Do we have a haunted campus?

Posted Thursday, October 30, 2008 - 12:00am

As College of Eastern Utah students attend classes, most are unaware they may be sitting in an old surgical room, or where someone has died.

It is a little known fact to most students that CEU's Computer Business Building (CBB) used to be the Carbon County Hospital. The patient and surgery rooms are now classrooms for students and offices for instructors. The building was renovated when the hospital closed years ago and deeded to CEU. So ... is it haunted?

"The place is definitely haunted," says John Bird, paleontology technician for the Price Museum who works in the basement of the CBB. The museum owns the basement of the CBB where the morgue used to be located, which now houses Bird's bone lab. "It still holds dead bodies, just a different kind," he quipped, referring to the shelves of fossils filling the room.

Bird revealed that on several occasions while staying late in the lab, he's heard children running in the halls of the upper floors. More than once he has gone so far as to check for intruders, each time he could not find a single person. He told of other incidences that have happened in the basement, such as unexplained banging or muffled sounds and moans- along with voices.

He shared an experience that a local volunteer had while staying late in the archeological volunteer group's office. While alone in her office at the back of the basement, she heard the building's elevator moving from floor to floor. It would go up and down, the doors opening and closing each time. The woman was so frightened, she told him she would never work down there alone again.

When asked, Bird said he believed it was Dr. William "Bill" Greshik, a legendary doctor who worked years at the hospital. "He's just doing his rounds." Undaunted by the paranormal and unexplained events, Bird emphasized that he believes it's a friendly ghost that roams the building. "It's a lot more fun than you would think ... to think of it as being haunted."

CEU's Geary Theatre is also believed to be haunted according to many personal experiences from staff and students ranging from ghostly apparitions to unexplained bangs and noises. Students throughout the years named the ghost Elmo and often make reference to him.

Price and the surrounding areas have become slightly famous for their paranormal activity. As a tradition, young people take dates to Spring Canyon in Helper, which holds the ruins of a long-gone mining town called Standardville. Along with a ruined hospital that still stands, there is also the famous "Devil's Playhouse" – an old mining machine shop that has become the main attraction of the canyon. Other "haunted locations" include the Helper Railway Museum and the Price and Crown theaters.

Recently a group of students from CEU went on a ghost hunting adventure to Spring Canyon and Castle Gate Cemetery. Though their search ended with no evidence to account for, there are many who swear the canyon is haunted by "the White Lady". As legend has it, a woman lost her husband in a coal mining accident and later lost her child that fell into a stream and drowned. She is reported to still roam the canyon, dressed in white, looking for her family.

As paranormal research grows popular, the ghostly realm is becoming less of a taboo field of study. With mountains of evidence recorded from first-hand accounts, tapes and pictures, skeptics are left to wonder, do ghosts exist? Although a definite answer can't be given, everyone is entitled to their opinion about the subject. Some believe that ghost are something in the imagination and frown on those who believe in them. Still, countless others believe in ghosts so much that they spend their free time looking for them. All that is known for sure – the truth is out there.

Filed under: lifestyles