Real Haunted Houses

Real Haunted House

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama
By Robin Wright

Violence. Death. Destruction. When you walk onto the campus of the University of Alabama, you are walking into a place where gunfights, riots, and war have left a number of phantoms behind to haunt the hallways and grounds of the U of A.

The U of A opened its doors to the public in 1831, having about 100 students. Since its inception, the university had disciplinary problems, with gunfights on the grounds not being all that uncommon. After 29 years of trouble, the school was transformed into a military academy, and just in time to train soldiers for the Civil War. Some say that in April of 1865, a Union soldier came onto campus to sign a treaty. When he entered the cadet guardhouse, now known as Jason’s Shrine or as The Little Round House, he was beaten, tortured and murdered. Another version of the story is that when Union troops were marching to the university–specifically to burn it down–two confederate soldiers stayed behind to kill a few Yankees. When three Federal soldiers asked one of the young cadets where to find some whiskey, he told them to go into the small structure. Lying in wait was the second southern cadet who shot the three soldiers when they entered the building. If you put your ear up to the door, you can sometimes hear soldiers prowling for whiskey. On a foggy night, some say the spirits of soldiers can be seen marching through the quad to an unknown spectral destination.

Smith Hall has also had some spooky incidents reported from within. Some say that they have heard Dr. Smith’s carriage, which is exhibited on the main floor, careen through the building, the sound of wheels and horses coming out of nowhere. Footsteps also have been heard entering the upstairs classrooms and the sounds of a ghostly lecture coming from a classroom at night. One night, a few students tried to catch what they thought was an intruder in the building. They followed the voices to a classroom, and when they entered the room, the once lined-up rows of desks were scattered. They later discovered that a boiler explosion had killed a number of students who were in the room years before. In the basement, students have complained of feeling watched while working in the lab. An assistant was pushed into a closet one night and locked in. When he tried to open the closet door, it would not release him until morning. From then on, he ignored any out of the ordinary sounds, all interest in investigation had been sucked out of him.

The most common complaint students have is microwaves starting, stopping and making strange noises, even when the microwave is unplugged. Photos are developed showing light orbs floating through them, and footsteps are heard at night. Some say that a girl committed suicide by lighting herself on fire on the 13th floor of Tutwiler Hall. Shadowy forms of people have been spotted speeding through the halls.

Gorgas Library still entertains the ghost of its namesake, Amelia Gayle Gorgas and the Music Library is haunted by a man in black who wanders the stacks, sometimes touching people looking through materials. Hoole Special Collections Library has an elevator that will still occasionally drop off ghostly riders when the power has been turned off.

Even Tennessee Williams has a part of the hauntings at the University. Marian Gallaway, the theater director during the mid-twentieth century, has been sighted in white on the stage in her theater in Rowand-Johnson Hall. Marian’s husband had left her to pursue a romance with Tennessee Williams, and Williams supposedly used Marian as the inspiration for Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

The students of the University of Alabama have a lot more â??school spiritâ? than they may have bargained for.

121 comments on this haunted house. Share your story »


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Destiny Olsovksy says:

May 12, 2009, 1:07 pm

i bet that it would be fun to visit there one day.. OMG!! i wish i could go there..

Lynn says:

June 2, 2009, 11:23 pm

I know for a fact that there are places on the University of Alabama that are haunted. Just go to and there you can hear things that were caught at Smith Hall which is on the University of Alabama’s campus.

Lynn says:

June 2, 2009, 11:27 pm

I am sorry the website is

Thanks guys!!

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August 3, 2009, 12:58 pm



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tori says:

September 21, 2009, 11:31 am

omg that has to br creepy living there if u do but i would leave right away

Kayla Hall says:

October 12, 2009, 3:01 pm

I have never had the opportunity to experience any paranormal activities or disturbances and wonder if there’s any suggestions from anyone who’s familiar with these things and has a place in mind I would enjoy for a first time experience with “hauntings”.

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Nicole says:

October 31, 2009, 4:40 pm

I have heard the footsteps in Smith Hall. we were in the building around 3 am, before they put up the cameras and electronic locks. We walked from the left side wing of the building (if one is facing the front of the building from the outside, the left wing was often left unlocked) to the middle, above which is the museum. From there, we started into the right hand wing. We walked, and heard a very loud rythmic creaking that followed our footsteps. We thought it was our own walking causing the walls to creak, but this was directly above us. We signaled by hand to stop, and as we did, the footsteps continued walking above us, about 4 or 5 steps after we stopped. It could very well have been the building creaking, or it could have been a ghost. There were no lights on upstairs (you can see from the outside, and I’ve had classes up there, I know the layout) but one never knows.

brenda says:

December 16, 2009, 4:01 pm

is that true

Tiffany says:

March 1, 2010, 9:22 pm

I live about an hour away from UNA. I had hopes to attend this fall. I’ve visited once, but now hearing these stories, I want to go again and listen harder. PS, Don’t make fun of people from Alamabama. Not all of us are ‘hicks’… Thank you.

bamagyrl222 says:

April 8, 2010, 8:30 pm

Hey, we in Alabama can turn ANYTHING into a sports page. ROLL TIDE. As for the sightings, I am on campus nearly every day and have yet to see (or hear) anything. :-\ But I will be the first to say that a lot of the buildings are creepy as all get out. It’s easy to see how the stories originate. VERY easy.

ashley says:

April 17, 2010, 11:17 pm

I agree with bamagyrl222 all the way.Roll Tide!!!!!!!

winston says:

June 2, 2010, 1:57 pm


Becca says:

February 24, 2011, 7:17 pm

sigh…ok, first, Roll Tide. Second, can any some people please give a yay or nay about UA being haunted. I’m 19 and am wanting to go around the United States at haunted places. Starting with the south, hence I live in mobile. So, no twiddling thumbs here….is it haunted or not? And if so, what happens. Thanks for your help….and aubrun fans….yeah, Roll Tide.

KageOokami says:

June 4, 2011, 1:51 pm

Wow this kinda gives me chills. Last month we went on a trip there, a lot of people in the group wanted to go here for college. Hmm weird there was a student who was showing us around she didn’t tell us anything about hauntings…

karen says:

September 21, 2011, 3:44 am

Lived in Tuscaloosa for 15 years…never heard of any of this stuff.

smiff says:

December 31, 2011, 1:34 pm

i’m sorry…but this is….not realSPORTS.

anyone have stories about old bryce?
it’s the creepiest place i’ve ever seen..

Winston says:

July 10, 2013, 6:13 pm

whats with all the dumbass bama fans posting yall know auburn owns yalls *** on the gridiron and in recruiting yall think winning national championship by luck makes you great, yall are horrible basically the university of Alabama is a playtoy and we (auburn) are having our way with you WDE *******.

P.S. Alabama will have atleast three losses this year to A&M , Auburn and LSU and Auburn will win the national championship in 2014

jack bartley says:

November 14, 2013, 3:08 pm

interesting I lived in Alabama from January 1st 1960 until I moved to Colorado on April 5th 1993 and I never once heard this story , me and my family lived right outside of Tuscaloosa very strange I never heard this story

kyle Mason says:

November 14, 2013, 3:11 pm

my dad attended the university in the 80s he remembers this story well, but according to him most of the facts are greatly exagerated

Winston says:

November 14, 2013, 3:14 pm

why no mention of the old schoolhouse in Titus, that burned down it was supposedly haunted

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