Big state schools aren’t the only ones with big paranormal activity. Multiple private schools throughout Alabama have their own school spirits.
At the top of our haunted list is Huntingdon College. The college was originally an all-female college, founded in Tuskegee in 1854 as the Tuskegee Female College. It was here the story of the Red Lady began. One night on the upper floor of the residence hall, an eerie red glow appeared under the doors lining the hall. Upon opening their doors, young women were met by the spirit of a woman glowing in a red gown. Blanked-faced, she paced the hallway all night, only to disappear when the sun rose. The Red Lady was not seen at the campus again. This is not where her story ends however. Years later, in Montgomery, a woman named Margaret (sometimes called Martha) enrolled in Huntingdon College upon her late father’s request. Margaret did not fit in well. She was not only a Northerner in a Southern college, she was reclusive, and had an odd affinity for the color red. Everything she owned was red. Her fourth-floor dorm room was covered in that one color. Margaret went through numerous roommates during her time in the dorms, each time her roommate would request to transfer rooms. Upon the dorm president requesting a transfer, Margaret became bitter and swore to the retreating girl she would regret her actions.
After this event Margaret began strange behaviors. After lights-out, she would get out of bed, pace the halls, and let herself into all the rooms on the hall. She would never speak a word, only staring blank-faced before proceeding to the next room. While she did not glow, Margaret always wore her signature red.
One day Margaret did not show up for class. The dorm president, the felt she should check on her former-roommate. Upon walking the hall and opening the final door, she saw Margaret, this time dawning a different red. Her own blood. Margaret slit her wrists and bled to death.
The Red Lady as she is now known still walked the halls of Pratt. While still a residence hall, girls would cower at the site of her crimson apparition. It was said if you bullied another student or were mean-spirited, the lights would unexplainably go out, a chill would fill the room, or creaking noises would fill the room without reason. This activity would escalate on the anniversary of her death. Today, Pratt holds the Department of Education and Psychology. Some say with the changes, the Red Lady left. Others still claim to see her.
Huntingdon also has another ghost with a colorful name: the Ghost of the Green. This is the unseen spirit of another troubled student. A young man is said to have shot himself on the green after rejecting his girlfriend. While no one has seen his ghost, students say they occasionally feel a tugging at their clothes, or someone blowing in their ears as they walk along this part of campus.
From Montgomery to Mobile. Spring Hill College has multiple tales of haunted dormitories, but there is also another well known ghost. A former math professor, Father Mueller, can be seen near his old office. It is also said Father Mueller appears to students who need assistance with seemingly impossible math questions. One boy spoke of a kind priest with a long, grey beard that knocked at his door to welcome him to the university. He then assisted him in his homework. The description of the priest matched no one living; only the late Father Mueller.
Montevallo has its fair share of ghosts. A man on an eternal search for his son, and a Confederate soldier with a vow to uphold. These are Amanda Herman’s writings on the spirits at the University of Montevallo.
The house of the late Edmund King, a businessman who had a lavish love affair with his own money, sits prominently on the campus of Montevallo, smack in the middle of the state of Alabama. It is said that he can be seen with his lantern in the top story of the house, with the green flashing orbs most active during storms. He peeks out at passersby from behind the curtains, and does not shy away when he is aware he’s been spotted. The graves of his wife and son are not far from the front porch, which gives an even eerier feel to the whole haunting experience. It has been said that he never forgave those present when his son died, being accidentally shot by his own brother. Edmund King spent many days out at his son’s grave, seemingly spending more time with his in death than in life. After Edmund died and the lights began to manifest in his bedroom, they are also seen coming out of the house and taking the same path to the tiny graveyard that King walked every day. The shadowy figure is seen carrying his lantern out in hopes of joining his son. He’s still searching.
Edmund King is said to have loved his money so wholeheartedly, that he dares not give it away upon his death. Days before he passed away, legend holds that King buried his money under a peach tree, safe and secure for all eternity. These days, there is no peach tree in front of the King house, but there is still a pay phone. This would not seem out of the ordinary years ago, but most everyone of campus will have a cell phone on them at all times, so the antique booth sticks out like a sore thumb. And even more strangely, it rings. Someone is calling this pay phone on a regular basis, and students report that they pick up to help the obviously confused caller, yet they are answered with silence. Not a dial tone, not a busy signal, not even creepy breathing, the sure sign of a prank call. There is no sound at all.
The legend of Reynolds Hall on the campus of Montevallo is attributed to its namesake. Captain Reynolds was a soldier for the Confederacy before he was named president of the college. The Hall was first used as a wartime hospital. Union soldiers were searching for Reynolds when he was assigned to protect the building, but left his post to assist in a nearby battle. He returned to find a heart wrenching massacre—everyone that he left behind in that hospital was dead, ambushed by the Union. He vowed to never leave that building exposed again, and has held his promise in death. Reynolds is reported shutting doors and windows behind students leaving them carelessly open, lest Union soldiers come sneaking in when their backs are turned. He also moves his own picture away from the front room where it hangs, knowing that he is wanted by his enemies, that they may see his photo and come in looking for him again.
These are only a few of the many apparitions walking the halls. Stay tuned for Part Two of our Private College edition of School Spirits.