Haunted halls: The mystery of Weld’s ghost

By Logan Peterson

petersonlo@mnstate.edu

Timed essays and daily take-home readings aren’t the only things to fear in Weld Hall.

Built in 1915, Weld is the oldest building on MSUM’s campus. It shows its age with withering vines and chipped red bricks, and some say there’s something lurking within the century-old structure.

The legends are as varied as the students who spread them. Martin Schlegel, The Advocate’s online sports editor, said students spread rumors of a tap-dancing girl, or more popular, a janitor who perished in Weld.

“It just seems like the air is heavier in Weld,” Schlegel said. “I don’t know what it is, but it feels different.”

However, it seems there is no consensus on the origins of the specter. According to hauntedplaces.org, “Depending on whom you hear the story from, either a construction worker, a janitor, or a maintenance man fell to his death off of a roof, a ladder, or a spiral staircase.”

On the website, Weld boasts an 88% haunted rating—which sounds promising, although most students haven’t experienced any spooky happenings. However, there have been a few instances of possible paranormal activity.

“I heard the sound of chains being dropped and dragged on the floor,” said Dr. Michael McCord, the chair of the English department.

When he heard it, all the way back in 2002, McCord had just started his career at MSUM.

“I thought it was kids skateboarding downstairs,” McCord said. “I went down to look, but there was nothing there.”

After that, McCord went back to his office to continue grading papers. He remembered thinking it was odd, but nothing more came of it. He did mention that he closed and locked his door after that night.

Lin Enger, a creative writing professor in the English department, said he’s never experienced anything supernatural. However, his daughter saw something when she visited the campus as a child.

“When my daughter was 10, she and her friend came to visit,” Enger said. “While they were in Weld, they said a figure appeared in the mirror.”

Enger said that although he’s never seen anything, the building has an aura about it.

“When I come in here at night,” Enger said, “it’s a little spooky.”

Meghan Feir is a former English student and current staff member in the alumni center at MSUM.

“Some people have seen orbs of light in the auditorium,” Feir said. “A lot of people have had experiences in the elevators and in the auditorium.”

Timothy Decker, the advisor for the now disbanded Dragon Paranormal Society, recalled some of the investigations the students took part in.

“They investigated Weld,” Decker said. “They were very scientific about their research. They had all of their procedures and roles laid out.”

However, Decker said the society never found any concrete evidence of paranormal activity on campus.

In 2004, the Campus Activities Board brought professional ghost hunter Ross Allison to campus and asked him to investigate Weld for any paranormal activity. Allison detected a possible presence on the stage, but it was unconfirmed.

There are those who swear by the paranormal, and others who find it ridiculous. It’s up to each person to decide if the ghosts are haunting our halls or our heads.

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