Wilson Hall

(Ohio University, West Green)

The Ohio University in Athens, Ohio is perhaps the most haunted campus in the world. The place was established in 1804, a year after the statehood. It was the first institution of superior studies located west of the Appalachian Mountains. The number of allegedly haunted places on the site is quite impressive and they are added to the numerous legends regarding Athens county. Ohio University was one of the places presented in a FOX episode of the series Scariest Places on Earth.

Wilson Hall is the most famous haunted place on the campus. It is the building that most people point to when speaking about haunted Athens, Ohio. The building is apparently located in the middle of an immense pentagram consisting of five cemeteries situated in the region. The graveyards are scattered around the area and, when looked at on a map, they form a pentagram. A pentagram is the ancient occult symbol of power and magic. According to the pagan tradition, a pentagram might create safe areas free from any paranormal activity. The center is extremely important and it’s no wonder that Wilson Hall resides in the middle of this cemetery pentagram.

The pentagram myth has not been demonstrated in the case of Wilson Hall. Experts say that any five points can be united on a map in the form of a pentagram. This suggests that all the interpretations of the pentagram mystery at Wilson Hall are merely speculations.

Wilson Hall is said to be the home of a ghost that died in a mysterious way in the 1970s. He died in room 428 and years after that students residing in that room have said to hear strange sounds and hear footsteps as well as witnessing several objects moving by themselves on their own. Since these occurences the room has been closed off and was not given to any new students again.

This is perhaps the only university room in the world that is sealed and closed. The school officials have proclaimed the room uninhabitable. The story says that the female student died in a violent way in that room after practicing occult. It is said that the girl made use of the room’s energy to practice a method where the human spirit travels on its own after separating from the body. This technique is known as astral projection. The student was also rumored to have repeatedly attempted to contact the dead and that she often dabbled in sorcery practices.

Another legend tells that Wilson Hall was built on the grounds of an Indian cemetery and the spirits are of this origin. Spiritualist experts claim that the geography of the area, with the layout of peaks, mountains and valleys makes the spot very conductive to psychic energy. At the beginning of the 1980’s a newspaper researched the property in a routine examination for the institute. They discovered that Wilson Hall is built on the same location as the original site of an early cemetery of the Athens Mental Institute.

59 Responses to Wilson Hall

  • Athens county prince says:

    My grandfathers construction company built this building

  • rhonda stevens says:

    I was born there Wilson Hall my mother gave birth to me there oct.11.1970

  • rhonda stevens says:

    the government took me away until I was 5 1/2 years old.

  • Mel says:

    I live very close to there. I was born in Athens and have lived here all my life. I see this building a lot and I also pass the ridges on my way to different locations almost daily. I really wish I could go in some of these places, but I’m not allowed.

  • xnode says:

    Has anyone experienced anything creepy around room 428 yet this year?

    • Alice says:

      Not around room 428 (I will update next year when I live in the room connected) but I lived on the third floor last year fall semester and our door randomly opened even though it was locked and tightly shut, and we always heard footsteps above us even though there was no fourth floor above where we lived

      • Jessica L says:

        ALICE! Hi! I am a student at OU and am writing a documentary script on Haunted Athens. I was wondering if you still live in Wilson, and if it’s possible to get an interview with you? Please respond ASAP to jessica.ann20@yahoo.com. Thanks so much!

        • Catherine says:

          Hi Jessica L
          I currently live in Wilson, along with several of my friends. If you want any information, let me know, and I’ll see if they’re interested.

        • Cheska says:

          Can you tell me some infos that you’ve known at Ohio University?

    • Ted says:

      I live on the fourth floor this year and my first morning I woke up early to take my contacts out that I had slept in and went back to my room being locked. After getting an RA to unlock my door I grabbed my keys and tried locking it from the inside and stepping out but closing the door automatically unlocks it. I have no explanation for this the only way I could lock myself out is to slide my keys under the door and I wouldn’t, even in a half sleep, do that on purpose.

