Wichita State buildings no strangers to ghost stories, paranormal activity


It seems most colleges and universities have at least a couple of ghost stories to tell. 

Wichita State is no exception. Tales of mysterious sounds, lights and figures are commonplace in the older buildings on campus. 

Two buildings in particular come up when campus ghost stories start getting told. Henrion Gymnasium and Wilner Auditorium are part of WSU lore about things that go bump in the night.

The story of the ghost in Henrion tells of a maintenance worker who was electrocuted on the job in the 1950s. Details on his electrocution vary. Some say he hit a live wire with his bare head. Another version tells that he was hit by lightning while mopping. It is said that his ghost appears in the building in the middle of the night and early in the morning. 

Wilner Auditorium has gained a reputation for being haunted. Flickering lights, doors closing on their own, disembodied voices and the occasional apparition have been witnessed by those who are in the building frequently. Mary Nelson, a program consultant for Ablah Library, said that the ghost is likely that of George Wilner, the namesake of the building. She feels that his ghost, if it exists, is probably friendly, and just wants to make sure his building is taken care of. Nelson said that she had heard that Fiske Hall might be haunted, too.

The oldest building on campus, Fiske certainly has the history to be a likely place for a haunting. It has been used as a men’s dormitory, an infirmary during the Influenza Epidemic and the office space for several departments. Last year, investigators from the Wichita Paranormal Research Society picked up the possible presence of a ghost.

Though the ghosts of Henrion, Wilner and Fiske are just figures in stories, their presences have been consistently felt over the years. Think about that the next time you are in any of these buildings and you hear steps in a hallway or feel a cool wind on the back of your neck.