Former U Building Has Haunted Past

Carlson Hall was demolished in 2012 to make room for a new law building, but some say there was a ghost living there before the construction. And she still hasn’t left.

The building was first used as a women’s dormitory in 1938, according to a 2013 article in Continuum. Mary Carlson gave the funding to the university in honor of her husband, August Carlson.

After its inception, according to FYI News, a young woman lived there and committed suicide. Toby Ortega, a custodian who has worked at the U for the past 11 years, said he has seen the woman’s ghost.

“When they first tore it down,” he said, “I could see a silhouette of someone walking outside.”

The girl was a young college student during the 1940s. It is rumored that the day of her death she was fighting with her boyfriend and killed herself by slitting her wrists.

Ortega said he never believed in ghosts until he saw one in person. Strange things would happen around his office, he said. His coffee would be half empty when he returned to the room, his chair would move on its own or he felt like someone was staring at him.

He used to work in Carlson Hall in the morning near 5 a.m. He said he would experience strange things during that time, such as banging doors and writing on white boards. During that time, he was the only one who had access to the building because he had the only set of keys.

“You start believing in ghosts when you start seeing them,” Ortega said.

Christopher Sanderson, a junior in metallurgical engineering, said he believe in ghosts “in a religious sense.”

“[Ghosts] can only affect us negatively if we allow them to,” he said.

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