by Darick T. Earney Copy Editor
Normally, people often suspect ghosts of wandering around in graveyards and in the movies, but Lewis and Clark Community College students may find one lurking around in the hallways of the campus.
One ongoing legend that many members of L&C’s staff have told is the ghost of Harriet Newell Haskell.
Going back in history, one may know that Lewis and Clark was originally known as Monticello Female Seminary. Haskell was an educator at Monticello who died of heart failure in 1907, but some professors believe that her spirit still walks among the main complex of L&C.
Shortly following her death, Haskell’s favorite tree that used to stand by the memorial entrance had fallen. When the tree was discovered by staff members, they had it carved into a statue which currently still stands in the library.
“Years ago, I was walking down the stairs into the library basement, and when I reached the bottom of the staircase,” L&C Assistant Director of Instructional Services, Liz Burns said. “I smelled Lilac perfume. I paused, recognized the smell, and said ‘Hello, Harriet’, then suddenly, the smell had disappeared”.
Burns also encountered Haskell again, years earlier, when she walked away from a room with books cluttered on the floor. When she re-entered, the books were neatly stacked into the middle of the room.
After seeing this, Burns, once again said, “Hello, Harriet”, and a soft chuckle was heard from across the building from where she stood.
It’s believed that Haskell has haunted the elevators at L&C for decades. One memorable account of this, according to Alton Hauntings’ website, occurred in the early 1990’s.
The legend goes, a maintenance worker was called in by security after the cries of a young woman were heard on an elevator in the main complex. After the maintenance worker spent a couple of hours getting the elevator door open, it was empty.
The fifth floor of the main building at L&C also has its history of hauntings. Supposedly, there was a hanging in Logic professor Gerald Mozur’s office decades ago.
Since then, Mozur and other staff members have speculated on a possible cold spot where some say they have felt a slight chill from what could be a ghost.
“While I think the stories of ghosts adds to the aura that is Lewis and Clark, I have not experienced anything out of the ordinary, even late at night on the fifth floor of Caldwell, where supposedly there is a ‘cold spot,’” Mozur said.
Mozur also suggests that, to anyone who would like to find where the cold spot is located, they could visit his room.
It’s difficult to determine whether or not there really are any ghosts haunting the grounds of L&C, but there is plenty of information out there for those interested in finding out. Share your paranormal experiences with us at facebook.com/thelcbridge.
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