Students share their stories about a haunted Kent State


A hall late at night in McGilverly Hall. Photo by Coty Giannelli.

Rachel Jones

Anyone else have a mini heart attack when they saw Thursday was April 12, knowing what the next day had in store?

Yep. Friday the 13th.

Just the title itself brings images of blood-splattered hockey masks and unexplained blackouts. It’s also associated with bad luck and visits from those who have passed on.

The rumors of ghosts at Kent State or haunted buildings on campus have been filtering through campus faster than you can say, “I do believe in spooks.”

Sarah Ours, a junior nursing major, said the stories are even coming in from off-campus.

“I work as a tour guide, and I had one family say, ‘We heard some buildings were haunted. Is that true?’” Ours said. “I told them it wasn’t.”

The family read about the ghost stories online before coming up for their campus tour. Although she doesn’t believe in ghosts, Ours said she has heard some stories around campus.

“I’ve heard Allyn Hall is haunted,” Ours said. “People say they hear voices when they’re by themselves. It’s really creepy.”

Sophomore architect major Francesco Aloe said he’s heard the story of Allyn as well.

“In Allyn and Clark, there’s a little girl that runs around,” Aloe said. “I’ve also heard the bodies from May 4 were moved to the honors dorms, and now they’re haunted.”

As he told that story, the eyes of Sarah Insull, junior architecture major, widened from across the table. “I heard that, too!” she chimed in.

“Someone said they were on the third floor of the honors college, and they heard footsteps above them,” Insull explained. “But that’s the top floor, so there wouldn’t be anyone above them.”

And the ghosts on campus aren’t just there to make noise.

“I heard a lady was raped in Engleman Hall, and she looks back at you in the mirror sometimes,” said Alyssa Nutt, sophomore art education major.

While some skeptics will brush these stories off as rumors used to scare freshmen, some students have actually had encounters with the paranormal.

When asked if she had heard of any ghosts on campus, Lauren Kelly, sophomore marketing major, immediately screamed one name: Judy Koonce.

In a Nov. 27 interview, Nancy Schiappa, associate director of alumni relations, said Judith Koonce was a 1957 Kent State graduate. She died while trying to save an 11-year-old girl from drowning in the Little Miami River in 1958 at age 23. The university named a Tri-Towers building in her honor.

Kelly said she’s had quite an experience with Ms. Koonce while living in Tri-Towers.

“One time I got in the elevator, and I clicked to go up to the seventh floor and it sent me to the basement,” Kelly said. “There’s nothing in there except storage.”

The sophomore business and biology double-major also said the lights flicker in her bathroom sometimes.

Liz Volk, sophomore public health major, said she’s also heard of unexplainable things happening in Tri-Towers.

“My friend lived in Tri, and the numbers in her room number added up to 13,” Polk said. “Her door would always open and close for no reason. I’m getting freaked out talking about it.”

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, there’s no denying the stories are out there. Tell your best tale in the comments below.

Contact Rachel Jones at [email protected].