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Spookiest Ghost Stories that will Haunt the Campus and your Dorm

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By Nay-Quan Bryan | nbryan3@radford.edu

We all feel it – the chills in the air that makes the hairs on the back of our necks stand up, the shivers you suddenly feel. The paranormal is something that leaves everyone with unanswered questions. Who knows what exists with so much undiscovered?

This is why some of us are drawn to horror movies because they’re scary, fear-inducing, and because, ultimately, as human history shows, we fear the unknown.

It’s the time of the year when I get my broomstick out, and others carve their pumpkins. As the leaves change color and fall, we feel the world shift around us, and the neighborhoods get a little spookier, campus feels a little quieter, you wash clothes with your friends because every halls basement is “haunted.”

I wanted to scare you a little more, really get you thinking before you decide to pull out that Ouija board on Halloween night.

Radford is a pretty scary place, and I wanted to find out how scary it is. Looking through old articles written by The Tartan and The Grapurchat, what I found was shocking.

One of the shocking stories is Elizabeth, the ghost of Radford’s tunnels.

She was pranked by typical popular girls, and they created this scheme to make her believe she had a secret admirer. Telling her to dress up as a princess and her admirer would be dressed as her prince.

According to the 1984 Tartan article about Elizabeth written by Richie Ellis, Elizabeth received her final note on Halloween night while she waited for him at the Halloween party that was thrown on campus.

The note told her to come to the tunnels under her dorm, and soon she followed.

While waiting for him in the tunnels, she called his name. Instantly, the lights went out, and the door was slammed shut. She pounded and kicked on it. She heard laughter from the other side of the door and started running down the dark tunnels, calling her admirers name. Soon she fell, breaking her neck and dying instantly.

It is said that she visits every campus’ Halloween party, searching for her prince and visits the tunnels every year crying for him, and when she finds him, she’ll take him to their meeting spot and keep him there forever.

Scary, right?

Rookmin Maharaj wrote an article in 1995; one that left chills down my spine.

According to Maharaj, the Heth family owned the land that the university now sits on, and McConnell library was where the family house used to be located.

One of his sources was an Assistant Director of Admissions at Radford who told him that the family made a deal with the state to allow the school to be built on their land. However, what happened to the Heth family is unknown – there was no information about the whereabouts of the Heth family, and there was no records of the family’s demise, no burial records.

According to many students I’ve come across, and Rookmin Maharaj, the writer of his 1995 Tartan articles, everyone knows the Tyler Hall ghost.

The girl whose love was forbidden, while being pregnant, she hung herself in the elevator shaft.

However, there’s another version that she was a faculty member’s daughter that committed suicide. According to Rookmin’s article, Dean of Students, Bonnie Hulbert and Director of Residential Life, Jerry Dieringer of 1995 admitted to never hearing of this, and there was no date to link to such occurrence.

Lauren Estes, a Whim staff writer wrote about urban legends of Radford, and this is one, I promise you’ve never heard of.

From Estes’ spine-tingling article, she said, “In 1996, Radford University witnessed the tragic death of a student due to an overdose of medication mixed with alcohol. The female student that passed away that year was found by her roommate in their second-floor room of Peery Hall.”

“It’s been said that in the room that she once lived in, the door will never stay open. When I was a Quest Assistant this summer, I was putting flyers in each room of Peery when it was empty, and I noticed that when I went into one of the rooms the door would begin to swing shut as I stepped into it.”

“I pulled it back to the wall, and as I let go it still swung towards its latch. Needless to say, it kind of freaked me out. When I told a fellow staff member about it, he pointed out the story about the death and sure enough, the room I had been in and her room was one and the same.”

Finally, St. Albans Sanatorium, a hub for the spooky and paranormal.

Going from a vicious all-boys school in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s where students committed suicide under the pressure of being athletically and academically perfect were too much for some. Soon, it became a Sanatorium. Dr. John C. King acquired the property to now fulfill his vision; introducing the nation’s first top-notch psychiatric hospital.

However, nothing was top-notch about the treatment the patients received at this madman’s hands. It is labeled as one of the east coast’s most haunted places.

I hope this gives you a scare, and a fright … and be vigilant because you never know, who or what is watching you.

Photo Credit: (Chris Hughes | The Tartan 1995)

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