South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

George the Ghost haunts Doner Auditorium

Suhyeon Han

When Halloween rolls around, it can be the perfect time to find different ways to scare people. A popular way to do that is trough ghost

Ghost stories can be related to a certain building and the spooky events that might have happened in it in the past. 

In fact, there is a ghost located right on South Dakota State University’s campus in Doner Auditorium. 

Doner Auditorium is in Morrill Hall and is where SDSU’s Addams Family play was performed only a few weeks ago. 

Legend has it, a ghost resides in the auditorium who generations of theater members call George.

Those who tell the story say he was a janitor who died in 1919 after falling from an alcove where an organ had been sitting. 

Apparently, the organ would play on its own from time to time, up until it was destroyed and taken out of the theater two years later. 

Regardless of the organ’s removal, years later there are still numerous reports of strange instances that have occured in the theater. 

One of these reports came from Katherine Telkamp. The sophomore who is majoring in English education, had some spooky experiences in Doner this year.

“When I was working on a play this year in the pit I was terrified because I could hear a lot of weird noises and rattling. I knew there was definitely something off
and something going on,” she said.

Sophomore theater major Bradley Herrmann had a different take on the rumors surrounding George the ghost’s haunting of Doner Auditorium.

“I’m not one to believe in ghosts. People think that they hear him because when the heater in the back of the auditorium is turned on, it makes a lot of crazy banging sounds throughout the day … usually during the quietest moments of rehearsals,” Herrmann said.

Interestingly enough, Herrmann did later add that one of his friends had an occurrence with something in the auditorium. 

“O.K., my friend who was in Doner pretty late one night, though, does claim that she turned toward the stage and saw someone swiftly move around the corner,” he said. “There was no one else in the theater with her.”

A general consensus about whether or not George is real has yet to be reached, but regardless of fact or fiction, George’s story is a prominent part of SDSU’s theater program and its students’ experience in Doner. 

Make sure to check out more places that lists as the top 12 most haunted places in South Dakota. They include the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Sioux Falls as well as the Sioux San Hospital located in Rapid City. 

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