Ghosts at Elon

Pam Richter – Class of 2011
October 27, 2010

A swinging chandelier; lights flickering on and off. These are just a few examples of some rumored ghost stories that have taken place around Elon University’s campus.

One of the biggest stories is that West Dormitory is haunted.  According to the Shadowlands Haunted Places Index website, in the fire of 1923, a young student named Mary tried to escape the fire and jumped from a third story window and died.  Stories surrounding Mary include her swinging the chandelier in the parlor, flickering the lights, and even making occasional appearances in students’ dorm rooms.

A photo of West Dorm in the 1910s or 1920s.

West isn’t the only place that is said to be haunted on Elon’s campus.  On Oct. 26, 1989, The Pendulum ran a story about the different tales from students and security guards.  According to the article, there are three different stories as to why the auditorium is haunted:

1. Some who tell these tales report that Whitley was built upon the foundation of a private residence that burned before the college was built. Supposedly the spirits of the family that lived in the house now occupy Whitley.

2. Other stories suggest the son of one of the school’s benefactors was killed in either a fire in Whitley or the great blaze of 1923. The ghost of his young sister now searches for her sibling, scurrying across the stage and calling his name.

3. Another legend claims that a music professor dies of a heart attack and his spirit returns to Whitley to search for music.

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3 thoughts on “Ghosts at Elon

  1. West’s hallways were creepier before the renovations done in the late 90’s. I remember touring it as a freshman and walking through the dark hallways, with their roughed-up creaky floors and dark paneling while the guide told us the “Mary” story. What’s strange about that story is that the fire of 1923, the one that Mary was attempting to escape when she jumped to her death, was in fact only contained to the Old Main building. West dorm, East Dorm and the other buildings that were around then were untouched. I always wondered why a student would jump out of a window to flee a fire that was in the adjacent building. Oh well, still a creepy story.

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