By Maggie Christopher, Photos by Kaitlyn Fairbanks
Content warning: Suicide
Agnes Scott College has a rich past, reaching back to its founding in 1889. History has a way of stirring up the lingering spirits in a place, and this time of year, everyone is talking about these ghosts. I talked to Becca May and Aurora Roberts about which stories they know, and they were able to tell me about four haunted buildings: Dana, Winship, Campbell and Presser.
Dana Fine Arts Building: The Pottery Teacher
The buzzing fluorescents illuminate twisting hallways of the Dana Fine Arts building. Windows that invite sunshine into the classrooms during the day seem to coax darkness into the same classrooms once the weary sun dips below the treeline. These walls hold almost a century of history, and with that history comes lore. Students whisper about the ghost of a pottery teacher that haunts the building. The story goes that she was working alone on a project during a break. Becca says that “she died after getting caught in the clay press,” and Aurora heard that “she got her hair stuck in a kiln.” I remember hearing that she got her hair caught in the pottery wheel. All folklore tends to evolve as it travels from person to person, so you will hear a slightly different story from each person you talk to. Lights flicker on and off in the building, and she will save students from falling ladders. According to Aurora, the ghost of Dana will improve on artwork left overnight in the building, though I haven’t found any recent claims. Regardless, she remains a friendly presence in the fine arts building. “She loved the college, which is why…she is still here,” says Aurora.
Winship 3rd Floor: A Haunted First-Year
The first year dorms hold memories of upperclassmen’s past selves, the people they were when they stepped into the world on their own. However, one of the first year dorms holds more than just memories. A ghost of a former student haunts the third floor of Winship. Some say the ghost haunts room 315, and others say room 320, but one thing they both agree on is the spirit’s origin. As Agnes Scott legend has it, a first year took her life in one of the rooms, hanging herself in the closet. Residents throughout the years claim to have weird dreams in the room and awake at odd times throughout the night. I remember overhearing multiple first year residents complain about third floor Winship being loud, but whether that is due to the spirit that haunts the floor or loud first years, I’m not sure. The dorm’s air gives people chills, however, and students claim that the spirit messes with lights and elevators.
A Mad Dash from Campbell to Evans
Stories circulate around this ghost like moths dancing around a lamplight; it seems you get a different story from each person who tells it. Some students claim that a student tried to poison themself with the chemicals in Campbell, and after changing their mind, they rushed to Evans in an attempt to get milk to reverse the effects. Aurora heard two different stories around campus.
“A student got poisoned by their roommate and rushed from Campbell to Evans to…nullify it with milk,” says Aurora.
She also heard that his ghost is the spirit of a science professor who poisoned themself during an experiment when Campbell was the school’s science building. Past students and faculty have reported an apparition rushing between Campbell and Evans and sometimes even on the stairs to Evans.
Presser: The Lady in Blue
Little is known about the Lady in Blue that wanders the almost two-century-old halls in Presser hall, but some say she dates back to the civil war. Stories circulate about her being the wife of a Confederate soldier or ringing bells for the troops, and reports wander around campus about a haunting piano tune slithering through the building’s acoustics.