As Halloween approaches, Michigan State students may be hunting for frights at well-known haunted houses such as MSU’s own Haunted Auditorium or Williamston’s Bestmaze corn maze. However, many of MSU’s buildings are rumored to be truly haunted, meaning you don’t even have to leave campus to experience the best scares of the season.
Perhaps the most timeless and famous legend at MSU is that of Mary Mayo Hall. As the oldest hall still being used as a dorm on campus, Mayo is considered the most haunted of them all. The fourth floor is home to the creepy and forbidden “red room” where undeterred students have explored only to find what they believe is evidence of satanic rituals on the walls. Jarek Schmidt, a sophomore studying business, knows Mary Mayo’s antics all too well. Schmidt claims to have heard the piano playing on its own at three in the morning, and he’s not the only student who has dealt with this phenomenon.
“My friend had a single [room] for the first week of school and every day she would wake up to her closet door swinging,” said Schmidt. “Other nights she would wake up to hearing her door knob being wiggled like someone was trying to come in … ”
The haunting story surrounding Wonders Hall involves a true death. In 1999, a man’s body was found locked in an unplugged freezer in the basement. He was believed to have been trapped in the freezer accidentally, leading to his death. Jenny Walker, a Spartan Senior and member of the MSU Paranormal Society, went on a haunted tour of campus that ended after a scare at Wonders.
“Every place we went was reading very low numbers, like 0-5… When we got there, the [Electromagnetic Field Detector] equipment wasn’t reading 0-5, it was reading way more, like 40-50,” Walker described. Her team left immediately, afraid of even being in the building.
Sophomore Emma Costantino is convinced that spirits also lurk in the Chemistry building. She described a night navigating campus during her freshman year:
“It was dark, we were lost. I swear there was someone moving in [the Chemistry building] and when I turned around, they were gone,” she explained. She also heard from an RA that the Oak Room in the basement of Abbot Hall is haunted by the ghost of a student who died there. “The whole set-up looked kind of gothic; it just looked old,” Costantino said as she reflected on the Oak Room.
Many other MSU buildings have their own odd stories. Students who lived in room 666 in South Case Hall have trouble opening their door. Among other unexplainable noises in the Fairchild Auditorium, theater majors have heard a little boy roaming the rows of seats, unable to find his way out. Other buildings rumored to be haunted on campus include many of the dorms, such as Yakeley-Gilchrist, Holmes, Hubbard and Williams Halls, in addition to the MSU museum and Beaumont Tower.
Everyone seems to have their own unexplainable stories at Michigan State – and if you’re new around here, this Halloween there’s no need to go looking for haunts anywhere else — they’re right behind you.
Danielle Schwartz is a junior studying English and professional writing. When she’s not writing or taking pictures of her dog, you can usually find her eating a veggie burger or drinking English Breakfast tea. See her dog pics on Instagram at @danielleeilleen.