AMY STEL | FEATURES EDITOR
St. Norbert College is known for its Norbertine values and great food, but many may not be aware that the campus is also known for its ghosts.
Burke Hall was built in 1942 and was the first residence hall for students on campus. It has four floors with single, double and triple rooms. According to the St. Norbert Archives, it originally housed 150 male students and after World World II, it housed several hundred U.S. Army soldiers that took higher education courses. Students (including me) still live in this residence hall which houses both boys and girls. This hall is named after SNC’s second president, Dennis M. Burke.
One thing all students hear about Burke Hall is that it is haunted with a ghost named Wally. Apparently Wally is the remaining spirit of a young boy who fell down the elevator shaft around 40 years ago. The elevator is now sealed off, but Wally still plays tricks on the residents. He is known to wear a baseball cap and likes to throw baseballs around empty rooms. Students also have had funny tricks played on them by Wally, including having the water and lights turned on and off. Many students venture to Burke at some point in their college career to see if they will get to experience Wally and his tricks.
I currently live on the first floor of Burke, and Wally has decided to haunt the room below mine. For one whole week in October, my roommate and I were woken up or surprised with a loud banging noise echoing throughout our room. We assumed at first that it was just a broken pipe rattling in the walls, but when the noise became almost a steady beat, we decided to consult our resident assistant. When we woke up our RA at 5:30 a.m. one night, she was convinced it sounded like a person hammering or working on something in the basement below us. However, why would facilities work on something that early in the day? We also heard the noise at 9:45 p.m. and 8 a.m.. Finally, we decided that if the noise stopped happening after a few days that it probably was not a broken pipe and that Wally was just having some fun below us.
Other stories have been heard around campus about strange things happening in places like Sensenbrenner and the Pennings Activities Center. Girls living in Sensenbrenner have reported having doors open and close and chairs move in the basement. Sensenbrenner is another old building on campus, that definitely has many untold stories. The Pennings Activities Center, also known as the PAC, is known to have a ghost in the auditorium. The bookstore in Todd Wehr apparently has two Norbertine ghosts that died suddenly in their sleep when the building was still St. Boniface Church. These two ghosts have been seen late at night walking around.
As October comes to a close, students and staff should keep in mind that ghosts stay on campus year round. Keep an eye out for the friendly ghosts around campus!