From the creaky stairs of Dan Waggoner Hall to lights flickering on and off after hours, some would say we are not alone when all of Wesleyan turns in for the night.
Rumors, especially around Halloween, stream throughout campus that various buildings hold something more than lectures. They hold spiritual energy or apparitions of people who have come before us.
Joe Brown, professor of theatre and communication and dean of freshmen, taps into the supernatural when he takes his students on the ghost tour every year. No one knows Georgia’s last name, but she is a spirit that inhabits Martin Hall located in Anne Waggoner Annex.
Brown said he heard about Georgia when he came to Wesleyan 35 years ago, from Mason Johnson, who was a theatre teacher then.
“In all the years that I built shows when it was a theatre, I never saw Georgia,” Brown said. “But, there were stories that Georgia could be seen sitting in the balcony of what is now Martin Hall.”
Brown said when Wesleyan remodeled Martin Hall, after the wiring went hay wire, they put what was known as Georgia’s seat on the main floor, however he said it is not Georgia’s seat, her seat was originally in the middle of the balcony, two rows back.
“The stories were that when the theatre students were rehearsing, they would look up and see this light grey apparition just watching,” Brown said. “The one thing that I always got from older alumni from the ‘60s was that Georgia was not an evil presence.”
Brown said Georgia would watch shows, and occasionally people would see Georgia walk down the aisle on the main floor.
Brown said supposedly the story is that she was one of the church parishioners when the building was a church, and when the church moved, she never left. She just stayed there in the building.
“I have heard that the building was built on a cemetery, but no it was not built on a cemetery,” Brown said. “It was just a church.”
Brown said since he has been at Wesleyan, there have been four ghostbuster-type people come in and bring in Geiger counters, an instrument that measurers positive and negative energy. Some say this device can sense spirits.
“They could sense some energy, but nothing that really went crazy in energy, how they determine spiritual energy,” Brown said. “But, Mason Johnson, my predecessor, always talked about how he could see her up in the auditorium.”
Trent Sandles, junior business major, said he has heard a few ghost stories on Wesleyan’s campus himself, but they are a little different than what Brown has heard.
“I’ve heard about Georgia,” Sandles said. “I heard she used to be a music student at Wesleyan.”
Sandles said the story goes back to the 1950s when music students were doing a closed rehearsal for their performance in Martin Hall around midnight for a concert on the following day. The students saw a woman sitting in the audience, and the director told her she needed to leave. Georgia left but about 15 minutes later, they saw her through the lights in the audience again. When the director went back to tell her to leave, she wasn’t there anymore.
Sandles said the students in Martin Hall believe Georgia is a friendly ghost, and in the audience, there is a green chair left open during every performance for Georgia to sit in and watch.
“If she approves of the music, she will tap on the shoulder of whoever is sitting next to her,” Sandles said. “If she disapproves, supposedly the chair makes a noise as if someone is leaving or getting up from it.”
Kylie Wrinkle, senior music education major, said she has heard all about Georgia too.
“Georgia would come to listen to all the recitals,” Wrinkle said. “People have said they have felt a presence in the room.”
Wrinkle said lights on stage have randomly broken, and the lights in the audience have flickered for no reason.
“People have also heard creaking stairs as if someone was walking up and down them, but no one was there,” Wrinkle said.
Brown said he has heard that Dan Waggoner Hall [DWH] and Anne Waggoner Hall, used to be dormitories. Anne Waggoner Hall was said to be haunted as well, before it was burned down.
“There was always a myth that on the third floor in Anne Waggoner Hall, before it burned, there was an apparition of a woman looking out the window,” Brown said. “The only thing left is where the fountain is now.”
Brown said that DWH, which is said to also be haunted, used to be a men’s dormitory, and the story there is if you go there at a certain hour, you can see a man running up and down the stairs, supposedly from World War I.
Sandles, said he heard this particular spirit was killed in World War II, but there is no known knowledge to argue either time period.
“I heard a gentleman used to attend Wesleyan and was an education major but was drafted in World War II,” Sandles said. “He got killed in the war, and now if you are on the second floor, you can hear the sound of his boots walking around and going up and down the stairs.”
Dr. Patsy Robles-Goodwin, associate professor of bilingual education, said she too has heard about the ghost who runs up and down the stairs as if he was late for class, but she has never heard it herself.
“The only weird thing that has happened during my first year here was my radio being changed to a country western station from a Christian station, all in walking to the computer printer to retrieve my copies,” Robles-Goodwin said. “This happened to me twice in about 15 minutes.”
Robles-Goodwin thought Dawn Jarvis, secretary of the School of Education, was playing a joke on her, especially since she likes to listen to country western music, but soon realized that she had not been involved.
“She stated it must have been the ghost,” Robles-Goodwin said. “That was my first introduction to the story of DWH and our ghost.”
John Royder, junior undecided major, said DWH and Martin Hall are not the only places on campus that are haunted. He said the bathroom on the third floor of Stella Hall is haunted too.
“In the third stall of the bathroom back when Wesleyan was an all girls’ school, a girl hung herself,” Royder said. “Students have been in there and experienced light flickering and stall doors closing and opening.”
Other rumors of spiritual energy have been on the third floor of the library. The Boyd House and the Dillow House, which do not currently house any academics, but are owned by Wesleyan as well are also said to be haunted.