Ghost stories are a household staple at every sleepover, most often about some neighborhood rumors. In 2014, Iowa State was named the fifth-most-haunted campus in the Midwest from eerie noises at the Memorial Union to the strange movement at Farm House Museum.
Farm House was built in 1860 and served as a place to live for Iowa State deans, professors, farmhands and students. The building is believed to be haunted by Edith Curtiss, the daughter of Charles Curtiss who served as the dean of agriculture in 1902, and Esther Wilson, whose husband was James Wilson, the former president of Iowa State.
Edith Curtiss was known to sneak out of her bedroom at night to visit lovers so when it came to the random curtains opening at night, many believed that it was her ghost.
Esther Wilson, the second person who is believed to haunt Farm House, is believed to shift various items within the museums, such as silverware.
Another area that is believed to be haunted is the Memorial Union, in the Golden Star Hall, a memorial area for Iowa State veterans. Golden Star Hall is believed to be haunted by Hortense Elizabeth Wind — the only woman that is World War I veteran. She was a nutritionist during the war and died from influenza.
Laura Helmus, program coordinator at the Memorial Union, said some students believe that she is haunting the halls because loneliness of being the only female veteran.
Helmus has worked at the Memorial Union for 23 years never experienced anything out-of-the ordinary herself, but said her coworkers have.
“Some of our custodial staff and hey claim to hear weird noises or feel breezes–course it’s a drafty old building- Some of our staff would say they have had experiences that make them truly believe it’s haunted,” Helmus said.
Helmus said staff have said they hear unusual noises or feel random breezes.
Other students believe residence hall, located on floors four, five and six within the Memorial Union, is haunted. Mali Bilstad, a sophomore in integrated studio arts, said they were looking at the dorms within the Memorial Union and learned about the rumors of hauntings.
“There’s supposed to be some ghosts who haunt there, where they say that you see shadows and stuff walking outside the doors and hear noises when you know no one is in the room,” Bilstad said. “ [...] I just heard that there are noises that makes it sounds like there’s someone in there, so I’m assuming that it’s someone walking or shuffling.”
Other buildings on campus that are believed to be haunted include Friley, Freeman and Barton Hall as well as Fisher Theater and Stephens Auditorium.