  • DsMom says:

    My daughter goes to OU, she says an RA for the hall told her there was a dead bird in the haunted dorm room. Does that count?

  • Nic says:

    Does the school offer tours or public investigations?

  • Jay says:

    I had a girlfriend who lived on the 4th floor of Wilson my freshman year at OU in 1998. I slept over once and we heard what sounded like people stomping around above us all night. There is no fifth floor in Wilson.

  • Jessica says:

    I have friends who currently go th OU and they’ve told me things that have happened to them I found it intresting but haven’t gotten the chance to visit them yet, I find it more intresting than scary is that wierd?

  • Gato says:

    This is hilarious. I need to get some people to help me get into some of these buildings. I know someone who lives in wilson…YAY!

  • Hannah says:

    My cousin goes to OU and he says that in the middle of the night his fire alarm makes a sound that fire alarms doesn’t make. He also said that he here’s giggling in the hallways when no ones there, also his door has slammed shut on many occasions

  • Melissa says:

    I was a student at OU BACK IN 1999/2000. I lived on the 2nd floor of Sargent Hall on the West Green, right near Wilson Hall. One night when my roommate was home in Cinci for the night I woke up to the lights in my dorm room turned on and the blinds opened. Strangest thing that ever happened to me when I was there. This was room 227.

  • Erin says:

    I heard the story of the student suicide wasn’t true. Can anyone verify whether it really happened? I’ve tried looking online for any newspaper articles from back then that might talk about, but so far I haven’t found anything. I also heard that the story about the woman who escaped the insane asylum was also false. I really hope one of these stories has some truth to it because this was my favorite episode of Scariest Places on Earth.

    • Sam says:

      I’m into investigating that legend as well. If you would like to correspond about the matter please contact me at zsam899@gmail.com. Thanks

    • Alice says:

      The archives online do not go back far enough- you have to go to Alden to do your research

    • Chris Waites says:

      I lived in a single room in Wilson Hall on the same end of the hallway as 428 in 1984. We heard the rumors then as you do now, but they do continue to get distorted and magnified, especially on Halloween. My RA lived just a few doors away from this room and he said he did hear doors opening and closing while he was there alone, before students had moved in, but nothing beyond that. There were actually two girls living in that room when I was there, but they didn’t say they experienced anything unusual. Sometimes this story is about a young woman and sometimes a young man, but no one has ever found a record of any death in that room and the RA told me he thought it was just a rumor. Still everyone did and still does have fun with it. I think the university made the room off limits to make people stop asking about the room, but it seems the opposite has happened. I don’t see the stories going away anytime soon either.

  • Jen says:

    I am need to tour this hall, especially room 428. Is there any way to do that? Even if I have to pay admission or go on some cheesy guided tour.

    • Alice says:

      No, i live there and it’s kind of pointless to. RAs let us in the room around halloween. A few dead birds, nothing else.

  • Carley says:

    I’m living in Wilson 440 starting in the fall

  • Daisy says:

    My roommate and I are moving into Wilson 327 this fall… Great

  • RJ says:

    One correction, the University of Pittsburgh is actually the oldest institution of higher education west of the Appalachians. It was founded in 1787 as the Western University of Pennsylvania.

  • Abigail says:

    I am going to live on the fourth floor of Wilson next year. I’ve looked at the floor plans and there is no room 428. There is a room 420 and then it goes to 434. Room 428 doesn’t exist.

    • Tamrisa says:

      Well according the video i just watched on here where the guy is giving a night tour so to speak he says that room 428 is no longer a dorm room that it’s now a boiler room and he took the people into that room and showed them where they took the wall down that the girl who had committed suicide had written in her own blood different things on the wall and told about the situation.

    • sammy says:

      The reason it is not on the floor plan is more than likely so the students that don’t know where it is don’t get the idea to go exploring during the night when no one is awake to stop them.

