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Is Ohio State’s campus haunted?

Thomas Bradley / Campus editor

Ask Ohio State students what they are afraid of and a haunted campus is often not the first thing that comes to mind.

Being scared on campus is something students occasionally feel, especially during finals week or a big game.

Erica MacDonald, a third-year in communication, said she has reason to fear sporting events.

“It’s really weird but I’m afraid of mascots,” she said. “I can’t go near them.”

MacDonald said her friends tease her but she refuses to approach any mascot.

“Something about a giant mask covering up their face really freaks me out,” MacDonald said.

Other phobias are more common.

“Being alone in the dark scares me,” said Rachel Newman, a third-year in logistics and operations management.

Newman said she doesn’t know what it is about the dark that scares her, it just does.

“I sleep in a dark room, but walking in my basement in the dark, there is something very scary about that,” Newman said.

OSU’s campus has a variety of eerie happenings.

If the tales are true, several well-known buildings around campus are haunted by those who choose to never leave. Pomerene Hall, Bricker Hall and Orton Hall all have stories that change over the years but the same ghostly tone remains. All these tales are from various myths, legends and stories from around the university.

Pomerene Hall and Mirror Lake

In the early 1900s in a garden where Pomerene Hall now stands a professor shot himself after losing money on an oil venture. His wife, angered by his suicide blamed Ohio State for not doing more to help him. She vowed she would return to haunt the place of his death. A year after she died, students walking at Mirror Lake began to see a woman in a pink dress float across the lake in the early morning and late evening when a mist is hanging over the water. The lady in pink has also been said to haunt Pomerene Hall. There have been footsteps heard when no one else was in the building and a door that unlocks itself.

Bricker Hall

When former trustee and cheerleader, Herbert Atkinson, died in 1952 his ashes were buried in a wall of Bricker Hall. On the second floor lights flicker on and off when no one is inside the building at the time. There have also been sightings of Atkinson in front of the plaque that marks where his ashes were placed.

Orton Hall

Named for Edward Orton, the university’s first president from 1873 to 1881, Orton Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus. Orton is believed to haunt the building. Before bells were placed in the tower, Orton would read in the room at night. These days, flickering light resembling his oil lamp can be seen through the slots in the turret.

Whether these legends are true hauntings or simply tricks of the tired minds of students, on Halloween people welcome the chance to get a scare or two.

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