By Anna Rohr, Lydia Mayer, and Alexis Lunsford
As Halloween is approaching, you may have noticed that Oxford is decorated with spooky Halloween decor, but did you know that Oxford is known to have that spooky feeling all year round?
Oxford is full of historical landmarks that have survived the test of time. Ghost stories abound concerning these many historic homes and buildings, such as the Lyceum on the Ole Miss campus, which was once a Confederate hospital. It is said that if you listen carefully to the whisper of the wind, you may be able to hear the call of old souls still lingering on.
Before the famous Rowan Oak house was owned by the famous author William Faulkner, the Greek Revival home and property was owned by the Sheegog family. The Sheegogs owned the property until Faulkner purchased it in 1930.
One of William Faulkner’s favorite ghost stories was the story of Judith Sheegog, the only daughter of Colonel Sheegog, the patriarch of the family.
Legend states that after realizing her love for a Union soldier was unrequited, Judith flung herself from her balcony at Rowan Oak to her death. Her father found her body the next morning and buried her in a shallow grave under one of the magnolia trees in front of the home.
Some people believe that Judith Sheegog was not real, and just a character for Faulkner to use to entertain his guests. However, some have stated through the years that they have heard her crying in the night.
Even if the Sheegog story is just a fun thrill, Rowan Oak is thought by many to be haunted by William Faulkner himself. It has been said that he can be seen writing on the walls of his office and roaming the grounds of Rowan Oak.
Although the house is available for tours during the day, visiting the grounds after dark is strictly prohibited. People have reported seeing Faulkner walking the grounds, scaring off students who dare to sneak on the property at night.
Farley Hall, home of the School of Journalism and New Media, has also been thought to be haunted. The building that stood before Farley Hall, known as the “Dead House,” was used as a morgue during the civil war.
It is believed that the bodies that were held in the morgue were moved to the Civil War Cemetery, which supposedly contains 430 grave shafts.
Students have supposedly heard strange, loud noises throughout the top floor of Farley Hall. Some students even go as far as refusing to go to the top floor alone.
“While walking up to the fourth floor, it doesn’t even feel like you are in Farley anymore. Although it only leads to some supply closets, there is something very creepy and eerie about it, said Mary Chapman Johnson, a junior IMC student.
In the past few years, sorority women who live on Sorority Row, which is across the street from Farley Hall, have reported “a man” climbing the brick walls at the late hour of the night. Whenever the University Police showed up, no one or nothing was found.
If you leave campus after a long night of studying, keep your eyes peeled for some old Oxford natives.
On-campus, behind the Tad Pad, lies Confederate soldiers who died after the battle of Shiloh in 1862. As Ole Miss buildings became hospitals for the battle wounded, the casualties were thus buried here. Some believe that the ghosts of the soldiers come back on Halloween to return to haunt The Circle where it all started.
With the history of charming Oxford, Mississippi comes historic tales. As you are getting in the spirit of Halloween, go back to our city roots for a little spook! We hope you have a safe Halloween, and hotty toddy!