Sarah Inman, Chattanooga, Tenn. – Stories have been passed down for years that cause the hair to stand up on the back of students’ necks.

A random chill down the spine takes one by surprise while walking through campus; the first thought is to brush it off and try not to think anything of it.

It is common at the university to be in a place that is considered haunted.

Photo by Hayden Seay
Photo by Hayden Seay

Patton Chapel atop Cardiac hill that was dedicated nearly 100 years ago is not a stranger to ghosts.

A woman in white has been spotted there during the day and night. Some people think she is to blame for the eerie organ music that is sometimes heard in the middle of the night.

Right next to the captivating chapel is Hooper Hall, another building that is said to be haunted on campus.

Carolyn Runyon, director of Special Collections at UTC’s library, is well acquainted with stories of campus hauntings. “It’s kind of a grim story,” she said about the story that stuck with her the most. “I have found it really interesting, the story about Hooper Hall with the gentleman John Hocking. He worked for the university for all of these years, and out of a sense of melancholy he killed himself by suffocation, using a gas line in the Physics Laboratory.

It is different because there are verifiable facts, we have records and obituaries and newspapers documenting that he was a real person; he was alive, he wasn’t some sort of intangible-nebulous-thing, he was a real person with that past.”

Sandy Cole recounted her story of witnessing strange happenings in Hooper-Race Hall in the May 5, 1991 edition of The University Echo.“Myself and some other employees were forced by an ice storm to spend the night in Hooper-Race,” she said. “We were staying downstairs in the admissions office all together and at about 1 a.m. we began to hear footsteps coming down the hall. Every time we looked out the footsteps would stop and no one would be there. We also heard footsteps upstairs several times as well as the chiming of a clock in an upstairs office.”

They later found out that no patrols were on duty to explain the footsteps, and the upstairs cuckoo clock had never worked.

In addition to Hooper Hall, it is a little known fact that next to Brock Hall, there was a medical school in the early 1900s.

According to the Niagara Area Paranormal Society, a group that carries out ghost investigations, a black market for body parts thrived at the medical school, leaving spirits in unrest. In the early 1900s cadavers and scalpels were the things filling what are now classrooms full of desks.

Some people have claimed to hear women’s screams echoing in the hallways.
Not only were dead people sent there, but so were people on their way to death row.

Runyon said Brock Hall was built on an old jail and execution yard.

Many years have passed and now whiteboards replace lifeless white faces, professors instead of executioners and living students instead of cadavers.

If you feel the sensation of a stare from someone when no one is in sight or hear whispers in the wind, just remember it may not be your mind playing tricks on you.