      • Ryan says:

        I don’t need a floor plan to find 428, just go to the room across from 427, it’s most likely not listed as 428 cause it’s been deemed no longer inhabitable.

  • Tamrisa says:

    I live in Delaware Ohio and we have Ohio Weslyan University and there is supposed to be some hauntings in Styvertsan Hall and i think some other spot around the campus. We have a park that has some hauntings too. Blue Limestone Park is the name of it.

  • Jarret says:

    I will be staying in room 376 and if it is true I really am hoping to experience something.

  • BJ says:

    I lived in Wilson Hall in the fall of 2001. I moved out after the fall quarter and requested from the University that they let me live off campus. You have to write a letter and I made up some special event that would allow me to get out. I tell my story all the time because I know it to be true and I will never forget it. I lived on the 4th floor but I don’t remember what number it was. I know I was in the middle/toward the other end of the hall opposite of the “boiler room”. I would hear noises at night all the time. There were so many times I felt a presence in my room. There was one night in particular that I will never forget. I was sleeping. I had a desk that was right next to my bed and where my head was, is where the drawer was near. It was normal to be sleeping and hear doors slam in the hallway. I certainly chalked this up to maybe someone drunk dragging in. I would run out and see there was no conversations, nothing. But this night as I was sleeping I heard noises and I was sort of awakened but not all the way. All of the sudden I hear my drawer in my desk slide open slowly and then SLAMMED shut. I screamed at the top of my lunges. It was REAL then. I had no doubt things were not normal in that dorm and in my room. I moved out during winter break and never turned back.

  • Anyone here willing to share their story on our podcast? Feel free to e-mails us for details – thebrothersmysterium@gmail.com. We’re collecting supernatural experiences on college campuses. Thanks!

  • amanda says:

    i love athens

  • Seth says:

    Hey, im seth, a student at OU, this last week, myself and a few friends went to the ridges, and before hand went to see the demon door. I noticed something couldnt explain and wondered if anyone else has noticed. In Wilson Hall, the room directly beneath the room with the demon door has a handle, but right where you grip it, it is sawed off on both ends to where it pretty much makes it impossible to open the door. I have no idea what it is used for, and i didnt stick around long, just wondering if anyone knew anything about it, also ever since my group has went, we have all had really really horrible luck. I lost my wallet, broke a monitor for my computer, another two guys came down with mono, another lost his wallet. ive lost my keys, my vape has broken. All kinds of rough stuff. Could be just bad luck. I don’t know. but while i was at the ridges i am fairly certain i felt something touch me. And another group went the day before we did and they have a much more bizarre and terrifying story

    • Raiku says:

      Seth, i lived in room 320 right underneath the boiler room for two years (2009/2010 and 2010/2011 school years). the door you are describing is right next to the door for the room that i lived in for two school years. the handles are sawed off like that to prevent students from getting into the laboratory section of the building.
      i you stand outside the building, you’ll notice that there is a section that is shorter than the rest of the building, 3 stories rather than 4 plus an attic space. this section is a laboratory of some sort, and students aren’t allowed in there from the dorm section. it’s only accessible from outside of the building.
      it was a pretty standard hallway though. one day when i came home from classes, the door was open. i was very curious, since the handles had been sawed off which is kind of ominous, but when i looked down the hallway there wasn’t anything special.
      I never noticed anything weird happening in that room, except one night we found a live bat with no explanation of how it had gotten in. when we went and got an RA to help us catch it in order to get it out of our room, it had disappeared. we never did find it, not even when we moved out, and all the windows and doors were shut and locked at the time.

    • Maria Klein says:

      my mom was once a student at OU. I remember my mom telling me that once she was in a room and she felt very uncomfortable. she said she felt unwanted. maybe it was the same room? she said weeks later she had some horrible experiences. loosing stuff, getting hurt, falling classes, etc.

