[haunted3] As you stay up late into the night, trying to cram three months worth of lectures into three hours of studying, you might start to hear or see strange things coming out of the walls around you. Chances are, if you’re living on campus you’re not actually going crazy—so stop rubbing your eyes or turning up your music, because ghosts are believed to flick on faucets, tap ceilings, and even play the piano in some residence halls.
Mary, Mary Quite Contrary
Mary Mayo Hall is one of the most frequently referenced haunted places on campus…and perhaps rightfully so. According to ghostwatchers.org/hauntedplaces, a female figure has been seen in the west lounge, near the piano, and is also said to be Mary Mayo herself. Mayo was a teacher of women’s studies at Michigan State Agricultural College in 1897, and in 1931 a new dormitory for women was named in her honor.
Mayo isn’t the only secret kept in the West Circle hall. The “Red Room” on the mysterious fourth floor was allegedly used by past students in quasi-Satanic rituals. It is kept locked and can only be accessed by the hall’s middle staircase. From the third floor, it’s possible to see the window to the locked fourth floor, but nothing can be seen inside.
A strange presence has also been felt in the basement corridor linking the two wings of the dormitory. [haunted4] “Around two years ago while I was doing my laundry, I had an experience with a ghost,” nursing senior Chin Chien said. “I heard this noise in the basement corridor while I was doing laundry, but when I checked there nothing was there. I was a little freaked out. It was just weird down there; it didn’t feel right. It felt like someone was watching me and following me, a spirit or whatever.”
Marissa Desrosiers, a sophomore in human biology, lived in Mayo Hall her freshman year. Her first week at MSU, she was shocked when a waitress at Bennigan’s informed her of an experience with Mayo Hall’s ghost. “She basically said to me, ‘Oh you’re living in Mayo!'” said Desrosiers. “She said she walked in the bathroom and was brushing her teeth when all of the faucets turned off. So, she turned them all off, but then they immediately turned back on again! She got so freaked out she just ran out, and was basically devastated.”
One four-year-resident at Mayo, education senior Chris Cavalieri, heard from an RA that a female student hung herself in a room on the fourth floor, and that is why the fourth floor is cut off from the public. He’s also heard complaints from friends on the floor having to do with tapping on their ceiling, coming from the forth floor and televisions mysteriously turning off. [haunted2]
An Elevating Surprise
On the other side of campus, on Holmes Hall West’s sixth floor, students have reported seeing a male figure entering the elevator, and immediately after the door closes it reopens, only to reveal an empty elevator. Appliances have also been known to turn on by themselves. Kinesiology sophomore Patric Burgess, who is a Holmes Hall West resident from the sixth floor, admitted to seeing a lot of problems with the elevators. “There are a lot of problems with the elevators; I think it’s the ghosts,’ he said. Today, I was coming up the elevator and it wouldn’t open-up for me. So, I had to pry it open with my hands – it was pretty intense. It’s happened a few times.” He said things like that usually didn’t happen when he lived on the east side of the hall. [haunted1]Other Holmes Hall residents have said that they try to catch the ghost but have not yet been successful.
More Campus Haunt Spots
There have been alleged ghost hauntings in the Botanical Gardens, where strange figures appeared and screaming was heard. Fee Hall is perhaps the most mysterious hall on campus, considering dead bodies are rumored to be stored inside. Students no longer live in the hall, and it’s used for science-related purposes.
The Auditorium is said to be haunted by a young boy, a.k.a.. the “Phantom of the Fairchild Auditorium.” Some students have claimed to see his face from the third floor window. Theatre junior Mark Falconer is no stranger to this haunting. “When I was a freshman I heard from upperclassman that the Auditorium was haunted,” Falconer said. “There are hallways in the second and third floor, and I was told that people who have been alone there in the middle of night have heard voices whispering and steps coming up from behind them.”
If you thought it was only possible at Hogwarts to see ghosts sneaking up on you, trapping you in elevators, keeping you up late by playing the piano loudly, or keeping you from doing laundry alone at night – you’re dead wrong. Some students are living the Harry Potter experience right here at MSU. As Chien said, “We’ve come to live in harmony with Mary Mayo; we want to see her more often.”

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