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Campus haunts by Jenny McCormack


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Campus haunts


f you believe in ghosts, keep snooping. The North Texas campus has had its share over the years. Early students reportedly avoided the bell tower of the old Normal Building after dark. Its ghost was prone to shrieking, especially on windy nights.

And while most students live in a residence hall for a year or two, UNT has a few who have “lived” in one for decades.

Wanda — the most famous of UNT’s ghosts — lives on Bruce Hall’s fourth floor and generally stays in the attic, where it is rumored she died, says Kelly Born, Bruce Hall’s director.

Resident assistant Edward Wright says that although Wanda is friendly and mainly pulls pranks, she has scared quite a few people.

“Two years ago, we had some contractors come out and work on the bathrooms on the fourth floor,” Wright says. “They were the only people in the building, and when they walked down the hall, doors would slam as they passed them, and showers started turning on by themselves.”

In addition to Wanda, the “boiler room ghost” haunts the building. He stays in the hall’s basement and opens the room’s metal industrial doors.

“When we go down and shut those doors, they’re always open when we come back,” Wright says. “They’re so heavy. There’s no way they could open by themselves.”

Residence halls aren’t the only ghostly hang-outs. Radio station KNTU’s former home, Smith Hall, has its own spirit.

When Julia Smith, composer of the alma mater and former student, died, her home became a part of the university. KNTU workers had several run-ins with a resident spook.

“Once I heard something blaring through the wall,” says Aaron Brodie, KNTU’s chief engineer. “Frank Bonner, the chief engineer before me, had an EBS (Emergency Broadcasting System) decoder in his office, and I thought the noise was the machine going off. It had to be deactivated manually. But, as soon as I put my key in the door, the noise immediately stopped. And that couldn’t have happened on its own.”

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