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Halloween Week: Top 6 Haunted Places at Notre Dame

In a school with as much history as Notre Dame, it comes as no surprise that the University has its fair share of ghouls and ghost stories. What better time to dig up these chilling tales than the week of Halloween? Notre Dame has been repeatedly ranked in “most haunted colleges” lists, receiving impressive spots of #2, #5, #9 and #19. Regardless of what its actual ~spook-o-meter~ is relative to other colleges, Notre Dame definitely has some good stories to tell over the flashlight. Without further ado, buckle up, and get ready to get spooked. Here are the Top 6 Haunted Places at Notre Dame:

South Dining Hall

Dining Hall workers at SDH have reported unexplainable moans, hand clapping, strange flashes of light and floating spirits roaming around the building. Some, including a student worker, claim they saw bizarre reflections in the stainless-steel kitchen appliances. Others have experienced the radio mysteriously turning on by itself! Many people think the building is haunted by Father Sorin, the founder of the school whose portrait hangs large above the feasting students. Indeed, a worker said she turned to see a white figure hovering while she was washing dishes at four o’clock one morning. Only upon seeing the portrait of Father Sorin did she recognize who it was (that luscious long beard is unmistakable wherever you put it). There seems to be no logical explanation for these events at the dining hall…other than ghosts. However, these tales do not dissuade students from coming here to enjoy a scoop of “brown sauce” with their dinnertime potatoes.

Columba Hall

Columba Hall, the home for retired priests located adjacent to Saint Mary’s Lake, is a campus location less frequented by students. However, the brothers that live there report several abnormalities, such as the sounds of galloping horses directly outside the building. An apparition of a brave soldier, who is said to be in search of a tribe’s burial ground that Columba sits on top of, has been spotted going up and down the front steps with his horse. Students have also reported Potawatomi tribesmen riding horses through the hall. Clearly, some spirits are not very happy with Notre Dame’s decision to build on their land.

Holy Cross Cemetery

We all knew this one was coming. Whether or not you believe that Father Sorin and others haunt campus, it is nearly impossible to not feel their presence at the Holy Cross Cemetery. If you get a chance and feel so compelled, take some time to pay your respects at his final place of rest. He may just float by and pay his respects to you, as he has before!

Saint Liam’s Hall

Much of where Notre Dame’s student wellness services are housed is also said to be haunted. Although this is not a topic of small talk in the St. Liam’s waiting room, stories have been passed down of kind nuns making rounds after closing hours that later disappear without a trace. Additionally, one of the biggest mysteries of the hall entails security guards that responded to questionable 911 calls from the reportedly empty building during winter break. All of these stories raise some questions about what happens in St. Liam’s when no one is around to witness. Even scarier than ghosts, however, is getting handed a Ziploc bag of Liston green tea and Band-Aids when you know for sure you have strep throat.

Main Building

Being the oldest and most renowned building on campus, it only makes sense there would be spirits living in the Main Building. Father Sorin’s spirit is once again said to wander under the dome. Staff members report seeing an elderly priest in habit with a long beard roaming the halls (once again, cannot miss that beard). Administrators even report a feeling of constantly being watched despite being alone! On second thought though, maybe that is just the eyes of thousands of students as the school fails to allocate its plentiful funds to improving the water quality in DeBartolo Hall and several other facilities.

Washington Hall

Washington Hall is arguably the most haunted building on campus, home to many supernatural guests. It is said to be the home to a steeplejack who plummeted to his death working on the fly in 1886. Moreover, a single blast from a trumpet coming from an empty music hall is attributed to Jim Minavi, a student professor residing in Washington Hall that passed in 1919. Lastly, the most famous ghost story from Washington Hall is that of George “The Gipper” Gipp, a legendary football player from the 20s (pictured above). Legend has it that he returned to campus late after curfew one night and was locked out of his dorm. He went to Washington Hall seeking refuge since the back door was usually unlocked, and he proceeded to sleep on the front steps when he found it unfortunately locked. That night, he contracted pneumonia that would eventually end his life. He is said to roam the halls of the building to this day. In conclusion, beware of the haunting ghosts next time you miss that speaker you RSVP’d for at 9:00 PM on a Friday after you convinced yourself you would actually go.

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Patrizia Manziano

Notre Dame '22

Hey! My name is Patty, and I'm a sophomore Neuroscience and Behavior major at the University of Notre Dame. I am originally from Venezuela, but now call Virginia my home away from the dome. When I'm not mulling over miscellaneous ~brain~ stuff you can find me out for a run, hanging out with friends, or watching Criminal Minds. I am passionate about healthcare, groutfits, and the make-your-own-pizza station in the dining hall.
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