The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 27, 1993, Page 2, Image 2

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    Ghost floats around Neihardt—and so do the stories
Residence hall
may be haunted
By Rainbow Rowell
Senior Editor
Sarah may be the most popular
resident of Neihardt Residence Cen
ter, but she can’t be found in the
H student directory.
name and even
fewer have met
UAIIftlTC at
II HUIllO when the moon is
full and the wind is blowing, Neihardt
students fill their rooms with stories
about her — and usually no two sto
ries are alike.
By most accounts, Sarah lived in
the Raymond section of Neihardt dur
ing the flu epidemic of the 1930s.
Because health facilities were rare,
students were treated in their rooms.
Sarah was a flu victim, feverish
and often delirious. Before she died,
Sarah would ask her nurses to open or
close the curtains in her room when
ever they came to check on her; she
was never satisfied.
Lincoln storyteller Duane
Hutchinson said years later, residents
of Sarah’s old room would complain
about curtains that would open and
close themselves.
“The curtains would zip open,”
Hutchinson said, “as if someone had
grabbed hold of the rope and jerked.”
Some say after numerous com
plaints, Sarah’s room was converted
into the Raymond 3 TV lounge.
During the first week of school,
Wendy Donahue said she believed
she met Sarah there.
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Donahue, a junior elementary ed
ucation major, was sitting in the
lounge. She left for a moment to get a
drink, and when she came back, she
noticed that someone had rearranged
the curtains.
This happened two or three more
times, Donahue said, before she told
a friend, who told her the Sarah story.
Hutchinson, author of a three-book
series called “A Storyteller’s Ghost
Stories,” said this ghost drew more
attention after a Lincoln Cablevision
employee said he spotted her about
five years ago.
The stories say the cable man
rushed out of Neihardt and swore he
would never step inside the building
again. Some say he saw Sarah. Others
say he was overpowered by the scent
of her lilac perfume. Some swear the
man lost his job and still hasn’t recov
But the Cablevision employee, who
asked not to be identified, said few of
/ really think we haven’t the foggiest idea about
this world, about this universe. _ Hutchinson
Lincoln storyteller
these stories resembled the truth.
He said he was installing cable
about seven years ago in the closet of
a hieihardt room — not in a lounge
and not in Raymond 3 — when he
looked over his shoulder and saw a
“I didn’t think a whole lot about it,
at that point,” he said. “But when she
started disappearing, I freaked out
pretty hard.
“She was standing there and then,
blammo, she was gone.”
The source, who no longer works
in Lincoln, said he never thought about
ghosts before, but he now believed
“beyond a shadow of a doubt that it
was a ghost/’
9 9
He didn’t lose his job, but he said
he was too nervous to finish at
“For the rest of the day, the next
day, the next week, I was extremely
jumpy,” he said.
Neihardt residents in search of
Sarah may be disappointed.
Hutchinson said he had found that not
everyone could see ghosts. However,
he couldn't explain why some people
have the ability while others don't.
“I really think we haven’t the fog
giest idea about this world, about this
universe,” Hutchinson said. “There
arc some things we can’t begin to
Continued from Page 1
any frightening ghost stories,” Overton
said. “He was just playful and myste
But Overton is not the only one
who has heard the haunting talcs.
Julie Hagcmcicr, a theatre arts grad
uate student and company manager of
the Nebraska Repertory, said she had
met with the theatre ghost herself.
“Way back in 1975, we were work
ing on costumes and we were pulling
an all-nighter,” she said. “There was
a monitor in the room we were work
ing in. Over the monitor we heard
somebody dancing really hard on
stage. We knew we were the only ones
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in the building.
Hagemeicr said they opened the
doors and saw an empty stage. The
director’s St. Bernard also reacted to
the noise.
“The dog knew all of us,” she said.
“He had been sleeping, but then he
was wide awake and ready to attack.”
Hagcmeier and Overton said they
didn’t have any real explanations for
the ghosts.
Overton said she had heard a story
of a man who had been killed while
working in the attic and of a ballerina
who spent a lot of time in the theater.
Other stories revolve around a man
who was killed during the initial con
struction of the building in the early
Overton said the hauntings had
changed since tne building was reno
vated in 1979-80.
Overton said she thought the reno
vation may have scared the ghost into
the attic.
“Things will move rapidly from
one end of the floor to the other up
there, without reason,” she said.
But Overton said that didn’t keep
her from going into the attic.
“1 don’t feel weird things up there
like other people say they do,” she
Hagemeier said she believed all
the stories and got an odd feeling
when she went into the theater attic.
“If you’re up there at night now,
things rattle,” she said. “It could be
the wind, but you never know.”
Damon Lee/DN
Stories of the Lewis-Syford House ghost abound among
employees who work there. Some employees say that
Ethel Corrine, who died in 1955 in the house at 700 N. 16th
St., is responsible for the hauntings.
Continued from Page 1
home, she said.
When university employees
built a new parking lot on the side
of the house, Myers said, they found
an upside-down gravestone in the
Employees joke that Corrine’s
ghost is the gremlin behind the
mystery, she said.
Mike Rindone, preservation ar
chitect for the State Historic Pres
ervation Office, said it wasn’t un
common for people to talk about
ghouls living in old homes.
“I don’t know too much about
any ongoing spirits in the Syford
house,” he said.
The upstairs of the house has not
yet been restored. Its creaky floors
and dust-filled rooms probably look
similar to when Ethel Syford lived
— and died — there.
The house is not insulated, he
said, and had to be completely re
wired to channel electricity and
heat throughout.
Myers said some custodians re
fused to work in the home because
the electricity oflen shuts down
when they vacuum.
“It’s conceivable that the wiring
is old and that anything that moves
it can break it,” said Richard
Hoback, manager of maintenance
for UNL facilities maintenance.
“Of course there might be some
thing else in the building.” he said.
“After all, it is Halloween.”
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