Ghosts of the Prairie


South Bend, Indiana

Washington Hall, in the middle of the Notre Dame campus is said to be haunted by the legendary college football player George Gipp, of "win one for the Gipper" fame. It has been said that this student housing building may have even been responsible for Gipp's untimely death. It was said that he often stayed out after the curfew set by a stern brother who was in charge of the boys in the hall. Gipp was said to have slept on the front steps of the building one night rather than face the brother's wrath at coming in late. He caught cold, which later turned into his fatal case of pneumonia.

The mysterious events in Washington Hall began shortly after Gipp's death in 1920. Students claimed to hear ghostly music playing in the building very late at night. Mysterious footsteps sounded in the halls at all hours, doors slammed when no one was around and one student claimed that he was pushed by invisible hands as he was walking down a stairway. Even the skeptical Catholic brothers were convinced that something strange was going on.

The stories of the ghostly activity quieted down for a time, until 1945, when students reported a succession of evenings when footsteps were heard up on the building's roof. The building changed in the early 1950's when it was converted to classrooms and a theater....but reports of strange activity did not. One claim said that a student watched light bulbs unscrew themselves from sockets before his eyes.

Washington Hall still rests on the Notre Dame campus although hall directors claim that they have yet to meet the ghost. They do admit hearing some strange sounds but despite the rumors.... they can't say for sure that George Gipp is still roaming the corridors of Washington Hall.

Notre Dame University is located in South Bend, Indiana in the north central part of the state.

Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.

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