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The haunting of Stevens Hall

Stevens Hall in snowy winter twilight. 2006, Shelly Hanks
In May 1971, WSU custodians were cleaning the residence halls as usual for the summer. The last hall on their list was Stevens Hall. When they walked through the main door they noticed a 5-foot-by-6-foot area of carpet missing. They wrote it up as vandalism and continued to clean the hall as usual, from the top down. When they reached the room, they opened the door and saw blood splattered all over the wall in the far corner. They called the police and the police connected the blood with a missing persons report of a girl who had never arrived home for summer vacation. There was a search conducted, but no body was found. Three months later a road crew found the girl wrapped in the carpet on the side of the highway near Lewiston.

Some say Ted Bundy murdered the girl, but at the time Bundy was only 14 and it was later proven he was not responsible for this murder. Residents of Stevens Hall, especially those who live in the basement, often complain of strange noises, doors opening, screams and other spooky occurrences. 

Railroad Sam of Orton Hall

Orton Hall
The ghost in Orton supposedly resides on the 12th floor. His name is Railroad Sam, because he appears when the trains go through Pullman. He watches the trains from the windows of Orton Hall and has been spotted several times. No one is sure why he haunts Orton; some say it is because Orton has the best view of the railroad tracks; others say it is because he used to live there; some say one of his children lived there. His identity is unknown, so no one can be sure.

Spooky Noises in Regents Hall

In the ‘70s, parents of a Regents Hall resident were waiting in the lobby for their daughter. She was graduating, and after waiting for a while the parents began to worry. They found an RA who let them into her room, where she had hung herself by the rod in her closet. The parents never knew why she committed suicide.

Regents residents claim their doors open for no reason and closets open and shut at random. They say she still wanders Regents in the night and there was a sighting of the girl in the mid ‘70s.

Why Don’t the Doors on the Second Floor of Streit Hall Close Properly? *

In the ‘80s, there was a knock at the door of a second-floor room in Streit Hall. The woman resident answered her door and saw her roommate’s ex-boyfriend standing at the door with four sticks of dynamite strapped to his chest. The man told the resident that if his girlfriend would not go home with him for spring break then she would never go anywhere again. The woman went to find her roommate and called the police.

The police and fire department arrived at the scene and tried to talk the man out of igniting the dynamite. The man set it off anyway and blew out an entire wall of Streit Hall. The doors on the second floor still do not close properly. The man was killed, but no one else was seriously injured.

People have seen a ghost in Streit on several occasions; they say it is the ghost of the man still searching for his girlfriend.

* Editor's note: Bob Tattershall, WSU's director of housing, says: "Fyi, the bomb went off on Perham 5 and the doors close fine (I was just up there and checked)."   

The Black Cat of Stevens Hall

In the early 1900s, Stevens Hall was the social hub at WSU. Students would gather at Stevens for dances, teas and story readings. The story readings were popular with many students and it was a tradition for Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat,” to be read on Halloween. The reading of that story turned into a rumor that there was a black cat who roamed the halls of Stevens on Halloween, and wherever the cat went bad things happened. One Halloween a black cat was seen sitting outside the house mother’s door, but everyone thought it was the men’s hall playing a prank. That night when the women of Stevens went to get the house mother for the story reading, as they opened her door, they found she was dead. Doctors said she died of natural causes, but many still think it was the black cat.

Stories compiled courtesy of Rosy Larkin, custodian in Stevens Hall, Richard Kayser, custodian in Regents Hall, stories from residents and Evergreen archives.

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