As a freshman, Anne Golden Ziola ’04, ’10 MA lived in the Sheldon Hall basement, better known as a “vault” then because of the cement block walls.
One overcast day, Ziola decided to clean her room. She lived on the east side of the basement and had to travel past the floor’s lounge to borrow a vacuum.
As she moved by the lounge, she saw a girl. She had blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail. Her knees were bent, her feet propped against a wall.
The blonde didn’t move. She just sat, staring at the rain.
Ziola kept watching. Finally, she decided she should talk to the girl.
She took three steps down the hall to the next lounge entryway, but Ziola realized the room was suddenly very empty.
The girl had vanished.
Ziola isn’t the only Doane student past or present who has encountered supernatural events while at school. In fact, Whitcomb Lee Conservatory and Gaylord Hall are rumored to be haunted.
While Anne DeLuca ‘11 was at Doane, she was in the Con late one night for forensics practice - her and her teammates were the only ones in the building.
They were all busy working on new events for the season, when DeLuca went to the basement to use the restroom.
When she entered, the lights were off. As they came on, she noticed a girl crying.
She was thin with long blonde hair. DeLuca asked if she was OK. The girl nodded. Concerned, DeLuca asked if she needed a hug or a glass of water.
The girl backed up, and with wide eyes, shook her head “no”.
DeLuca entered a stall, but feeling uneasy, instead bolted upstairs to tell a fellow teammate.
As they returned to the bathroom to investigate, the crying girl was gone.
“Going over my story with Sarah, we realized that the girl never spoke and did not want me to give her a hug,” DeLuca said. “Probably because she was a ghost and I would have fallen through her.”
Gaylord has been a site for spooky events as well.
Being a journalism and media major, Tyler Weihe ’13 spent a significant amount of his college career in the basement of Gaylord where the department is located.
Two years ago, Weihe was in the radio station pre-recording a show. The lights were off and the door was closed as he played back audio through headphones.
In the background of the audio, he heard a woman’s voice screaming in the distance.
He listened to the audio three more times, but the voice was never there again. He packed up his things, and didn’t investigate it further. The experience, though, has left him with different ideas about Doane.
“During the day Doane seems like a harmless college in an ordinary small town,” Weihe said, “but other students and my own experiences have convinced me some very scary things go bump in the night.”
Whether or not you believe these stories, the rumors of hauntings at Doane are a part of the rich history of campus. These encounters, no matter how strange, connect generations of students as well as their experiences and keep things at Doane interesting.