The 7 Most Haunted Places on AU's Campus

As far as universities go, American University still might be fairly young, with the first class coming to AU in 1914. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have our fair share of hauntings. Are we surprised that a university that housed military’s first chemical weapons program is haunted? Read on to find out just which buildings are haunted by a spirit or two:

Leonard Hall

Ask any AU student which hall they think is the most haunted and most will immediately answer Leonard Hall. Students have claimed that the elevators do freaky things on their own and the lights flicker. Sophomore Laura Gerson, who works at a desk receptionist in Leonard, says the elevators are terrifying at night. “I was going upstairs after a shift at 3:30ish and you hear whispering and it'll stop and start and the lights flicker. I know Leo is an old building, but still freaky,” says Gerson. The lights in Leonard Hall are motion-sensor activated, but that doesn’t stop them from flickering on and off when no one is going down the hallway.

And it doesn’t stop there. AU alumni and former orientation leader Rahi Patel has a whole host of stories about Leonard Hall.  From furniture being inexplicably moved around rooms to unexplained laughter and footsteps, the OLs in Leonard Hall have had their fair share of hauntings. Patel says that several summers ago some OLs downloaded a ghost tracking app and were able to make contact with a ghost who only said “baby powder” over and over. Hours later, OLs on rounds would come across a women’s bathroom completely covered in baby powder, although no one else was in the building. Leonard was named after former AU President Adna Wright Leonard who died in a plane crash in 1943. Furthermore, Patel says he’s heard of students, years back, accidentally falling out of windows from Leonard to their deaths. Is Leonard himself back to haunt the hall named after him or is it a student who once lived there?

Kreeger Auditorium

Members of the AU Rude Mechanicals claim there’s a ghost that haunts the faraway building’s elevator and theatre. Don’t worry though, he’s apparently a friendly ghost named Dave.

McDowell Hall

Either the Leonard ghost goes next door sometimes, or maybe McDowell Hall has its own share of spirits. Senior Rain Freeman says one of the bathrooms in the lobby of McDowell is haunted. In her freshmen year, she went to use the bathroom and was pretty sure there was no one in the bathroom with her until she heard the clicking of high heels and some rummaging in the stall next to hers. After washing her hands, she checked the stall and saw the door was open, but no one was in there. Even creepier, she realized she’d locked the door to the whole bathroom which means no one else could’ve entered—or left—the bathroom at all.

Katzen Theater

“Undoubtedly, there’s always a scream at 2 a.m.,” says junior Hannah-Ruth Wellons of Katzen Theater. A member of theatre groups on campus, Wellons says sometimes there will be strange noises during late-night practices in the Katzen building. Could it simply be disgruntled arts students or disgruntled ghosts?

The Berks

The Berks isn’t technically on AU’s campus, but that still doesn’t mean it can’t haunt AU students. Senior Tanvi Purohit says one time while trying to go down to the Berks store, the elevators instead took her up and stopped on every floor. She isn’t the only that that has happened to. Purohit also says she has a friend in whose apartment lights inexplicably flicker and things fall down without reason. The same friend once spied a dark shadow behind her in her bathroom mirror and turned to see nothing there. The strange Berks smell and long, wide hallways may be supernatural, after all.

The Community Garden

AU’s beloved community garden haunted? Students out for nightly strolls have reported hearing strange, unnatural noises around the community garden late at night, but haven’t been able to pinpoint the source of the noise. We know the rats at AU are big, but can they make that much noise?

Watkins Building

Have you ever noticed that concerning sign by the Watkins building warning you that if you hear a siren go off to evacuate the area? As the story goes, during World War I, AU was the birthplace of the first chemical weapons program. After the war ended, all of those weapons were merely buried in the corner of campus, right around the Watkins building. While no haunting reports about the Watkins building have been received, there is definitely something creepy, if not radioactive about the place.

Honorable Haunted Mentions: EQB & Hurst Hall

The two oldest buildings on AU’s campus simply have to be haunted. Creepy, cold and desperately in need of renovation, both Hurst and EQB are likely hiding something. The problem is: the average AU student just doesn’t spend enough time there to find out.

So, next time you’re in Leonard Hall or Kreeger, be sure to keep an eye out for ghosts.

Photo Credit: Cover, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8