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Gipper’ haunts Washington Hall

Amanda Gray | Friday, October 31, 2008

As Halloween approaches, tales about the ghosts which haunt Notre Dame’s and Saint Mary’s campuses seem to rise from the grave.

One of the biggest legends on campus is that the ghost of George “Gipper” Gipp haunts Washington Hall. However, Ron Grisoli, Washington Hall’s building manager, is skeptical.

“I don’t believe in ghosts and I don’t think that Washington Hall is haunted,” Grisoli said.

However, he does admit working in the building can sometimes spook him, and others.

“When the wind blows outside, the smoke hatches above the main stage make the most eerie noise – like someone making a sustained ‘v’ sound,” he said. “I can easily understand how someone might mistake the creeks, groans and other odd noises that a 127-year-old building can make.”

Professor of film and television Mark Pilkinton, who is currently writing a book about Washington Hall, doesn’t believe in the haunting either.

“No, of course not,” Pilkinton said, when asked about the Gipp haunting.

Although he admits that he does hear the stories.

“Those who want to believe, love to believe,” he said.

However, he can prove that it’s most likely not the ghost of the Gipper haunting Washington Hall.

The legends aren’t just carried on by residents of Notre Dame, either. Hauntedindiana.com, a Web site dedicated to the paranormal activities of the Hoosier state, lists several legends for the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s campuses. The Web site is open source, and the site’s creators take no credit for the validity of any story listed there. According to the Web site, the bell tower of LeMans Hall on Saint Mary’s campus is haunted by a girl who took her own life.