Here’s a close-at-hand Halloween ghost story: Some say the Plunkett Center at the entrance to Southern Oregon University in Ashland is haunted.
Originally known as the Chappell-Swedenburg House, the imposing white, Colonial Revival style home was built in 1904. The university uses it today for alumni and development offices and functions.
In the 1970s a political science professor checked out reports it was haunted by attempting to spend the night inside with a campus security guard and three students. Armed with candles, flashlights and a talk-to-the-dead Ouija Board, the group entered a second-floor room. The Ouija board reportedly spelled out messages indicating one of the students had previously tried to commit suicide.
It was true, although he swore he’d never told anyone. Suddenly, the board jumped upwards a foot and a half, and the terrified ghost sleuths fled from the house.
Another time, the head of security and a sidekick drove by the house and a porch light seemed to reveal a woman sitting beside a window in a first-floor office. When she vanished, the guards searched inside the house, but they found all the doors locked and the house empty. Scary!
Source: "Oregon's Ghosts." Ghosts, Critters & Sacred Places of Washington and Oregon. Ed. Jefferson Davis. Web. 21 Sept. 2013 (www.ghostsandcritters.com/oregonghosts.html).
As It Was is a co-production of Jefferson Public Radio and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. As It Was stories are broadcast weekdays on Jefferson Public Radio and are available online at asitwas.org.