirits

An estimated 300 people turned out for a campus ghost tour organized by Collier Library and Debra Glass to hear ghost stories around UNA campus.

As a former UNA student, Glass gathered many of the campus stories when she attended UNA.

A walk around campus quickly transformed students’ routine view of buildings and put a new light on their history.

“I didn’t know we had so much history on campus,” said Anna Dean, a junior at UNA, “I’ll definitely be looking at my walk to class differently.”

Students and faculty may experience hearing a piano playing in Willingham Hall, whistling in Bibb Graves Hall or seeing a shadowy figure walking along the catwalk during performances in Norton Auditorium. Molly, the most famous UNA ghost, has even been seen waving to passers by at the Off Campus Bookstore, Glass said.  

“I kept waiting for ghosts to pop out while we were listening to their stories,” said Heather Rhodes, a junior at UNA. “Then a group said they saw a shadow in the window at Off Campus while we were standing there.”

Glass said a troubled spirit lurks in Wesleyan Hall and is active when the moon is full.

“(When) I go in (Wesleyan), I lock up and that’s it; I don’t stick around,” said UNA police Officer Edward Rhodes.

Rhodes said that once while checking the building, all of the toilets started flushing at once.

Glass was inspired to start the ghost tours by visiting Charleston, S.C., and going on their tours.

“I thought we could have one of those in Florence, and I talked to a friend of mine who helped me out and we got it started,” Glass said.

This is the tenth year Glass has been giving ghost tours of Florence.

“I have always liked ghost stories, and I just love it because I gain stories people will tell me and they just grow, “ Glass said. “It’s fascinating to me, and I just started collecting the stories.”

New students found the tour worthwhile.

“I thought it was really fun and very interesting, and I enjoyed hearing different history and legends of UNA,” said Samantha Kolesar, a freshman at UNA.

In her time at UNA, Glass was curious about Priscilla, a ghost suspected to be that of a former student who died in the old girls’ dorm located where the GUC is today.

Glass said the doors to the elevator shaft were locked but was able to pull them apart enough to look inside, where she was greeted by a pigeon flying toward her face.

During previous tours Glass’s groups have encountered the GUC elevator doors opening with no one in the building and the power doors to the GUC then opening while the group was present.

“I guess seeing is believing,” Glass said. “I think it’s one of those things that something has to happen to you for you to believe it yourself.”