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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Bobcats who never left: Ghost stories of Texas State

Illustration by Madeline Carpenter

Since 1899, Texas State University has seen Bobcats come and go, get their diplomas and start their careers. However, there are a few Bobcats who have never left and make their presence known through flickering lights, shadows and unexplained noises, according to students, faculty and alumni. Students may be lucky to even see them. These are the ghosts of Texas State.


Old Main

Old Main is the oldest building on campus and was the first building built for Bobcats in the fall of 1903. The Victorian Gothic building sitting on top of a hill has remained a symbol of Texas State for many years. Old Main is not only known for its unique pointed red roof but for a tale of a lady dressed in white who roams the halls, especially the third floor.

Rumor has it that in 1908, a young woman jumped to her death from the then open third-story balcony at Old Main after being notified that her boyfriend died while serving in the military. Did she jump or was she pushed? No one knows. What Kerri Qunell, an alumni, does know is that things indeed happened one night in 1991 while she was working at Old Main.

“You know how you get just a feeling like there’s a presence?” Qunell said. “That was how it felt.”

When she was a sophomore, Qunell was writing a story for class about the Luby’s massacre, a mass shooting that took place at a Luby’s restaurant in Killeen, Texas, in 1991. As she was typing out her article, the word Killeen would autocorrect to the word “kill” every time.

“I didn’t know if it was a bug or if it was something in the building trying to tell me to get out,” Qunell said. “It was super creepy.”

She first saw this as a fluke, but then other strange things began to happen soon after. When she assigned the printer to print one copy of her story, the printer printed 80 copies. The screen on her computer began to flicker. She began to feel an eerie presence while she was in the office. Alone.


Dorms of Texas State

“Scary Sterry” is something people may hear while walking around campus. Sterry Hall is rumored to be haunted and overall gives students the creeps. Brandon Rule, a Texas State alumnus, recalled his paranormal encounter at the infamous “Scary Sterry” and said it’s something he’ll never forget.

During the summer of 2013, Rule worked as a conference assistant helping visitors into Sterry to check in and out. When campers and visitors would check out for their stay, they would voice their concerns to Rule about things that were out of place in their rooms.

“People would come at check out, on more than one occurrence, saying someone got into their room, their drawers were open, their closet doors were open,” Rule said. “I was the only person who had access to the rooms.”

Rule assured them it was a one key in, one key out policy. He recalled guests saying their phones would be unplugged and set in the middle of the room. While Rule was handling tricks and no treats at Sterry Hall, his fiancé Madison Walker, a psychology alumna, witnessed a full-body apparition at the bathrooms in Laurel Hall.

Walker said it was a quiet night on the third floor of Laurel Hall in the fall of 2012 as she was getting ready for bed in the communal bathrooms. After taking a shower, she brushed her teeth and noticed a woman she didn’t recognize walking toward the showers.

“The more I thought of it I realized I knew all the girls on that floor. I knew everybody,” Walker said.

As soon as Walker turned her back to leave, she remembered she had forgotten her shower caddy in the shower. When returning to the showers, all the curtains were opened, including the one Walker had closed. And the girl was nowhere to be found.


Alkek Library

Scott Johnson, lab coordinator with the Department of Computer Science and horror writer, knows the stories and theories of the spirits that roam campus. He has talked to former custodians who would never again enter Old Main at night, students who have had hauntings in their own homes and members of Mensa, a high IQ society, shared their paranormal experiences with him.

Johnson recalled his visit to the Annex, a place in Alkek Library that is not open to the average library guest. The Southwestern Writers Collection, a collection of memorabilia, journals and other personal items, are held in the Annex when they’re not on display at The Wittliff. It was there where Johnson witnessed shadow figures without someone or something to cast them.

“I do know that there are some people that have gone into the Annex and that they have felt something,” Johnson said. “There is something in the Annex that has something attached to it.”

Whether these items hold something more than the stories they show and tell is not known, but Johnson recognized that not everyone believes in the idea of ghosts. However, he said seeing and spotting the out of the ordinary from the ordinary life is much more entertaining.

“The older we get, the more we learn to ignore things. Or to not see things,” Johnson said. “The world is much more interesting when you can still see.”

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