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Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas

Kansas State University, known affectionately as K-state, was founded in 1858 with only 53 enrolled. Today, its elegant, castle-like campus is home to over 23,000 students. The football stadium especially is beautifully constructed, housing The Purple Masque Theatre on its east side.

As if the name isnâ??t eerie enough, the theater is said to be haunted by a ghost named Nick. The mischievous spirit has yet to be seen, though his voice was once allegedly recorded on tape. He is believed to have been a Kansas State football player in the 1950â??s, when the theater was used for athletics. The story tells that he had been injured after a brutal tackle during practice and brought into the buildingâ??s cafeteria, where a coach later found him dead.  There is dispute over what had actually killed Nick, as some claim it was from â??intuitive shockâ? after both of his parents died in a car accident on their way to see him play. Legend says the reason he stays behind in the theater is to wait for their return.

In the meantime, the deceased jock seems to enjoy picking on the living theater geeks. Mysterious music, anonymous footsteps and shoulder taps, clanging pipes, and the constant moving of objects and chairs are some of the freaky events for which Nick is deemed responsible. At one point, a fire extinguisher appeared to spray everywhere on its own. While séances were held and TV documentaries made in attempt to contact the young phantom, there is no actual record of any football player by the name of Nick. It is likely that his story came from those of the other two football players who died at Kansas State: Bobby Mayer and John Holden.

The second famous ghost of Kansas State hangs around the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house. Known as Duncan, he died during a hazing when the house was still occupied by the Theta Xi fraternity. The initiation required all members to be paddled, but Duncan stood up suddenly and was fatally whacked in the head instead. When Phi Gamma Delta overtook the building around 1965, they changed the storage room into a library, but hung the paddle labeled with Duncanâ??s name on the wall. This was eventually removed, but its image reappeared on the wall as a dark stain. It reappeared through multiple paint coats as well, and eventually the brothers paneled the wall.

Like most colleges, the Kansas State campus used to include a hospital building. St. Maryâ??s was changed to the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity house, gaining two ghosts in the process. The first is known as George, an elderly patient who, during the hospitalâ??s closing down, fell off his bed and died trapped there by the wall. His spirit proved to be nothing more than a nuisance, until an enormous ice storm in 1973 blacked out the entire streetâ??s power for days. The only exception was at 4:00 pm every day, when the houseâ??s TV would turn on to play one rerun of Star Trek before going black again. The only explanation was that George had been a fan of the show.

The second ghost was a nurse who had fallen down an elevator shaft, injured her legs, and bled to death. Since then, her ghost walked through the hallways, medicine tray and candle in hand, looking for any patients in need of her care. The stories become even more far-fetched, as Kansas State claims to be haunted by a boy who hanged himself in the file room, and a girl who was electrocuted after dropping her hairdryer in the bathtub. Clearly, itâ??s not just the living students that incoming freshman have to worry about.

48 comments on this haunted house. Share your story »


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hottie says:

October 31, 2005, 1:57 pm

my music teacher told me about this guy. he said he’s not mean, but he just kind of tricks u. like he moves stuff around.

allen says:

January 29, 2006, 7:31 pm

how did he get such a nasty hit that he died all of a sutton or was he badly injured and died a few hours later

kelly says:

May 27, 2006, 3:52 pm

na i dont belive that story

stephanie says:

June 8, 2006, 3:11 pm

i wounder how long ago was this well email me and let me konw i belave in this storys cause they r real laters

Eli says:

July 27, 2006, 2:43 pm

i for a fact know this one is true my dad and all his brothers went to k-state, and one time we were in manhattan, my dad gave me a tour of the campus. he dident say a word when, we were walking on to the old football staduim, i got a serious case of goose bumps, i looked to the side and saw this gated off hallway and my dad told me that is were they rushed a football player that end up dieing of his injys. then a couple of months later they had all the chair set up for a concert and some guy walked into the room alone,and people herd a hudge eruption of chairs crashing all over, and when they went in there the guy was hudeled in the corner and wouldent talk when he recoverd, he told the story of some kind of goast or force, tossing all the chairs accross the room
and ever seince then it has been closed

angel says:

August 9, 2006, 6:31 pm


Wilk says:

August 17, 2006, 5:47 pm

Which building was/is the Purple Mask Theatre in? Is it the new Theatre in Nichols Gym? I don’t recall it being in McCain. Anybody remind me.