  • CURIOUS says:


    • Duke says:

      YES! what was her name? and where can I find more information on her case?! also, in the scariest places on earth episode the man said she had touched the stain at the ridges and the spirit followed her back to her dorm, she went mad and committed suicide. but the information provided on this site state that she was astral projecting which resulted in death. please some give us more information about this girl and her bizarre incident!!

  • Dee says:

    I was a resident of Hoover during Fall Quarter 1986. Toward the end of the quarter, I was sitting at my desk talking on the phone to a friend. I happened to look at the closet door in my room and saw at eye-level an outline of a devil’s face with horns. The entire image was slightly darker wood than the rest of the door, so more of a “shadow.” I thought it odd that I had not noticed it before then. Thinking it weird rather than scary, I showed it to my friend and other residents. It was viewed as “interesting” or “funny/ironic” in light of Athens’ well-know haunted reputation. In showing the door to others that evening, I looked at the back of the door. (Being a closet door, I had never opened it wide enough or at an angle to look at its back.) In the middle of the door’s backside, in the wood grain, was the outline of two animal hind legs with shaggy fur and hooves. There was also an outline of a tail between the two legs. Off to the side was another devil’s face. This face wasn’t a “shadow,” but had details “drawn” by the wood grain. It had well-defined eyes, horns, and a mouth with a “snarling” expression. It was not distorted and all features were in scale with each other. At this point, the coincidence of three evil-connoted images was disturbing enough that I wanted the door out of my room. Another resident offered to switch doors with me and we did so. Afterwards, I taped wrapping paper to the outside of the closet doors and had no wood grain to look at anymore!

    • Michael says:

      THIS IS CRAZY! I currently live in Armbruster on South Green and I think I have this same door! Some of the detials you explain don’t quite match my current closet door, but it could also be because you had this door 31 years ago and time may have messed up the “drawings” on the wood grain. I also first noticed what was on the closet door while I was talking on the phone too. Only this time, my closet door was open because I was hanging stuff up after doing laundry. So I saw the inside first. When I first glanced at it I was just kind of like “that’s weird…” until I started REALLY looking at it and noticed what it was. On the inside there’s a weird drawing engraved in the wood of a face just kind of snarling at you with it eyes wide open. You can also makeout a strong torso but I couldn’t see the hooves you described. It currently looks like a half distorted snarling face with a strong torso from that slowly fades out once it gets to the waist. There’s really nothing else I could makeout about it. You said that you saw the face from the outside? You can’t really see it from the outside anymore (if we had the same door) but the wood just looks weirdly distorted with dark “lines”. There’s really no image that I cant see but it’s still weird either way. I hope you read this so you could tell me more about the door because it’s defintly interesting!

      • Dee says:

        I’m really glad I returned to this site by chance and read your post. It sounds like you had a very similar experience! Honestly, it’s freaky that we both noticed images while talking on the phone and initially had the same reaction of “that’s weird”!! I think you have a different door, though. The resident who took my door was on the 3rd or 4th floor of Hoover and I would guess it’s still there. (Sorry, but I don’t remember the room number!)

        Here are some more details:

        My door was hinged on the right hand side. The face on the outside had no discernible features–the entire image was a solid area of darker wood that clearly looked like a devil’s head in shadow. It was at eye-level when I was sitting at my desk, so it was in the mid-section of the door. The images on the inside/backside of the door were in different areas than the face on the outside. The legs and tail image was on the left side in the central part of the door. It was an outline, made by the actual wood grain lines. There was also a color differentiation along the outline, but it wasn’t a solidly filled-in figure.

        The devil’s head on the inside of the door was on the lower right. The actual wood grain of the door made the outline of the head as well as the facial features. It looked like a snarling devil.

        Do any of these details match your door? I would really like to see a photo! I wish I had been able to photograph my door at the time. It really didn’t disturb me until I saw the additional images on the inside of the door, especially the snarling face. I was quite happy to have it out of my room.

