By Rashad Squalls
Haskell Indian Nations University has become known for its unexplained accounts of supernatural occurrences. Over the years there has been sightings of spirits, moving objects, and unseen voices all around campus. Many of Haskell’s staff and students can recall personal experiences of bone chilling events.
Elyse Towey, Coordinator of the Office of Student at Haskell, is one of many who can account for strange manifestations. Towey attended Haskell as a student in 1995 and was a resident at Blalock Hall. She shared a dormitory room with another student during her year of graduation.
Late one night while they both slept something startled Towey to awaken. “As I was waking up I looked towards the bathroom where I felt a presence and caught a glimpse of a black silhouette figure that resembled a man. I watched him walk threw our room towards the bathroom and disappear,” states Towey. Towey is now employed by Haskell and has an office on the second floor of Osceola and Keokuk Hall. Towey says that O.K. Hall is most active whenever students leave for break.
One summer she recalls being the only one on the second floor. “I keep my window blinds open so I can see who comes and goes while I am in my office” says Towey. “There were times where I’ve heard footsteps down the hall along with doors opening and closing, I’d stick my head out the door and say hello but get no response” Towey mentions. She even states that she has gone out of her way to see who’s there but comes back empty handed and puzzled. Towey concludes “There has been a lot of trauma and sadness throughout our university’s history prior to Haskell’s current forward movement towards student success.”
Curtis Hall is no stranger when it comes to the paranormal. Staff worker of food services Pat Thompson has witnessed firsthand some episodes of abnormal activity. “Never show fear, once you allow spiritual entities to scare you they will continue to haunt you”, Thompson states.
When Haskell University had a football team Thompson would stay after hours alone in the conference cafeteria room working on school banners for the sports team. Some of those nights he would hear voices coming from the main cafeteria or the doors opening and slamming shut. After checking to see who was there he discovered he was alone after all.
Geri Iron-Whiteman is also a food services staff member who works for Haskell’s bakery department. “Curtis Hall’s paranormal activity is most active at the end or the start of every semester including holidays,” says Iron-Whiteman. “Before Curtis Hall was built in the early 1900’s there was only a path in its place. Many people have traveled along that path before Curtis Hall was built over it, and in a way It resembles a spiritualcrossroad.” says Iron-Whiteman. One morning she arrived to Curtis Hall to start her early six o’clock shift. She was normally the only one present this early, but as Geri turns on the main cafeteria lights she hears a woman’s voice pleasantly greet her saying “Hello, Good morning”. Iron-Whiteman thinks that it was the janitor and responds back with her own good morning greeting. After no further response shegoes on a hunt to find out who had greeted her. After searching Curtis Hall she discovers that she was the only one in the building.
Staff and students have learned to accept the unseen forces that inhabit Haskell’s campus. Many believe that Haskell University is protected and watched over by ancestral beings. Haskell Indian Nations University will always remain a historical landmark full of vast hallways and serene fields.