Wilk says:

August 17, 2006, 5:50 pm

Whwn was this supposed to have happened?

chris says:

August 19, 2006, 12:55 pm

can anyone tell me how far away manhattan is from wichita?

Ellen says:

August 21, 2006, 1:48 am

Wichita in less than 3 hours from KSU. I also know for a fact that this ghost story is true. The Purple Theatre is actually located in “Old Stadium” (the all limestone stadium on the corner of Anderson and Denison that is now a soccer field.) I had very good friend…who was also rather quiet and would NEVER lie, come back to our sorority house sheet white and in tears. Apparently she was walking through the stadium with her boyfriend when they both stopped as they heard a clicking sound coming down a hall. When they turned around, they saw the back of man in antique style football pads, clicking his kleets down the hall. This was the same hallway they rushed “Nick” the football player down in his last moments. He is said to haunt the stadium, which at one time had a Theatre in it called the Purple Mask. There are a ton more hauntings I personally know about at KSU if anyone is interested, I went there for 4 years.

Jazmine Martinez says:

August 30, 2006, 10:16 pm


Carl says:

September 20, 2006, 2:06 am

Here’s an elaboration of the story (I lived in Manhattan for 20 years, and my mom was a KSU professor). Nick’s parents were on their way to the game and were killed in a car wreck. Nick himself was injured on the football field and died soon after. Nick’s ghost paces the halls, waiting for the parents to arrive at the game. Crazy stuff.

kristin says:

September 26, 2006, 5:34 pm

Does anyone know of any other haunted locations at KState? I’ve heard about Pi Phi Polly which is about a girl who was either killed or murdered in the old Pi Beta Phi house (which is now Lambda Chi Alpha.) And I’ve heard the story about Gamma Phi Beta and the chicken nuggets and all that. Anything else exciting?

BlackSheep says:

October 5, 2006, 3:49 pm

I would like to hear move stories from Ellen….it’s been a while so I will check back. Always love to hear a good ghost story.

keys says:

October 28, 2006, 11:10 pm

Does ne one know about ne hauntings around the JC area besides ft. riley?? I recently went to a house n got some pics.. the results are pretty interesting. I want to do some kind of research on the house so i can get my facts.

JacinB says:

December 20, 2006, 4:23 pm

After a bit of historical research into this, there are elements of the story that are true, but many more that appear to be ’embellished’ over time.

In the 1950s, there were two K-State football players who died. Bob Mayer, a junior fullback, died of polio. John M. Holden died after colliding with another player during a game of intramural football.

There is nothing that I can find, however, that tells of either of these players’ parents dying in a car accident while travelling to the game.

The Purple Masque is located under Memorial Stadium’s eastern stands.

Andria says:

December 27, 2006, 6:46 pm

well i am not for sure about that story it sounds kinda made up or something but who really knows maybe people should go there and play football or something and see what happens maybe it will play to. :)

Aaron says:

June 18, 2007, 12:06 am

This actually is a true story. I have heard of a couple eyewitness accounts of “Nick”

galena says:

July 29, 2007, 12:51 pm

hey, i would love to hear some more ghosts stories also about k-state. email me please!

Jodan says:

September 23, 2007, 5:46 pm

Memorial Stadium? Really???? I don’t believe this is true. First of all, my brother used to play lacrosse in Memorial Stadium for the three years that he attended KSU. Never once did he say anything to me, and usually he is the one in the family who both experiences these types of things (though not very many) and likes to talk about these sorts of things. He would be there both late at night and during the day, and never ever saw a thing.

Secondly, I have been in Memorial Stadium countless times myself, both attending lacrosse games and other times during my adventures at KSU. I have been in both sides of the stadium, both with family and by myself, and I have never gotten chills, or seen anything at all concerning ghostly happenings. The only relatively unsettling thing that I had seen there, and wasn’t so much unsettling as it is cute, was one really ticked off chihuahua. I don’t know what people have seen, but I really don’t think it is a ghost.

georgia says:

October 29, 2007, 3:55 pm

Wow. Those stories are pretty interesting. I have never heard anything about those. K-state. Wow crazy. I couldnt believe it. I would like to go back up there and visit and check things out now. Anyone else have any good stories?

dennis says:

