There are many ghostly tales on the University of Oklahoma Norman campus. One of the more well-known ghosts haunts the hallways of Ellison Hall, home to the university’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Ellison Hall originally was named Hygeia Hall, after the Greek goddess of health and wellness, and served as the infirmary for the campus. The first floor served as a clinic to OU students; the second floor held patient rooms; and the third floor was filled with operating rooms. The same windows where students checked into the clinic now serve as check-in windows for students waiting to be advised in the college.
Legend has it that a boy roller skating on Elm Avenue was struck by a car. Carried into Hygeia Hall, he died. Since that time, the sounds of his skates are heard along the hallways of the second and third floors. Most members of the dean’s staff have experienced other occurrences that happen in the quiet after-hours: motion-sensitive lights turning on for no reason, noises coming from the empty end of the hall, knocks on the wall of empty and locked offices. Other staff members have reported hearing voices and dishes clinking on the first floor.
This fall, the College of Arts and Sciences was contacted by Chris Borthick, academic counselor in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication and member of the Society of the Haunted, a paranormal research group in Oklahoma. Interested in staying the night in Ellison Hall, they received permission and set about recording any activity in the building to use for a story in the OU yearbook.
Investigators began in the basement of the building and worked their way up to the third floor during the course of the evening. The team noticed the thumps, knockings and lights. They even caught voices on audio recordings. After hearing the skates, the psychic member of the team suggested that perhaps instead of roller skates, the sounds may be from hospital beds being rolled down the hallway.
It was an illuminating experience for the paranormal investigators and for the members of the OU College of Arts and Sciences dean’s office.
For more personal experiences, audio and photos from the night in Ellison Hall, visit the Society of the Haunted website at www.societyofthehaunted.com.
Interested in a ghost tour of OU, including Ellison Hall? Check out this tour by Jeff Provine, benefiting Children's Advocacy Centers of Oklahoma.