Haunting at Hamline

While Manor Hall is a hotspot for paranormal activity, Old Main may have its own haunting.

When Hamline students think of ghosts their first thought goes to Manor Hall, but they often forget about the oldest building on campus, Old Main. While the original Old Main burnt down in 1883, the current building was built in 1884 and housed classrooms, offices and the dining hall.

While today it only houses offices for administration, the potential of the paranormal remains. This is even hinted at on Hamline’s Virtual Tour.

“Old Main also plays a role in Hamline lore,” Hamline’s Virtual Tour states. “Sneaking up to the bell tower and signing one’s name was a common prank for many years. Several ghost stories taking place in the building also circulate.”

Some students believe this is more than a tactic to scare new perspectives.

“The story I was told as a freshman, it has to do with a person that hung himself in Old Main on the third floor,” senior Randina Friestad said. “The story goes that some guy that was important to Hamline, no details were given there. His wife was cheating on him with another man and she was going to leave him. So he went up to the third floor of Old Main where the piano was in the auditorium space. He played this really sad song and then hung himself.”

The rumor continues that those that visit the third floor auditorium will either hear the piano playing or see his noose in the shadows.

“I have been up there in the daytime and one time near the evening and it’s spooky. I couldn’t tell if the room was shifting but it sounded like something hit the piano,” Friestad said. “You walk in the hallways and you don’t feel like you are alone, even though you are.”

Old Main is listed as haunted by America’s Haunted Road Trip, Visit Saint Paul, Minnesota Haunted Houses, TommieMedia and NewsCastic. Common stories listed at these sites include the portrait of President George Henry Bridgman that hangs in Bridgman Hall watching those that walk by and occasionally leaving his portrait.

There is a whole radio show at HU Radio dedicated to paranormal happenings around campus called ‘Spoop Troop’ by juniors Jessica Limon and Catie Kliendl, but they are split on whether or not Old Main is haunted.

“Old Main is very haunted,” Limon said. “The building is old so I’m not surprised.”

While her colleague Kliendl did not believe that Old Main had any paranormal activity and had not heard any stories of the haunting of Old Main.

It is unclear whether or not Old Main is haunted, but a large portion of the student body can agree that Manor Hall is haunted.

“There’s weird stuff going on in Manor,” Limon stated. “I’ve seen a lady in white with black blood coming from her eye sockets. People have items flying off the walls and shelves. A good chunk of people have experienced paranormal activities going on.”