The world is full of mysteries; some good, some bad but mysteries nonetheless. Like anyplace you go, you can hear of ghost stories and Radford University is no exception. The RU legends range from simple stories of mishaps in the dorms to a complex murder or even bone chilling tales of ghosts, poltergeists and spirits. But just how many people actually believe these stories?
Like most stories, everyone has their own version and some, if not most, are just made up. According to the Dean of Students, David Horton, most of the stories around campus are indeed false. For example, the Muse curse, the spirit in Moffett, and the Heth ghost are all fictional; however, there are three major tales that are true.
The first story Horton brought to my attention was the story of the Washington ghost. Back when RU was an all-girls school, the place where Washington currently sits used to be a sunken garden. One night, a young girl was sitting in the garden waiting for her boyfriend to pick her up after his football game at Virginia Tech. Sadly, the tech student was in a car accident on the way to meet his date. For years people have claimed to see a young man wandering around the garden in an old Virginia Tech football uniform searching for his lost love. Even after Washington hall was built, students have claimed to see a similar figure wandering the halls.
- What might be hiding behind the halls of RU? Image from Creative Commons.
The next story was also back when RU was an all-girls school, and a new professor had just arrived on campus. All the girls on campus immediately took a liking to him, but one girl in particular snatched the professor’s attention, in return, resulting in an unexpected pregnancy. Due to the circumstances, RU sent the young professor away, leaving the girl on campus with her unborn child. The story goes on to say that after spending many nights alone crying and screaming, she hung herself in the elevator shaft of Tyler hall. To this day, people have been able to hear her cries coming from the old elevator shaft.
An RA claims that while making his rounds he noticed that the doors to the old elevator shaft were open, and there was a noose inside. Given the fact that this happened when Tyler was being renovated, the RA brushed if off, assuming it was left open by the construction workers, so he just closed the doors and continued his rounds. He later stated that he had to shut the doors a total of three more times that night.
The last story tells the tale of young women who haunts any party taking place on Halloween night. Elizabeth was the odd one out when she attended RU. She was always off by herself and was considered strange by her peers. There was a group of girls on campus known as “the Five”; this group loved to play pranks on Elizabeth trying to humiliate her. One night a harmless prank went too far.
“The Five” slipped a note under Elizabeth’s door from a secret admirer. The note told Elizabeth to meet him at the Halloween ball at 11 p.m. and that he’d be the one dressed as the prince. Elizabeth spent all evening getting dressed up for the Halloween dance. When she arrived at the ball, no one could believe that this amazing princess was in fact Elizabeth. As the party went on her prince never arrived, and she was left there alone. Heartbroken and embarrassed, she dragged herself back to her dorm, where she found a note from “her prince” telling her to meet him in the tunnels. She made it to the tunnels and wandered in looking for her prince. As soon as Elizabeth was in the tunnels, “the five” were there to lock her in, leaving her alone in the dark where she tripped and fell, breaking her neck and killing her instantly. The tale has it that she searches every Halloween party looking for her prince so she can bring him back to the tunnels with her.
Most of these tales are about women. Is it merely a coincidence or was there some reason behind it? It could be the fact that RU was an all-girls school and maybe someone or something is trying to keep it that way. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and who knows: there may not be a mystery behind any of these stories.
Of course, all of these stories are different in their own way but they still share one major similarity: these supposedly happened right here on our campus. The tales of RU can be taken however you see fit, but just remember to keep an eye out for princesses on Halloween night, cries in Tyler hall and football players in Washington. Our campus is full of rich history but who knew that our small school would have curses, spirits and ghosts lurking around every corner? Who knows, there just might be some tales that haven’t even been discovered yet.