Beer, Liquor, and Spirits: DePauw’s Ghostly Stories

CMYK The graveyard outside of the duplexes at DePauw NATALIE BRUNINI THE DEPAUW
CMYK The graveyard outside of the duplexes at DePauw NATALIE BRUNINI THE DEPAUW

Hello. And let us introduce ourselves, we, your ghost hosts, (hahaha get it) are going to take you on a spooky tour of our own campus. We wanted to share with you all of our spooky files, and give you the insider information about what is haunted on campus.

East College

Of course, the most gothic pillar of DePauw’s campus has to be haunted. As the spookiest tales go, a former University president’s daughter hung herself in the bell tower. In 1981, a janitor for the building saw a young, black-haired girl sitting on the steps of East College in the rain, but when he looked again, she vanished. Other students report hearing singing in Meharry Hall or a girl staring at them from the upper floor windows. Some students and professors say that they regularly hear footsteps going up and down the stairs.


Roy O. West

All-nighters in Roy might not be so eerie after hearing this tale. James Whitcomb, former governor of Indiana from 1843-1848, donated a vast collection of books to the Roy O. Library with detailed instructions that the books should never leave the library. All was well until one student took “The Poems of Ossian” to his room, only to be awoken by the chilling visage of Whitcomb shouting “Ossian! Who stole Ossian?!” Needless to say, the student bolted to Roy first thing in the morning to return the spooky book.

Pearl Bryan

In 1896, a woman named Pearl Bryan was pregnant with Scott Jackson’s baby. Jackson convinced Bryan to move from Cincinnati to Greencastle, and Bryan believed it was to start their family together. But Jackson and his friend, Alonzo Walling, killed her by beheading her, because they were part of a satanic cult and Jackson did not want the baby. Then they reportedly threw her head down a well but left her body outside a small farm in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Bryan’s body is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, and reportedly her headless body haunted the area.

PCCM’s Haunted Elevator

During the construction of the Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media, which houses The DePauw, a worker died in the elevator shaft. Apparently, the hydraulics malfunctioned, and immediately after the elevator was completed it started moving from the first floor to the basement with no one inside. Additionally, the door will reportedly open late at night without anyone pressing the button. People have been reportedly hearing strange noises in the area as well since the death that occurred while building the elevator.

Kappa Alpha Theta

Yes, you read that right. Theta is supposedly haunted by the very woman who founded it: Betty Locke. Locke founded the first Greek-lettered women’s fraternity in 1870, and, according to legend, has never left. Sorority members, current and present, have told of their rather mundane experiences with the specter. According to some members, Betty, as they fondly call her, is the cause of an assortment of spooky happenings, including flashes of light, randomly slamming doors and ouija board conversations. If the legends are to be believed, Betty can most frequently found in room six watching over her sleeping sorority sisters.

Dadadadaaaaa Goatman

Just off of South County Road 525 West stands the Big Four Arch, home of the dreaded Goat Man. The mysterious black-caped goat-headed man haunted the area, jumping out in front of oncoming traffic and scaring teenagers. Sightings and stories grew out of control until a 20-year-old Greencastle resident came forward. In an article by the Banner Graphic, James C. “Chris” York came forward to the police, admitting to dressing up as the Goat Man because he was bored. No animals were harmed in the making of the Goat Man, the skull came from a goat that died of natural causes. However, days after York came forward, the police department received a letter covered in arcane symbols and bloodstains with magazine clippings spelling “I will f------ kill someone. The Goat Man.” He may still be ahoof.

Cultural Resource Center

In the original Alpha Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega, a member of the house committed suicide on top floor of the house. She apparently had trouble making friends and has had that same trouble ever since. When the house exchanged hands to the men of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, they continued to feel her cold presence. Until the chapter’s closing, members reported a spooky presence when they were hanging out. The ghost may have been friendly with the men of SAE, but reportedly has not been so nice to visiting women.

Edna Collins

The Edna Collins bridge holds the spot as one of the most famous bridges in Indiana, but it’s better known as the most haunted. According to legend, young Edna Collins would travel to the bridge, her beloved dog in tow. It was there in the early 1920s that she drowned. To this day, cars can be seen parked by the bridge, hoping to catch sight of her dripping ghost. To summon her ghost, most sightings guide drivers to park in the middle of the bridge and honk their horn three times, after which Edna Collins might drag her hands along your windows.