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Touring the ghosts of Buckeye past

Kathy Cubert / Lantern Photographer

In the spirit of Halloween, a campus organization presented a tour Monday highlighting Ohio State’s most haunted locales.

The tour, titled “Are You Afraid of the Oval?” took students around The Oval, with guides sharing some of the buildings’ haunted histories.

It was the fifth year the tour has been hosted by Multicultural Understanding through Non-Traditional Discovery Opportunities, a student living community at OSU.

Two student ambassadors served as guides through the haunted tour, with lasted 45 minutes.

Nidhi Lahoti, a fourth-year in political science, has been a campus tour guide before, but this was her first time hosting a haunted tour.

“I enjoy giving these tours,” Lahoti said. “They give you the added history that most current students don’t know about.”

Here are some of the places that were mentioned on the tour:

Mirror Lake

One of the most popular haunted stories at OSU, the legend of the Lady of the Lake has been around for years. As the story goes, a woman’s husband — a professor at OSU — killed himself at Mirror Lake. Blaming the university for his death, the woman has haunted the site since she died, and is said to glide across the lake early in the morning and late at night.

Hopkins Hall

Located on the north side of The Oval, Hopkins houses the Art Department. In previous years, the building has been open 24 hours a day to give art students extra time to work on projects.
One night, a student came in late at night and took an elevator in the back of the building to the fourth floor studios. But she never made it. The elevator got stuck between the third and fourth floors and stopped working.

People found her the next morning, passed out in the elevator. When she awoke, she said she had heard scratching noises and voices while stuck in the elevator. Traumatized by the incident, she was soon admitted to an insane asylum.

Years later, she recovered and came back to OSU to graduate. The week after graduation she died in a car crash, and is said to haunt the back elevator by making it stop or slow down when anyone tries to go to the fourth floor.

Morrill Tower

Although OSU will not release the official records of his residence, Morrill Tower is rumored to have been the place where one of OSU’s most infamous alumnus, Jeffrey Dahmer, lived during the short time he attended the university.

People have speculated that Dahmer, a cannibalistic serial killer, lived on the 10th floor, saying that strange things that have happened there. Microwaves have been known to turn on and off at random, and residences have reported freezer doors opening on their own.

Orton Hall

Another popular legend, the haunting of Orton Hall is centered on OSU’s first president, Edward J. Orton. Orton had an office in the tower of the building with a window that faced The Oval. He often worked by candlelight late into the night. Since his death, people have reported seeing a flickering light, resembling a candle, in the window of his office.

Hayes Hall

Hayes Hall is rumored to be haunted by former U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes.

The original entrance to the building is a floor below the main entrance today, but a stairway still leads down to the old entrance. When Hayes used to be a residence hall for ROTC students, a group of men was coming back late at night when they found all of the doors locked. They finally tried the old entrance below, and the door creaked open to show a hunched, bearded old man. He let the students in, and they went to bed.

The next day, they asked the front desk about the old man, but the workers there knew of no one who matched the description.

Later, the students found a painting that depicted the man who let them in, and when they showed it to the front desk employees, they were told the man was the late President Hayes.

According to legend, Hayes haunts the building and sometimes opens the downstairs door to students locked out of the building.

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