October 30, 2007, 10:49 am

I attended K-State in the early ’70s and had a number of music classes in the east side of Memorial Stadium. Most of the profs who taught there heard strange noises, especially later in the day and on weekends. The stories have been around for quite some time. Personally, I never heard or saw anything strange, but did often feel like I was being watched while I waited for a class in the structure.

maria says:

January 8, 2008, 8:24 pm

I’ve been going to Kansas State University for two years now and I’m a theater major. I’ve worked in the Purple Mask theater. And I myself have experienced odd activity. Things go missing, props get moved around, lights flicker on and off. I think that whatever haunts the Purple Mask is just a spirit that likes to mess with the living. A friendly poltergeist if you will. It is believed by the majority of students that the spirit is a ghost from a football player that died during a game. Whatever he or it is… it’s there.

jasmine says:

March 11, 2008, 1:23 am

wow that really freaks me out im supposed to be attending ksu in august and im kinda like wtf thats scary!!!!! Hey all i can say is im steering clear of the stadium!

LS says:

March 24, 2008, 5:22 pm

I work at KSU at the old stadium, the “Gated” hallways are the telecom dept’s area and the place is alarmed. I’ve been here at ksu for a year and a half and have not seen anything that would be counted as paranormal.

Melissa van Niekerk says:

March 29, 2008, 2:28 pm

Hey people I’m from South Africa,It would be really awsome if you could share ghost stories with us about my country,there are many for sure.Tot later dan bye almal hoop julle genit julle dag mwah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Melissa van Niekerk says:

March 29, 2008, 2:31 pm

Ek hoop al de kak wat jule praat is waar, want ekk glo daaran en bekk myself vn party van die stories,translation..I hope al this **** you talking istrue becausee I believe inyourstories annd I **** in my pants because of some of the stories

woo says:

May 28, 2008, 6:13 am


Alex says:

August 20, 2008, 2:13 am

I also went to school at ksu for 5 years graduated in dec 07, so here is my part to the story. My great aunt when she went to school there in the 50s actually lived in the west side of the stadium! thats cool huh! i actually heard that the man who haunts the east side is a man who died from injuries he sustained while moving props. Evidently a large prop fell on him and crushed the poor guy. There was also a paranormal expert who went there and said that in fact he did sence the presence of a being there. Anyways just watch Ghost Hunters every Wednesday night at 8 on sci-fi and check out! ALSO last bit, my friend who also lives in manhattan, originally from Paraguay, recorded the best ghost video i have ever seen when he was talking to his friend in paraguay over the internet. go to you tube and type in sophie freire ve un fantasma….im telling you peeps….seriously the best video ever…short but as real as it gets!

joel says:

August 23, 2008, 7:00 pm

what position did he play?

RODNEY says:

October 7, 2008, 2:08 pm

first of all im from kansas and i heard this story but if your from kansas i got more than a football player messing with people i’ve been around and saw alot more than i wanted. skull kansas its also very true but alot of the storys people never hear about like the 55 car that hunts the roads, the ghost light that starts in northeast ok and goes up in southeast kansas, there is a alot of places in south east kansas that are hunted by ghost if you want to know more let me know

Silver says:

October 11, 2008, 10:01 am

I know this one is true–Nick flicked a light off and on 5 times when I went through the entry tunnel once. I watched for a bit once I was on the other side–solid light!

When I went back out after watching the band rehearsal, he did it again :)

He’s a playful fellow 😀

Andrea says:

October 29, 2008, 5:57 pm

Afew years ago my husband took an acting class at K State and their final scenes were in the Purple Masque. During the show the stage lights went off for about an hour and then came back on. Meanwhile nobody could get into the control room as the door was locked. Also the props kept falling down, sometimes in the middle of a scene. I think Nick is real!!!

Nick (but not the ghost) says:

October 30, 2008, 1:37 am

I’m a K-State Student and grew up in Manhattan. When I was a kid, I was in the purple masque for a show and Nick (the ghost) tugged on my shirt.
I’ve heard lots of other stories, too. Some folks think he wasn’t a football player but an old farmer.

karla says:

October 31, 2008, 8:32 pm

I was going there. Not now. wired

Sammy says:

November 2, 2008, 12:00 pm

Hey i do believe in Nick the ghost but see, some of the things that are told i dont believe, i was reading through the comments earlier and the one about that girl and her boyfriend walking around and seeing the player, kreepy. I do believe the Purple Masque is haunted, I have been to K- State before and in there is a really eerie feeling. Nick is a playful football player that likes to mess with the living. Tell more stories please!!! This is so fascenating!!!! 😀

LS says:

March 28, 2009, 11:39 pm

I am an employee at K-State and work at the old stadium. The area is gated off because thats were our vans/equipment is kept for the Telecommunications department. I enter the old theater area regularly to get supplies and have never heard or seen anything out of the ordinary, and I have been there late at night from working basketball games. I wouldnt recommend hanging around there in the tunnel though because the police patrol it regularly and the buildings do have alarm systems.

