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Jeffrey Dahmer suspected to haunt Ohio State’s Morrill Tower

It is rumored that serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer (center), lived in Morrill Tower during his time at OSU and still haunts the residence.  Credit: Halie Williams / Arts editor, photos courtesy of MCT Photo illustration by Shelby Lum

It is rumored that serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer (center), lived in Morrill Tower during his time at OSU and still haunts the residence.
Credit: Halie Williams / Arts editor, photos courtesy of MCT
Photo illustration by Shelby Lum

Stories about haunted buildings along the Oval, such as Bricker and Orton halls, have become a beloved part of Ohio State lore. However, many younger generations of Buckeyes have grown more familiar with a different ghost story.

“I had more nightmares while living in Morrill (Tower) than I have experienced at any other point in my life,” second-year in exploration Trevor Thompkins said. “One night, I woke up and nearly yelled out because I thought someone was staring at me from my closet and was moving towards me.”

Thompkins lived in Morrill Tower as a first-year and, like many of his former suitemates, has his own version of the tower’s ghost story. Thompkins said it is rumored Jeffrey Dahmer, an infamous American serial killer, lived in room 541.

“I lived in 541. Of course I found this out after I moved in,” Thompkins said. “It was bizarre.”

It is rumored Dahmer lived in Morrill Tower for a short time before dropping out of school and joining the army. A representative at the University Registrar confirmed Dahmer did in fact attend OSU, but could not give out any information regarding his residence while here.

Many residents of Morrill Tower have heard different versions of the tale.

“I heard that some murderer died on the 13th floor and that now he haunts it,” second-year in biology Samantha Michalski said.

Michalski also spent her freshman year in Morrill Tower playing the game of ghost story telephone with previous tenants.

“The first time I heard it was from my dad, after he went on a tour with my older sister,” Michalski said. “Before I actually moved into Morrill Tower, I was told they shut down the 13th floor because it was so creepy to live on.”

The 13th floor of Morrill Tower is open.

Graphic novelist John Backderf, who writes under the pseudonym Derf Backderf, released the book “My Friend Dahmer,” which chronicles the life of his high school friend Dahmer. Backderf discusses Dahmer’s short time in Morrill Tower while at OSU on the blog for his graphic novel, myfrienddahmer.com.

Some students, including third-year in marketing major Lydia Backscheider, use websites such as Backderf’s blog as the source of inspiration for their haunted heralds.

Backscheider and her suitemates in Morrill Tower performed a séance during the final week of her freshman year.

“We started thinking about all the people who had lived in this room, began searching Jeffrey Dahmer, found sources on the Internet who confirmed that he lived there and just got carried away,” Backscheider said.

Backscheider said her suitemates dressed in crazy outfits, lit candles and were led through the séance by an app Backscheider purchased, Ghost Seance, which instructs users on summoning spirits.

“The whole building is just so creepy being so large and industrial,” Backscheider said. “When everyone had moved their stuff out, it looked a lot like an old insane asylum.”

Thompkins also said the dark, stuffy atmosphere of Morrill Tower could be a major factor in students thinking it is haunted.

“With a building so big that has housed so many people over the years, it’s not hard to believe that people would spread stories of weird things that have happened there,” Thompkins said.

11 comments

  1. Anyone that got to spend time in Lincoln or Morrill towers had nightmares.

  2. I do find it interesting that every story about ghosts on campus seems to mention Morril and Jeffery Dahmer, but no one seems to talk about Lincoln, where there was a horrible death. A young lady was burned to death in a fire that was started intentionally by one of her suite mates. Before the fire there were dorm rooms below floor 15. But who wants to do a story about something that really happened.

  3. Thanks a lot for making me look up Jeff Dahmer’s Wikipedia page. I’ll never sleep again…

  4. This is terrifying! I lived in Morrill tower for less than three months, and it felt like an insane asylum. The 13th floor might not be haunted, but you can’t help but get a tingle down your spine when you think about a cannibal having once lived in your dorm. Yikes!

  5. Jeffrey Dahmer never lived in a dormitory. He lived in a small apartment off campus near where the North Campus Video Store was located.

  6. Ummm, “but who wants to do a story about something that really happened?” ? Dahmer was arrested in 1991 for killing 17 young men & boys. He tried to turn them into “sex zombies” by drilling holes in their skulls & injecting acid or boiling water into their brains. He mumified body parts to keep. He dismembered his victims. He had sex with their corpses. He even went as far as to eat them. He was actually working on a shrine dedicated to his victims when he was arrested…& this all came from his ownh mouth as if the damning evidence enough.

  7. Ohio State sucks. Go bamer

  8. I lived in Lincoln Tower in the mid ’80s. Back then the ghost was a girl rumored to have died in a fire there back in the ’60s.

    Each generation must have it’s own ghosts.

  9. I lived in Morrell from autumn 1975 through spring 1976. Same time Jeffrey did.

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