I’m amazed at how all these paranormal/ghost hunting shows and societies have taken off in the last ten or so years. Ghosts are everywhere, but I’ve never personally encountered one. I’ve always thought believing in the paranormal was a great theater of the mind experience. Who didn’t have a Ouija board? Or tried the “Bloody Mary” mirror routine?
“Who? Me?” (Flickr)
I am a graduate of WKU and I know the campus well. Instead of gaining the “Freshman 15” I lost 15 or more pounds walking from the bottom of the hill to the top my first year. I would say 60 percent of the dorms are still in their original condition, which means, they be old! I lived in two of the oldest my last four years at school, McLean Hall and Schneider Hall. Schneider is still a residence hall, but it now houses high school students enrolled in the Gatton Academy for Math and Science, which is actually located off-campus. It’s probably a good idea to scare the shit out of these kids before they consider enrolling at the university. So, where did the Ghost Hunters go?
RUN AWAY! (rosstarrant.com)
Mostly I remember about Schneider is the inside always reminded me of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. Old carpet, though not symmetric like in the movie, tall ceilings, narrow hallways, just downright creepy. The event investigated by TAPS is the murder of a girl and she died via an axe through the head. Ouch! I vaguely remember hearing about it, but I must have either blocked it out or it wasn’t significant enough to stay with me. I lived on the first floor and two of my best friends lived on the ground floor. The event took place on the third floor. Damn my luck. The only other thing I remember about the dorm was one week the smell in my room was unbearable, think death. It turned out to be a combination of the fridge and the fridge leaking and soaking into the decades-old carpet. No blood was spilled. Next on the investigators’ rounds…
Looks can be deceiving. (wku.edu)
Potter Hall, once a dorm, houses the administration offices. I paid all my tuition there. Its renovations have been ongoing for the last couple of years. Little would you know, a woman committed suicide there. Excuse me? This event happened not that long ago, in April 1979. Now in the episode, she was believed to have hung herself in a closet, but the story goes, she hung herself in the basement from the steam pipes in her room. Pretty serious stuff. Now, it’s just another office, but why in the world would anyone take Room 140? TAPS only managed to get a tiny bit of suspicious audio. The big star of the episode is a building virtually right next door to Potter…
Van Meter Hall is among the buildings at the top of the hill. Over the years, many plays, recitals, concerts, and rock concerts (yes KISS played there early in their career) have taken place in the auditorium. Van Meter’s haunted history is the most tragic. A construction worker or student, was killed when he fell from the skylight onto the stage, a massive pool of blood left behind. The blood is said to be still present. The investigators borrow a fluid from the police department to see if the blood is indeed still there. They get a “glow” from it, so it’s probably still there. The auditorium has also been recently renovated. Many sounds and visuals came to light for TAPS, and it’s the most creepy in the episode. Two girls who are part of the team each get sick when the paranormal activity takes place. I attended an event there last year, and I was never scared. I almost stroked out climbing the hill to get there, but I lived to tell. One of my best friends, who was also a roommate for a while, was a theater student and I noticed in my Facebook feed tonight, some others who were also in the program swear there’s a ghost. If I was convinced by any of the cases tonight, I’m sold on Van Meter. However, I have one last case/building that wasn’t investigated…
Mattie? Oh Mattie! (hauntedhouses.com)
Well, that’s about the best photo I could find. Of all my years at WKU, I spent the most time at McLean Hall, which is just a few stairs away from Schneider. Nothing scary ever happened there, but two significant instances happened. In McLean, two rooms share a bathroom, which is a luxury compared to the standard dorms. I lived on the top floor my sophomore year, and then my junior year, I moved down one floor. The sink in the bathroom my junior year would just turn on full blast at any given time. I don’t recall if the temperature of the water was hot or cold, but I can attest to the full flow observation. McLean, at the time, was also without air conditioning, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary in the late summer, early fall, and spring to crack open a window. However, I get cold, and I don’t want a window open, plus, we did have heat. I know, it’s weird. My sophomore year, two of my friends lived on the first floor and their window would open just a few inches at any given time. Was it a spring? Was it a spirit? We’ll never know. As far as university history is concerned, no one ever died at McLean, so why bother investigating? I’m just a little bummed. Oh and McLean has also been fully renovated, A/C included.
The “Higher Dead-ucation” episode of SyFy’s Ghost Hunters will soon appear online and OnDemand. Watch if you dare and if you attended or worked at Western, then definitely check it out! GO TAPS!