Grady Lee Thomas
For centuries, countless stories of hauntings and sightings of supernatural or ghostly figures have been passed down through various cultures.
From London’s infamous Jack the Ripper, whom is said to haunt Westminster Bridge every New Year’s Eve, to the many legends of Paris, the city where studies of the occult and paranormal have been done.
And as Halloween approaches, the University of La Verne is also known to have experienced encounters with supernatural beings.
Through the years, concerned students and faculty have spoken about their encounters on campus.
Local legends of ULV’s past have been passed down from one curious student to the next.
Everything from hearing eerie noises, seeing ghostly figures, and cold creepy feelings – similar to walking through the bottom floor of Founders Hall.
To name every spine-chilling tale of ULV’s past would be more difficult than getting into Davenport with no student ID.
The majority of ULV’s haunted happenings, however, have taken place in the Dailey Theatre, Founders Hall, and Studebaker-Hanawalt (Stu-Han) Residence Hall.
“My sister attended ULV and lived alone in the back of Stu-Han as a resident assistant, and she was convinced (the dorm was) haunted,” Yvonne Bacio, senior business administration major said.
“She would always see the same little girl, with dark hair standing in her room next to the TV, dressed in Sunday clothes. It became such a problem that my sister took all the rosaries from our house to keep in her room.”
There have been claims of noises, screams, and footsteps echoed through the halls of Stu-Han residence hall. According to one account, a female student who committed suicide on the dormitory’s second wing haunts its occupants.
Skeptics credit these inexplicable happenings to the buildings’ age, but many residents point to supernatural causes.
Founders Hall is also a hot bed of haunted of rumors.
In August of 1978, on what seemed to be a normal day of classes, then Audio-Visual Director David Glasa committed suicide in his office after his girlfriend broke up with him.
This event has led to stories of his hauntings for more than 30 years. Students and faculty have reported stories of unexplained noises heard through the night.
Glasa is not the only spirit said to be lurking in the ominous corridors of Founders Hall, he is said to share Founders with former professor of Latin and Spanish Gladdys E. Muir.
After years of service as a professor in Indiana, Muir retired and taught part-time at ULV.
In 1967, she died from injuries caused by falling down the stairs on the east side of Founders Hall.
She too haunts the old building, say some.
Other creepy tales center on Dailey Theatre and the murder of ULV student Jim Henderson in 1983.
Henderson and a friend had gone up to the desert in order to work on a film project; two men wanting a ride approached them, and upon being denied a ride, opened fire, killing Henderson.
After this incident, students immediately began to claim they could feel some sort of presence in the Dailey Theatre’s dressing room.
While there is no tangible evidence of these experiences, students and faculty continue to share these ghostly tales across the ULV campus.
Perhaps the most chilling tale of ULV’s past is that of President Morgan’s first secretary, known only as Evelyn.
Evelyn had no known relatives and grew a deep affection for Morgan and his entire family.
One day, while in the president’s office, Evelyn suffered an apparent aneurism and collapsed onto the floor. She was then rushed to the hospital, but it was too late.
Soon after, Morgan’s current secretary Diana Towles, felt a strong presence in the room with her.
One night, while working in the office, Towles sensed there was another person in the room with her but she was unable to make out who or what it was.
The next morning, Towles told President Morgan about what happened the previous night.
Morgan told her about a dream he had in which Evelyn appeared to him.
He claimed that Evelyn walked into his office, and upon being asked what she was doing, replied, “I have come to check up on you.”
After President Morgan had his dream, the presence of Evelyn became less and less noticeable.
Roughly a year later, President Morgan’s office was moved from the third floor of Founders Hall, to its present day location on the second floor.
As time progresses and class after class of new students flood the campus of ULV, one can only wonder if many of these accounts will continue to flourish through the concrete paths and stone buildings that we call the University of La Verne.
Grady Lee Thomas can be reached at email@example.com.