History of Haunted Ellison Hall

Hallway of Ellison Hall with images over it

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.

The legend of the ghost of Ellison Hall began many years ago. As it is told, there was a boy roller skating on Elm Avenue. He either was struck by a car or had an asthma attack. 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.

The Ghosts of Ellison Hall have been covered in many media outlets, including News9. In October of 2014, local NPR station KGOU interviewed Jeff Provine, Angela Startz and Tanya McCoy about paranormal investigations that have happened in Ellison Hall. You may listen to the story here.

This prompted paranormal investigators to try to get to the real story behind the hauntings at Ellison Hall. Three teams of paranormal investigators have visited the building over the course of several years.

The first team consisted of members from Society of the Haunted.  Their findings are posted online:

The second team consisted of members of INsight Paranormal Investigations, a division of The Atlantic Paranormal Society.  They were able to pick up some EVPs on the third floor:

"Keys" said at 8 seconds

Also on that visit, one investigator experiences a haunting experience in front of Ellison Hall:

Ghost Attack at Ellison Hall

The third team is part of the Oklahoma Paranormal Association. They have been to Ellison Hall several times as part of the OU Ghost Tours.

They received several EVPs one evening:

"Stick Away" or "Step Away"

"Laura" at 1 second

"Loud Sigh" at 2 seconds

Sooner Yearbook was on hand for one of the investigations in 2013 and wrote up this report:

Ghost Hunters Investigate Ellison Hall

Oklahoma Paranormal Association investigators brought a medium in October 2013 and she was able to identify the young boy as possibly being named "Robert" or "Bobby."  She also saw a nurse who was only interested in taking care of business. She seemed impatient with the questions asked her. 

It also was reported that a gentleman travels one of the stairwells of the building, and he has been known to play tricks on residents on the second floor.  

Given the history of the building, there is a lot of activity in the hallways: nurses, doctors and orderlies hustling from room to room.  Even Dr. Gayfree Ellison was seen, making sure that the building that bears his name is still maintained and running smoothly. 

The College of Arts and Sciences hopes Dr. Ellison is pleased with what he sees on his visits.