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Virtual tour shows you haunted and historical sites on MSU’s campus

Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 6:10 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The pandemic isn’t slowing down the spooky season on Michigan State’s campus.

MSU’s Archaeology Program and the MSU Paranormal Society teaming up to create a virtual haunted tour that highlights some scary sites on campus.

“We actually do have some paranormal stuff on campus. If we go back in time, MSU obviously has a very long history of a lot of events that have happened on this land so who knows a lot of those people like to tell us that they are still there,” said Emily Springer, Vice President of the Paranormal Society.

One of the places on campus with so called “sightings” is at the Beaumont Tower, which actually was built to honor the first building on campus, College Hall, after it collapsed.

“Like many buildings on MSU’s campus, in its earliest days, it was not the best built,” said Dr. Stacey Camp, the director of the MSU Campus Archaeology Program. “It actually collapsed on August 12, 1918 as a band was playing the national anthem. And, so after it collapsed an artillery garage was built there and alumni was kinda upset that no one was commemorating this incredible first building on campus so they donated money and that’s how Beaumont Tower ended up there.”

The superstition is that if a couple kisses under the tower while the bells are ringing, they will be together forever. Many believe that there is a couple dressed in the 1920′s that has been seen around the tower.

“We have seen them walking hand in hand. The rumor is that they were an engaged couple, but somehow something happened, and now when the bell strikes you can see them and hopefully they are able to get back together,” said Springer.

Some sites on the haunted tour don’t have buildings attached to it. That’s because they have burned down like the first dormitory on campus called Saint’s Rest.

“It burned down in the winter of 1876 and luckily no one was hurt or no one was around when it happened,” said Jeff Burnett, a Campus Archaeologist. “It’s important to us because that’s what started our program and it’s where the first archaeological excavations were done on this site.”

When the campus archaeology team unearthed the basement, an interesting artifact known as Mabel was found. It’s a porcelain doll that is believed to possess an ominous spirit known for moving objects out of place.

“Spirits and ghosts can leave impressions on those artifacts,” said Springer.

Emily Springer has been apart of the Paranormal Society on campus since her freshman year.

Before the pandemic impacted their meetings and investigations, one of the sites on campus she says they got readings of movements was at Mayo Hall.

“We were able to get some feedings and records of people walking around,” said Springer. “The rumor is that you see a lady, Mary Mayo, who the hall was named after. You can see her wandering around after dark in the red room, so weird things like that.”

These are just some of the sites you can read about and visit virtually online.

“It’s kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure that have archaeological sites associated with it, along with ghost stories associated with them,” said Dr. Camp.

You can visit eight sites virtually, which Jeff says can provide more information than their normal in-person tours.

“We get to include a lot more details because we have months to prepare for it and we don’t have to curate it to an audience of 5 minutes,” said Jeff. “If someone wants to spend 5 minutes on the site they can. If you want to spend 2 hours on it, they can.”

The online tour is free and can be accessed right now.

On Wednesday, the Campus Archaeology Program and Paranormal Society will host a Facebook Live event to answer any questions you may have about the schools history and haunts.

“You can ask all kinds of questions,” said Dr. Camp. “It really gives people a whole new experience. If you have done the tour before, you are going to learn a lot more.”

“I hope everyone enjoys it and they can share their own paranormal experience because no two people have the same experience at each site and have their own twist to it," said Springer.

And of course, after going through the tour virtually, you can check out the haunted sites on campus too.

But if you do dare to come out to the tour and see it for yourself, just make sure you wear a mask.

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