A bone-chilling history of ghosts on campus

By Matthew Clark, Staff Writer

As we approach Halloween, some say Newman University’s oldest building, Sacred Heart Hall, holds interesting and convincing tales of the supernatural. A couple of the most peculiar happenings have been collected for your reading pleasure:

Here is a written rendition of some preternatural occurrences, courtesy of Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Rosemary Niedens.


Many years ago, when Sacred Heart Hall 302 was still a girl’s dormitory, six girls who shared the room were making their beds and getting ready for the day.

After a rather average day of classes and activities, they came back to their room to find something strange.

Apple peelings were on their beds, though no one had been in their room.

Though this was a curious occurrence, they shrugged it off and settled in for the night.

The next morning came and their day progressed once more without oddities.

When they returned to their room, however, again they saw something on one of their beds that none of them had placed there.

A paring knife laid atop the sheets.

They began to act and speak with increasing concern in response to these events; their curiosity was piqued, though they were clearly nervous about the source of randomly appearing objects.

Frightened, one of the girls asked, “Well, have you been hearing those footsteps at night?”

Others began to mention that they heard footsteps as well, so they all agreed.

In response to this, they decided that they would set a trap of sorts. “So, they had one of the girls stand by the lightswitch to turn it on when [she heard] the footsteps.”

After what seemed like hours of waiting, they did hear footsteps, but she did not flip the lightswitch.

The steps passed by and the rest of the girls rushed to the lightswitch.

When they turned on the light, they saw that their friend “was just as white as a ghost.”

“What happened?” they asked.

Still recovering from whatever she felt, she hesitated before saying,

“It was like I was paralyzed.”

And though the footsteps were never heard again after the chaplains blessed that room, no one can explain why they were there or what caused the random appearances.

Lonely Light

This is the story of the same room relating to a more recent occurrence; Niedens explains how it begins:

“A person working for me was going to be working in 302, Sacred Heart Hall, and we were moving some boxes in during the summer. The only person on campus other than us was the security guard.”

Rosemary and her new assistant walked into Sacred Heart, and the darkness of night hung around them.

She turned the lights on, cutting through the black to see, then her new assistant followed her to the room.

They unpacked the boxes and sorted out their things as they spoke back and forth.

Rosemary told her a ghost story about the room because the security guard had mentioned earlier how eerie the campus can seem at night.

A relatively uneventful move-in came to a close. Rosemary was sure to turn off all the lights behind her as they exited the building.

“As we get out to the parking lot, [the security guard] teased, “Did you see any ghosts?”

She responded confidently in the negative.

While they had not seen any ghosts, her assistant was still drawn to the story. She turned to Rosemary and asked,

“Could you tell me what room you were saying was haunted?”

When she pointed up to the window of that room, its lights suddenly turned on and remained that way for a short while before turning themselves off.

This article was apart of our 50th anniversary issue where we used similar formatting to an issue from 1973.  To see the full issue, formatting included, click here.