Summer Times 2006

A publication of the students of the Summer Journalism Institute

June 28, 2006

Ghostly traditions haunt UF campus

Filed under: — admin @ 6:48 pm

By Randy Bogen

Beneath the beauty and serenity of the University of Florida campus lie ghosts, myths and legends that keep students on their toes. That is, until they are swept off their feet by the ghosts of Norman Hall.

“Three or four ghosts of little children who died in an elevator accident drift around the building every day,” said graduate Gordon Van Owen, who believes in supernatural figures.

Norman Hall is not the only campus building with paranormal properties.

SJI campers stay in the Beaty Towers which is “haunted,” according to Van Owen. “Some girl jumped out of a window in an act of suicide. Tom Petty wrote the song American Girl after her.”

Not all legends, however, are so grave. Century Tower, considered a main landmark of the campus, is known for its brick-dropping tradition after every graduation.

“When a virgin graduates, a brick falls off the top of the tower,” said Gordon. “But it’s odd, no bricks have fallen.” Maybe that’s because the University of Florida has yet to graduate a virgin. Or maybe it’s just because it’s only a myth.

Former undergraduate student Kristen Landreville said sometimes the myths can become real.

“We were told to never leave our doors propped open,” she said regarding the dorm room policies. “I remember a mysterious man walked in on my friend while she was half-dressed. Fortunately, he was caught, but you always have to keep your eyes open.”

Like any other historic site, the University of Florida has its myths and legends. SJI student Adam Rafkin finds it amusing. “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”

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