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Author Topic: HAUNTED ILLINOIS COLLEGE  (Read 121 times)
Keira Kensington
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Posts: 4702

« on: October 13, 2008, 12:25:43 am »

One place where strange events have been reported is in Beecher Hall, which was built in 1829. This two-level building is now used as a meeting hall for two of the school’s Literary Societies, Sigma Pi and Phi Alpha. The Sig's meet on the upper floor and the Phi's meet in the lower part of the building. The majority of the encounters here seem to involve the groups who frequent the upper floor. The most commonly reported events are ghostly footsteps that can be distinctly heard in one room, always coming from another. If the witness follows the sound, then the footsteps will suddenly be heard in the other room instead. Years ago, this was a medical building and cadavers were stored on the upper floor. Some believe that this may explain the ghostly activity.

Legend on campus has it that the students here were not actually supposed to have the cadavers that were secreted away in the building. However, they were so dedicated to collecting medical knowledge that they stole them from local hospitals and cemeteries, introducing the art of "body snatching to Illinois College. The corpses were hidden in the attic until the stench of decaying flesh alerted college officials to their presence.

Other legends claim that the ghost here is that of Williams Jenning Bryan, who has returned to haunt his old school. He was a member of Sigma Pi and was often in the building during his years at Illinois College. There are others who say that it might be Abraham Lincoln’s ghost instead. He was an honorary Phi Alpha and while he did not attend the school, he did speak at Beecher Hall on occasion. In addition, William Berry (Lincoln’s partner at new Salem), William H. Herndon (his law partner), and Ann Rutledge's brother, David, all attended Illinois College.

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