Among the most popular stories told about the history of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga are our vivid ghost stories.  Passed down through the years, some of these stories are sad tales of lives lost too soon, while some are mere speculative superstitions or campus sightings of spirits.  Whatever your belief, these stories are sure to capture your imagination.

Brock Hall, on the corner of Baldwin and Vine, sits on the site of an old jail and medical school with haunted histories. Photo courtesy of Special Collections & University Archives, UTC Library, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Brock Hall, on the corner of Baldwin and Vine, sits on the site of an old jail and medical school with haunted histories. Photo courtesy of Special Collections & University Archives, UTC Library, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Hooper Hall

According to former UTC administrator Sandy Cole, Hooper Hall is haunted. One snowy night in the late 1980s, Sandy and then-husband Bob Mills decided to camp out in the Admissions Office in order to avoid Chattanooga’s treacherous roads. Shortly after midnight, they heard a door slam and footsteps outside their door. Bob braved the halls to look for an intruder, but found no one and went back to bed. Later, around 3 or 4 in the morning, Cole and Mills heard a cuckoo clock in the dean’s office. The next morning, Sandy asked the dean’s secretary about the clock. The secretary said that the clock had never cuckooed before, and as far as we know, it’s hasn’t since.

Hooper Hall Physics Laboratory. Photo courtesy of Special Collections & University Archives, UTC Library, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Hooper Hall Physics Laboratory. Photo courtesy of Special Collections & University Archives, UTC Library, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

According to the January 18, 1924 issue of The University Echo, John Hocking, the University of Chattanooga superintendent of grounds and buildings, committed suicide in Hooper Hall. Hocking, purportedly mourning the deaths of his wife a child in a fire nearly twenty years prior, suffocated himself to death using a gas line in the Physics Laboratory.

Patten Chapel

According to some, a woman in white haunts Patten Chapel. She’s been spotted in daylight and at night, and we don’t know if she’s the same ghost responsible for the organ music that can sometimes be heard coming from the chapel in middle of the night.

Patten Chapel. Photo courtesy of Special Collections & University Archives, UTC Library, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Do you think this guy knows it’s haunted? Patten Chapel. Photo courtesy of Special Collections & University Archives, UTC Library, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

There have also been reports of footsteps and slamming doors, causing some to speculate that the ghost of John Hocking haunts Patten Chapel in addition to Hooper Hall.

Brock Hall

There have been reports of strange noises and voices echoing through Brock Hall for years. It’s little wonder, the building was erected on the site on old jail and execution yard.

Brock Hall. Photo courtesy of Special Collections & University Archives, UTC Library, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Executions? Cadavers? No wonder it’s haunted. Brock Hall. Photo courtesy of Special Collections & University Archives, UTC Library, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

In 1903, the University of Chattanooga’s Medical College, which later became the Math Building, was constructed to provide a space for young doctors to hone their skills…on cadavers.

Check out the UC Medical College anatomy lab. Photo courtesy of Special Collections & University Archives, UTC Library, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Check out the UC Medical College anatomy lab. Photo courtesy of Special Collections & University Archives, UTC Library, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Learn More

Be sure to stop by the UTC Library’s Open House on October 31, 2013 from 11 am to 2 pm on the first floor of Lupton Library to explore our services and take a look at some of the Spooky Reads in Special Collections & University Archives.

Sources

Combs, Craig. “Phantom Folklore Haunts Hallowed Halls of University.” The University Echo, October 22, 1992.

Kotarski, Georgiana C. Ghosts of the Southern Tennessee Valley. Winston-Salem, N.C.: John F. Blair, Publisher, 2006.

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