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SUMMER / FALL 2019      © 2021 812 Magazine


Ghosts and ghouls have floated in and out of Indiana University’s history for decades. They’ve made students faint from fear, pestered them by pelting stones and eventually made their way into history books — or at least newspaper archives. Here are

The woman in black

The infamous “Woman in Black” floated into IU’s campus lore in October 1911 when students spotted a woman dressed in all black at the corner of East Fourth Street and Indiana Avenue. It is said that the mysterious woman carried a cane and muttered under her breath. But when students approached her, she vanished. The mischievous specter supposedly threw stones at the feet of passersby as she glided behind the trees.

(Source: Indiana Daily Student archives)

The ghosts of Read

Read Residence Hall is said to be teeming with spirits. A girl in a blood-stained yellow dress is said to wander the hallways. Another ghost is a former resident assistant named Paula, whose blood-curdling screams can be heard from the stairwell at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 12 each year.

(Source: Haunted Indiana: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Hoosier State by James A. Willis)

Greek ghouls

An old doctor is said to roam the coal bin the former Phi Kappa Tau fraternity on North Jordan Avenue. Fraternity members would have séances in the room and hear crying babies at night. One student reported hearing footsteps behind him one night before turning around and fainting. When he retold the story to a friend, the friend supposedly fainted, too.

(Source: Indiana Folklore: A Reader edited by Linda Degh)