Tolu says:

May 23, 2009, 12:33 am

You probably saw the Bluemont math teacher Renaud at Kansas State

Olivia says:

July 16, 2009, 5:59 pm

Okay. I used to live in Kansas and I went to my brothers and sisters graduation at KSU, but there is nothing haunted about KSU. I mean nothing.

Crystal says:

October 26, 2009, 6:58 pm

One of the colleges most famous haunted spots is the Purple Masque Theater, which is located on the main floor of the East Stadium on campus. The theater is alleged to be haunted by a mischievous spirit named Nick, who has never been seen, although his voice has been recorded on tape. It is believed that the ghost is that of an ex-football player who died in the building in the 1950’s, when it was still used as an athletic center. He was injured one day during a practice and brought into the building, where he died soon after. His playful spirit has been here ever since, stomping up and down hallways, on staircases and on the theater stage. He also moves chairs and hides theater props at night but he is most famous for the levitation’s! Wooden boxes that have been stacked in the dressing room have jumped to the floor and then re-stacked themselves… before the startled eyes of several witnesses. There is also a report of a fire extinguisher that was seen spinning around in mid-air, spraying white foam as it traveled.

susan says:

October 29, 2009, 11:23 pm

iwould love to go in there iam really interested in stuff like this so is my 13year old, we watch stuff about haunting spirits and places where people have seen ghost

monkswithbenefits says:

July 15, 2010, 4:54 pm

Nick is a real ghost who haunts the Purple Masque Theatre in East Stadium. The theater is NOT closed and is used frequently by the theatre and drama therapy students for classes, student work, and summer camps. I have had several encounters with Nick, mainly he likes to run on stage when we clean the supply closet. There is another story about a professor who was teaching a class in the Masque. She was standing on stage and blatantly denied Nick’s existence. As soon as she said it a fresnel light hanging above fell a few inches in front of her. Moral of the story, Nick exists, he’s friendly, but you don’t want to anger him. If you happen to walk into the Purple Masque say hello to him. The worst he’ll do it play with the lights, make noise, or hide props (which has all happened)

you knooow says:

December 13, 2010, 4:06 pm

I was taking a class in the old stadium, it was a studio and I was there around 3 in the morning I was one of the only people there. I kept hearing banging and walking in the hallway above me, didn’t think much of it.
I walk upstairs to go to the bathroom, I get locked in and the handle won’t budge. Then out of nowhere it lets go and I fall out. Serious as a friggin heart attack.

sue says:

December 14, 2010, 7:14 am

i have always wanted to be in a haunted place i love stuff like this

Kaylin says:

May 25, 2011, 6:05 pm

Is this true? I just look up haunted places in kansas, and this popped up…

Elisabeth says:

June 1, 2011, 4:49 pm

He died on the floor of the memorial stadium, below the bleachers (near where the Purple Mask Theatre is). There are classrooms below the bleachers as well, supposedly he only haunts the passage area near where he died (hence, many people may have played in Memorial, had classes in Memorial and never seen him/heard of him before). He’s not said to cause any chills, only that he played tricks on the theatre students (moving there things/sets around during/before/after plays/rehearsals), that he was seen walking sometimes in the passage area in his football uniform, etc. From the other places where I’ve seen sightings of him referenced, he’s doesn’t have a particularly ghostly demeanor/appearance, he’s just wearing a uniform from like the 50s or something. In other words, a friendly, if slightly playful and tricky, old ghost. Poor thing.

john says:

July 19, 2011, 9:53 pm

This most likely is not true, I had an english class at the stadium, which probably explains the noises and chairs falling. I’ve passed through many times at night never saw heard a thing, doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible but there are classes going on in that old stadium.

Roger Thivierge says:

October 31, 2012, 11:54 pm

We have a haunted building who is very popular for the ghost here in Sainte-Clotilde de Horton in Québec, Canada. Where I can found a real estate for selling our haunted house?

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