Colorado State University’s Student Services building has a somewhat checkered past. Eugene Groves, the architect who designed the building, was committed to an insane asylum after authorities unraveled his plot to murder his wife and bury her body beneath the structure. The story contributes to the building’s haunted reputation.
CSU has a rich history in academics – and ghost stories.
Students and staff have long told of seeing ghosts or hearing unexplained noises in some of the University’s oldest buildings. Some of the first reports of these ghoulish incidents date back several decades.
So in the spirit of Halloween fun, we’ve compiled information about what are considered the most haunted buildings on campus. The following information is based on ghost stories, rumors and legends:
History: Built in 1922, Ammons Hall originally served as the Women’s Recreation Center and once housed a swimming pool. The building has so many reported sightings that the Ghost Hunters of Colorado spent a night there to try to shine some light on what exactly is happening.
The crew captured shadowy figures and orbs on video. Their audio footage recorded chattering, footsteps, singing, keys jingling, and voices that answered questions posed by the ghost hunters.
Incidents: Staff and students have reported wet footprints in the atrium; hearing footsteps and chattering when they are alone in the building; being splashed by water from the atrium fountain even when it was turned off. Lights in the building randomly turn on and off – sometimes on an entire floor. This is odd since there is no master light switch for any floor. The lights must be turned on and off individually.
More incidents: Mystery of CSU History tour groups have heard growling and giggling while touring the building at night. The tour groups have also heard footsteps circling on the second floor of the atrium. Students and staff have captured orbs and shadows figures in photos.
Who is haunting: Legend has it a female student drowned in the indoor swimming pool when it was still the Women’s Recreation Center. Other presences have made themselves known through audio recordings.
History: Johnson Hall was completed in 1936 and served as the first on-campus student union. Three years later, CSU added a ballroom onto the south end of the building. The ballroom hosted many military balls and college proms before it was converted into a theater, where many performances – including dance recitals – took place over the years.
Incidents: Numerous employees have reported hearing a woman’s voice singing as well as dancing footsteps when no one else is in the building. While opening storage areas within the third floor of the building, staff members have reported having “the wind knocked out of them.”
Who is haunting: Most believe it is the ghost of a female dancer.
History: Construction on what we now call the Student Services building was completed in 1948 after the President’s house was taken down – a house that had stood there since 1892. Back then it was Braiden Hall, a men’s dormitory.
The dorm was the final building designed by Eugene Groves, an architect who worked on 11 other facilities at CSU. The building contains half floors, narrow stairwells, and two staircases that lead to nowhere.
From the very beginning, male students living in Braiden Hall complained of its eerie feel and that it was cold and dark.
That could be because Groves was committed to an insane asylum before the building was completed. The architect apparently had plans to murder his wife and was said to be disturbed by the building’s bizarre design.
The University eventually built a new Braiden Hall and the building is now home to many key CSU offices and services.
Incidents: Staff members have reported hearing footsteps and voices and items being knocked off walls or desks. Orbs are seen in videos taken by students and staff, both in lighted and dark areas of the building. Heavy doors reportedly appear to open themselves and chairs rock on their own.
More incidents: The Ghost Hunters of Colorado investigated the building in 2013. During an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) session, the ghost hunters recorded audio of an intelligent spirit answering questions. Their audio recorder also caught doors slamming, footsteps, chattering, groaning, and other noises in the building when no one else was there.
Who is haunting: There seems to be just one ghost, but no one is sure who it might be.
History: Centennial Hall is now home to Student Financial Services and the Registrar’s Office. When it was completed in 1950 as the annex to Johnson Hall, it was used for student recreation and campus conferences.
Incidents: Staff members have reported hearing footsteps on the main staircase. Two staff members have seen a large dark figure of a man on the staircase.
Who is haunting: Some speculate the figure is either Eugene Groves or a student from Braiden Hall.