        If your door is not mine, I wonder if you could find my old door in Hoover? I would be interested to hear what you think of it–and to see photos! Like I said, it was taken by someone on the 3rd or 4th floor of Hoover. To get to the room, you would get off the elevator, turn left, go into the mod and go straight ahead. The room was on the left side of the hallway.

        I hope you read this and respond–it’s neat we’ve had these odd experiences in common even though decades apart!

  • Maria Klein says:

    My mom was a student at OU and she told me that before she was a student their she actually worked their. i hope to go to OU one day.

  • I lived on the 3rd floor of wilson 87-88 and we would hear noises coming from above us. the room you are talking about where the girl died is bolted shut. it has a big metal bar across it and door the itself is thick steel. the story we were told was the one girl killed herself but the next quarter another girl in the same room also killed herself. i am not sure the truth of it all but something bad had to have happened there for the university to block it off that way. but if you want scary go to mental hospital that is really scary.

  • Mark Etterling says:

    I lived on the 4th floor of Wilson Hall In the early 80’s so it was just a few years after the girl committed suicide in room 428. Although I lived down the hall from that particular room I was good friends with the two girls that lived in that room. Sorry to disappoint everyone but I can tell you without hesitation that all the stories that you hear about that hall are bogus. Nothing paranormal happened the entire year we lived there, only some really good party’s. 😊

  • Deb says:

    I lived in Crook Hall on the west green in the 70’s. I do not remember anyone dying there but Athens was always a spooky place. I remember hearing the stories about the pentagram and the astral projection. It was supposedly a professor who had students to his house and they practiced it and a girl died. At least that was the story then. The mental institution was in operation then and students could live there for a quarter if they wanted to when studying psychology. My roommate did.

  • Cy says:

    My sister and her boyfriend go to Ohio university and her boyfriends room is in Wilson hall

  • Susan says:

    I was a student at OU in the early seventies and yes it is a very haunted place, as Athens is in general. For a class in 1974 myself and 2 other students spent time in the five known graveyards. Besides those five, there are about 20 more smaller family graveyards scattered in the hills north of the school. We had topographical maps where these smaller grave sites are mapped with a cross, but we found many more than those listed on the maps while hiking and climbing thru those hills over the course of that spring quarter. It’s an experience I will never forget. I lived in Johnson Hall on the East Green and even over there and along the Hocking River you could feel how thin the veil was.

  • S Neal says:

    I lived in room 423 for two years (1989 – 1991) and never had any trouble. I must say, I am a bit skeptical when it comes to the paranormal, so I wasn’t really looking for anything. But cool to tell my kids who are into this stuff that I lived there!

  • Angel Perry says:

    Hi I am a freshman at OU. I am just finding out how many mysteries lie in Athens,Ohio . I’m not sure if there is a club or a group of students that actually go out and research these accounts. But I would love to get involved. But thanks anyway.

  • prais says:

    haven’t been there want to thoe………. jk I would never go there in my life.

  • Susan Jungermann LePart says:

    I lived in a triple room in Wilson my sophomore year in 2995/1996. I lived on the very
    Top bunk, close to the ceiling. There were several incidents where I felt like I left
    My body and floated around the room. Only time it ever happened was when I was living
    There. I felt like I could float anywhere in the room.

  • Lisa Maciag says:

    I lived in Wilson Hall for two years in the late 70s. It was the first coed experimental freshman dorm on campus at the time. The 1st and 4th floors were resided in by boys and the second and 3d floors were the girls floors. It was a wild time and nothing was off limits. Always thought the years there would make a great book. Never heard of anything of a haunted nature. Many happy memories of my time there.

  • Kathy says:

    It should be noted, from the article above, that it would be impossible for Wilson Hall to have been built on a cemetery of the Athens Lunatic Asylum, As Wilson Hall dates to 1837, while the insane asylum started in the late 1860s.

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