Tuesday, May 4, 2021
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Witt Ghosts: A Story from Recitation Hall

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Joseph Balliett
Wittenberg University Class of 2021. I am studying History with a minor in Justice, Law & Public Policy. I love history and writing about it! New story every week!

What Wittenberg ghost stories do you know? Witt is notorious for being home to dozens of them; the Myers Hall ghost horse and general are amongst the most popular stories discussed on dark, crisp October nights, giving rise to fear in the years new freshmen that live in the building.

It’s said today that the general and horse enjoy making their presence known to those who reside in the influential hall, either by running up and down the halls, staring out windows watching students make their way from class to class, or in the Hollow and main circle. Some have even said that the general will roll ghostly cannonballs down the length of the hallway and when students go into the hallways to see what all the noise is, there is nothing there. The following story is adapted from William A. Kinnison’s new book, “America’s Most Haunted Campus.”

Not as many Witt students know of the group of ghosts that haunt Recitation Hall and the Campus Circle. First reported on Halloween of 1898, an unnamed student was asked to guard the building for the night to prevent pranksters. In years prior, the class of 1895 had greased up the seats in the recitation rooms, stacking all the desks in the two grand staircases and made the second and third floors inaccessible.

The student on guard decided to use one of the building’s lounges to relax for a bit. Before long, he had reportedly fallen asleep and began to have a dream. The dream began with a little, old witch screaming at him, after which she rode away on the broomstick she was holding. When she came back, she brought more witches with her. He saw them carrying away a piece of boardwalk that the college used to place over the mud-covered walking paths of campus. As he yelled at the witches to drop the board, he was awoken by a loud thud that seemed to shake the whole building. The student looked out the side window towards the lawn that is now Carnegie Hall and saw a group of sneaking students carrying one of the boardwalks towards Ferncliff Hall. Despite his efforts , he never found the students.

Shaken, the student didn’t sleep the rest of the night. When six o’clock in the morning came, there was no sign of the board. Nobody on campus was willing to say what had happened to the board, and it was never seen again. As for the students, none of them were ever found and nobody was able to give any information about who stole the boards stored in Recitation Hall.

Since the report of the student’s odd dream, many students have said they have seen and heard things in the circle since. So, when walking through the circle during the month of October, keep an eye out! You may be greeted by phantom witches and students of Witt’s past during your late-night walk.

 

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