McAlester GEAR UP seniors participate in a Ghost Tour at The University of Oklahoma
WILBURTON, OK (May 5, 2017) – Two McAlester GEAR UP students recently traveled to Norman to participate in a Ghost Tour at the University of Oklahoma. The tour guide was Freshman Programs Instructor Jeff Provine who escorted curious guests to selected points of unexplained OU lore and legend, presenting his ongoing research into the mysterious side of the University of Oklahoma campus. This nighttime walking tour added intrigue to existing knowledge of Oklahoma’s iconic institution of higher learning.
The tour started at Holmberg Hall, originally named “The Auditorium,” which was built in 1918. It is one of OU’s oldest buildings on campus. This building was the focal point for numerous phenomena that involved a music professor from years ago, Mildred Andrews Boggess. She apparently became upset when the university’s organ was relocated to the new Catlett Music Center. She now takes her grievance out upon Holmberg Hall by slamming doors shut and filling the air with eerie organ music. While Provine was explaining her story to guests a door did open and close without explanation.
Next, Provine informed guests of a secret society on campus called the Deep Dark Mystery Club or the D.D.M.C. The D.D.M.C. was a group of males who wore robes and masks to hide their identities. These students sought to preserve academic integrity on the campus. They were known to kidnap cheating students and take them off campus for a beating with wet ropes scaring them into becoming honest. They also broke into a professor’s apartment and beat him because he was making unwelcomed advances on female students. As time went on, this group may have taken their power a bit too far and, after an Oklahoma law was enacted that prohibited wearing masks on any day other than Halloween, they were eventually disband.
After learning of the most famous secret society on OU’s campus, students were led through the Bizzell Memorial Library in the oldest part of the building where a dumbwaiter is located. This feature in the library is no longer in use after a boy was playing around and was beheaded from a malfunction in the door. Norman police said it was the most horrible scene they had witnessed to date. Since this happening there have been reports of someone or something following librarians around in the closed off storage areas of the library which are inaccessible to the public. It is thought to be the beheaded male.
As the tour arrived outside of Ellison Hall, Provine began to narrate OU’s arguable most famous ghost story. In the 1930s, Ellison Hall was known as Hygeia Hall and served as the campus’ infirmary. One day, a car struck a child in roller skates on Elm Avenue and the surgeons rushed to carry the child to the operating rooms on the third floor. Unfortunately, the boy died in surgery. Now, the boy’s spirit spends its time mischievously zipping through the third floor, setting off motion-detecting lights and playing pranks on unsuspecting occupants. This room is now a conference room but the faculty and staff often leave toy cars out for him to play with. They are often in a different location from where they were left the previous evening. If one listens carefully, he can hear the roller skates swish as they glide across the floor.
The last stop on the tour led to the front of Evans Hall. The University's first administration building burned in 1903. On December 20, 1907, the University's second administration building University Hall met the same fate. The third administration building, Evans Hall, was completed in 1912 on the same site as the second. When the building first burned down in 1903, it was a total loss. The structure and all its belongings were lost to the fire. When the second fire was engulfing the building in 1907, OU students urgently broke out windows and did everything they could to at least save the items inside. This included equipment such as expensive microscopes, furniture and the final semester grades on the desk of then President, Arthur Grant Evans! The third building, which still stands today, was this time built with fire proof bricks and has been a historic fixture on OU’s campus with a very interesting story! There were no lives lost in the fires but still unexplained phenomena that happen in this building. It is said to be ghosts of students’ past that are watching over the building they once worked so hard to save.
The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature.
McAlester Seniors Chase Belcher and Kayla McLellan pose in front of the Clock Tower on OU’s campus next door to the Bizzell Memorial Library.
Chase Belcher and Kayla McLellan stop for a photo in the Elaine Bizzell Thompson Garden with the beautiful Bizzell Memorial Library in the background.
McAlester GEAR UP seniors Kayla McLellan and Chase Belcher take a pic in the Bizzell Memorial Library around a globe in one of the many study areas for OU students.
MHS students Chase Belcher and Kayla McLellan show off their OSU-IT bags on OU’s campus. They thought the campus and “Scholar’s Row” where this photo was taken are beautiful. Both have already committed to attend OSU-IT in the fall.
McAlester seniors Kayla McLellan and Chase Belcher pose with the Leaning Tower of Pisa inside the Bizzell Memorial Library while on OU’s Ghost Tour.
Chase Belcher and Kayla McLellan take a photo with OU’s Ghost Tour guide Jeff Provine in front of Evans Hall on OU’s campus.