Millersville’s campus has a long history to be explored; founded in 1855, the university is bound to have some ghostly tales. This year Candice Hozza came to Citamard with an idea tailor-made for Halloween. Ghost tours running Nov. 1 and 2 are available for those looking for a historical take on Millersville’s campus. Tickets are on sale at the ticket booth for one dollar.
Student volunteers will be dressed in character as they lead groups around campus. One person dresses as a night watchman, explaining that in times before electricity night watchmen roamed the campus making sure people extinguished their lanterns.
The tour is also adorned with students dressed as homeless people. When Millersville had trollies running through campus, homeless people liked to hang around campus and in the trolley repair building.
Passing by the pond led to discussion of the campus’ history. The pond sprung up naturally from a water source when construction crews were expanding the campus. Dr. Eliphalet Oram Lyte wrote “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” when observing students on the pond.
As the tour group nears Lyle, it passes by actors snapping to each other. At one point, male and female students were not allowed to communicate with each other. Instead of speaking, they snapped codes to each other. This is what led to the name of the newspaper, The Snapper.
The tunnel system of Millersville was built so students could get from class to class when it was cold. Administration and students alike used to dress up and throw parties in the tunnels. They scared many people around Halloween time by popping out of a coffin. The tunnel system runs from Dilworth to where Old Main used to be. It is crumbling due to architectural problems, but it is now used to run heat and electricity throughout the campus.
The offices along the campus were housed in former residential areas. Duncan used to be the infirmary, where deaths occurred. Dr. Duncan supposedly haunts the administrative offices. As told on the ghost tour, a recent office worker took off his shoes and later found them across the room. When he knelt down to pick them up, they started walking on their own.
The McNairy library is said to be haunted by Professor Helen A.Ganser. The former library was named after Professor Ganser, a past English professor. An electrician working on the library supposedly saw a young boy race up and down the stairs. After the incident, he refused to work without a partner. There are reports of strange happenings, such as books flying off the shelves, on the third and ninth floor. Many believe this is because Ganser is unhappy with the renaming of the library.
Dutcher Hall is the oldest building on campus. The former gymnasium was built in 1890. Named after Dean Dutcher, who was both a student and professor at Millersville, Dutcher hall is said to be haunted. The light above his portrait has been known to turn back on once turned off for the night. Also, there have been reports of the sounds of footsteps on the roof.
Biemesderfer was the old library and now holds administrative offices. Built in 1895, it was named after a former president of the university. It is rumored that Biemesderfer and his wife haunt the second floor of the building.
Millersville has a historical past due to its establishment in 1855. Although the oldest buildings left intact on campus were built as recently as 1890 and 1900, Millersville still has an interesting story to tell.