Video: Haunted spots at MSU
As Halloween season creeps on, legends surrounding haunted spots on Michigan State University's campus abound.
Groups like the MSU Paranormal Society aim to learn more about these locations, and provide tours to the student body to let them experience the spookiness as well. MSU Paranormal Society Co-President Tara Eavy said the two most active paranormal spots on campus are Mary Mayo Hall in North Neighborhood and South Wonders Hall in South Neighborhood.
Rumors surround the death of a student in a cooler in the basement of South Wonders. Tragically, these rumors are based in truth. Former student Neftali Valdez Greene Jr. locked himself in an unused cooler in the basement and died in September of 1999.
“There’s supposedly a kid who got locked in [the freezer there,]" Eavy said. "There was lots of activity there. I’ve heard lots of rumors.”
Mary Mayo Hall was built in 1931, and is the oldest residence hall on campus. However, its namesake died nearly thirty years prior to its completion. Rumors from Mayo herself playing the grand piano in the lounge to students performing satanic rituals in the now-unreachable fourth floor "Red Room" continue to frighten students.
MSU Paranormal Society Co-President Shea Howe lived in Mayo Hall last year.
“What I’ve been told is that on the (fourth floor), there were satanic rituals performed, and so they kind of closed the floor off to everybody," Howe said. "It’s always mysteriously under construction, like being renovated and stuff.”
Howe noted that her most interesting paranormal encounter took place in Mayo Hall using a spirit box, which allows ghosts to communicate via electro-magnetic frequencies.
“One of my favorite experiences with the spirit box was in Mary Mayo hall," Howe said. "We were in the basement with a group for the Haunted Mayo thing that they do every year, and our old president was telling a really animated story, and the spirit box was on, and he kind of paused in the middle of the story. And then through the spirit box, we heard the voice say, ‘You’re weird.’”
Eavy said her most exciting experience took place in the Fairchild Auditorium.
“It was super weird," Eavy said. "Actually in the auditorium, Fairchild, we were talking. I’m kind of a potty mouth, and every time I would swear, we would get these crazy readings on our equipment and it was every time I swore. So, I would make a point to just swear randomly to see if it would work, and it would light up our equipment.”
Allegedly, the Fairchild is haunted by the ghost of a small boy who died in an accident there. Assistant Professor Christina Traister has been working in the auditorium for 11 years, and has helped run the Haunted Aud event for the past nine years.
“The first one that we did, I think it was 2009, was based on the fact that there was a professor who worked here who had a little boy who fell off of one of the landings and died," Traister said. "So, there are rumors there’s the ghost of a little boy in the room.”
Rumors also go around that a worker who died in the auditorium haunts it as well. Eavy remarked that it can be difficult to find the real stories behind the campus legends.
“They kind of keep it under wraps, you know?" Eavy said. "The university doesn’t want us knowing every person who died here.”
Traister also described her own haunting in the building prior to its 2013 renovation.
“Before the building was remodeled, a lot of the electric in the building, because it’s so old, some of these light fixtures are you know, 90 years-old," Traister said. "And we didn’t have automatic lights, so a lot of times if you were working late, or you were working through the building, you’d be traveling in dark hallways and trying to get to the light switch. And there were constantly times where you’d be walking down the hallway and the lights would flicker on and off, and then the switch would be off.”
Traister has no doubts that the Fairchild and campus as a whole are haunted.
“Do I think the Fairchild is haunted? Oh, yeah. You’re talking to someone who thinks there’s ghosts and energy all over the place. I mean, some of these buildings are so old, and you create all of this energy in a building, it doesn’t just dissipate into paper, you know?”