The Summerville campus is no stranger to the paranormal. According to legend, during the 19th century the campus was witness to suicide, murder and hauntings. These events landed Georgia Regents University on a list of “The 10 Scariest Haunted Colleges in America.”
October is Georgia Archives month and to celebrate, Reese Library Special Collections will host its third annual “Shine a Light on University Ghosts” walk on Saturday, Oct. 31. The walk features stories of Summerville campus’s resident ghosts, including Emily Galt, also known as the Bellevue ghost.
Once engaged to a Confederate soldier, Galt patiently awaited the soldier’s return from war. After hearing of the soldier’s death she jumped from the second floor window, or so the story goes. A window pane Galt once carved her name into could be seen at Bellevue Hall as recently as 2000.
Another story is that of the Commandant’s wife.
Every morning the Arsenal Commander would bring his wife tea, and then leave to go hunting. One morning a maid found the Commandant’s wife in bed, dead. There was a tea tray on the bedside table. The commander was accused of murdering his wife, but was never convicted. The real murderer was never found. Some say the Commandant’s wife still haunts the Benet house.
Walkers will encounter Emily Galt, the Commandant’s wife and other University ghosts who will share their stories and separate fact from fiction.
In its third year, the campus ghost walk was originally organized by Carol Waggoner-Angleton, a special collections and institutional archives librarian, as a way to promote Georgia Archives month. The event has since grown in popularity and was attended by more than 100 people in 2014.
“We wanted to explore our ghosts and show how folklore can grow from the stories of real people,” Waggoner-Angleton said.
“Shine a Light on University Ghosts” is family friendly event, and children may arrive early to create a Jack-O-Lantern craft.
Waggoner-Angleton believes the event does more than entertain.
“I think it gives people a connection to their history,” she said.
The Third Annual “Shine a Light on Campus Ghosts” walk will be held on Saturday, Oct. 31. The event begins at 6 p.m. with a Jack-O-Lantern craft for younger walkers. The walk will start at 7 pm. Walkers will meet at the JSAC patio. Bring flashlights, if desired.
Contact Carol Waggoner-Angleton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 667- 4904 for more information.