Ghost stories on campus

Mary Ferrell
Staff Writer

Founded in 1887, Troy has collected several ghost stories throughout the years.
Whether they are based on rumors or fact, these stories raise the hair of students around campus year after year.
The Trop found that the most “haunted” places on campus are Shackelford Hall and Pace Hall, where students have had supernatural experiences for years.
Jake Reed, a freshman music education major from Milton, Florida, has heard bits and pieces of a haunting at Shackelford Hall.
According to Reed’s roommate, the top floor of Shackelford is haunted by a person who committed suicide. The top floor is used for storage and the elevator no longer goes to the top, but the elevator accidentally took Reed’s roommate to the top floor one day.
Sharrnique Mceachern, a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Ashville, said that she heard plenty of stories during resident assistants’ training week.
Mceachern also heard about the haunting in Shackelford Hall. She says that a woman called “Sally Shack” supposedly hanged herself out of depression when her fiancé was killed in a war.
“These girls were playing with a Ouija board in Shackelford one day,” Mceachern said. “The next day, they noticed that paperclips and stuff were floating around their window sill.”
Sara Jo Burks, assistant director of housing and residence life, confirms Mceachern’s story. Burks worked at Troy when the women had an experience with the Ouija board in the early 1990s.
According to Burks, Pace Hall was a sorority dorm in the 1990s. The women came to the housing office “all to pieces” because a paper clip was tapping on their window from the outside, and things were moving around the room. After the university had a cleansing done on the room, there were no more complaints.
Burks corrects one part of Reed’s story about Shackelford, however. Although Sally Shack committed suicide in Shackelford, the top floor has never been a dorm; it is an attic that has always been used for storage.
Burks goes up to the Shackelford attic all the time, even by herself, and she has never had any troublesome experiences.
“Most things that happen can be explained away,” Burks said. She said she has never encountered a ghost at Troy, but she does believe that the Ouija board experience at Pace Hall was legitimate.
Burks also recalls that basketballs could be heard bouncing without explanation years ago, before Clements was renovated.
Extending beyond the dorms, Matt Holmes, a Troy alumnus, has witnessed ghost sightings at McCartha Hall.
“McCartha is a creepy place,” Holmes said. “You rarely ever see anyone come in or out of it. The lack of activity coupled with the fact that it is an old fallout shelter certainly adds to the creepiness, but the only way to really appreciate it is to wander its halls at night.”
“One night a friend and I decided to see if we could get in and explore,” Holmes said. “The place seems unused, just generally abandoned right as you walk in.
“But as we delved deeper inside, we noticed something.
“Hallways seemed to change on us — sometimes slightly, like a picture or vent seemed to be in a different place than before, but sometimes even doors and whole corridors seemed to not be there when we would pass by them again.”
Holmes admits that what he witnessed might not be the work of the supernatural.
“It may have just been our imaginations running wild from rumors about the place combined with simply being alone in such a place at night, but we were thoroughly creeped out at this point and decided to try to find an exit.”
While rumors continue to pervade the campus, there are those who dismiss the gossip.
“I just don’t think we have any real ghosts around here. We just have some nice, benevolent spirits floating around, you know?” said Peter Howard, professor of modern languages and classics.
While some of these experiences have been explained or denied, many students agree that there is more than there appears to be on campus.

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