SDSU ghosts: keeping the spirit alive

Seth Harris

West Hall

Previously the Brookings hospital, West Hall was repurposed for SDSU — morgue and all. In 2010, an employee working in West Hall reported having conversations with people who weren’t really there as well as hearing eerie noises, according to the Jan. 27, 2010, issue of The Collegian. 

Stories of what may be paranormal activity occurred even before last year, though. Marilyn Brown, Writing Center coordinator and English as a Second Language teacher, worked in West Hall back in the early 1990s. She said she had creepy experiences which caused her to rush to her office and immediately lock the door.

“I felt that eyes were watching me and I kept looking around to see if anyone was there,” she said, “but no one was.”

A passing student or faculty member could easily experience the foreboding chill of which a darkened West Hall could prompt. The many vacant rooms project a mirage of decades past in which sick or dying patients might have been comforted in their remaining hours of life.

In the basement, white brick walls spring forth to greet any visitor in a semi-claustrophobic hallway. The south wall frames a padlocked metal door, beckoning a passerby to imagine the mystery or terror behind it. The walls and floor even seem to be tired of a long dreary past. Stains decorate both and the once clean walls only speak of age.

Doug Wermedal, associate vice president for Student Affairs, said the construction and history of West Hall lends itself to influencing the human imagination. Even though he doesn’t believe in ghosts 99.9 percent of the time, he said there are still things we don’t know.

Lincoln Music Hall

Prior to being moved to the Briggs Library, the SDSU Archives were located in Lincoln Music Hall. Ruby Wilson, Daschle project associate in the Hilton M. Briggs Library, worked in the music hall from 2008 until September 2010, when the archives were moved to the library.

During the time she spent in the old stacks, accessible only through locked entrances, she said she never had an experience with a ghost, but the area was creepy, dark and had low visibility. However, she did say motion detectors would go off without anyone else being present.

“We had beepers above all of the elevators for when you get off the elevator. I’d sometimes hear that go off so I would quickly go back there and I wouldn’t see anybody,” she said. “That happened from time to time.”

Crystal Gamradt, archivist and exhibits coordinator for Briggs Library, said she had heard of strange occurrences and experiences from staff in the Lincoln Music Hall and one of the very first librarians, Dr. William Powers, had died in the old library that used to be in the musi