Secrets of Ohio State University

Posted: January 22, 2014 in Living and Life, Scary Stuff
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I love my university, and I find out things about it every semester that are new and interesting. And some of those things I find out are actually kind of cool. Kind of inspiring. Kind of weird. Kind of creepy. And for all those reasons, I want to share them with you. From secrets tunnels to ghost stories, OSU has got it all. I hope you enjoy an expose on some of Ohio State’s greatest secrets.

There are tunnels under some of the buildings. A couple of the buildings on campus are connected on campus aboveground by connecting hallways. Lazenby and the Psychology Building are connected by their first and second floors, Cockins Hall and the Mathematics Building are connected on most of the floors. But there are some buildings that connected underground. Every building in the Fischer School of Business is supposedly connected by tunnels, and one of those tunnels also supposedly goes to the Blackwell Residence Inn, though you might need a key card for that one. And strangely enough, University Hall and Dulles Hall are connected by a tunnel that goes underneath 17th Ave. I’m not sure why that last one exists, but it’s still pretty interesting. I wish there were more tunnels like that: it’s too cold outside to be walking to classes that way!

Some of the buildings have abandoned and empty pools. Pomerene Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus, and it’s like a giant castle. However only a fraction of the building is used, and the basement is tiny, which is weird considering the size it technically should be. Turns out the back area used to house a pool that’s been nothing but a dry pit for several years. Explains the size. Pomerene’s not the only building with a pool no longer used: I used to live in Jones Tower, which was a graduate housing facility when it first opened. Back then it had a pool for the grads to use, but due to maintenance costs and injuries at poolside it was closed down. If you walk by the pool’s door today, you can still see the places where people would hang up towels and still hear the sounds of the pipes that would carry water to the pool (at least I think that’s what that noise is).

Ohio State has some hauntings. I save the best for last. Apparently in its 144 year history Ohio State has gathered a few ghost stories and possible hauntings (Ghost Adventures, call the university!). Learning that makes me even prouder of this school I go to. Here are the spooky legends on campus, brought out nine months earlier than usual:

–Pomerene Hall, situated right next to the infamous Mirror Lake, has a very special ghost story of love and tragedy. In the 1900s, Professor Clark committed suicide after a failed mining investment, his body found where Pomerene Hall now stands. His wife swore never to leave him, and when she died in the 1920s, her ghost started appearing around Mirror Lake (on it during the winters). Professor Clark himself is said to haunt Pomerene Hall, slamming lockers and doors and doing other ghostly things.

–Hopkins Hall, the art building on the Oval, has a much more gruesome story. At some point a young woman got stuck into an elevator overnight, suffering a nervous breakdown from the stress and lack of response to her cries for help. During her breakdown, she apparently wrote plenty of weird stuff on the walls of the elevator. She eventually got out, recovered, and then graduated, but not too long afterwards she died in a car crash. To this day, students report seeing writing or scratches in the elevator that say “I’m still mad at OSU for what they did to me.” Scary.

–Orton Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus and is home to the Geology Department’s famous fossil museum. It also has two ghosts. One is Edward Orton, one of OSU’s earliest professors and the building’s namesake, as well as the man who gifted the Geology Department the core of its collection. When he was alive, he used to read by lamplight in the top of the bell tower (the scorch marks are still there). At night you can sometimes see mysterious lights through the slats of the bell tower, apparently Professor Orton reading in his favorite spot. During the day he supposedly chills the air and makes weird noises in order to get students to behave.

If you look at the cover of The Quiet Game: Five Tales To Chill Your Bones, you’ll see that Orton Hall’s bell tower is on the cover.

There is also tales of a hairy, caveman-like figure who makes noises and bangs on doors. Some believe it might be somehow connected to the Geology Museum’s vast collection. Others believe it could be a dead football player, though that may be a more humor-filled supposition.

This post is getting rather long, so I’m going to cut it off now. It’ll be continued in another post. Trust me, I’ve got a few other secrets about Ohio State worth sharing, including some other famous ghost stories and OSU’s connection to a famous serial killer. Until next time, Followers of Fear.

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