SUU students learn more of the school’s haunted past during a ghost-themed tradition

On Oct. 8, just before midnight, hundreds of SUU students met at Old Main for See the Ghost of Virginia, an activity hosted by the SUU Alumni Association.

Old Main is one of the oldest buildings on Southern Utah University’s campus, founded in 1898. Several paranormal sightings have been reported in this area. Because of this, SUU has made it a tradition to visit the building late at night and look for apparitions in the windows.

This year, students were taken on a haunted tour around campus, guided by members of the Alumni Association bearing torch lamps. The tour started and ended at the Old Main building and made additional stops at the Library Quad, the Addams Theater and the Upper Quad. At each stop, the guides and other hosts shared stories of a variety of hauntings seen at SUU. The most famous is Virginia Loomis, a young woman who was supposedly murdered during Old Main’s construction, after whom the activity is honored.

Students were also provided refreshments of hot cocoa and apple cider, along with popcorn and candy.

At the end of the tour, all were invited to stand in front of Old Main and see if they could find the ghost of Virginia looming in the windows.

One of the hosts of the event was Kyle Bishop, the chair of SUU’s English department. Bishop has always had a fascination with the supernatural and on multiple occasions has given seminars on creatures such as vampires and zombies. He, like many others, has had experiences with the ghosts of SUU.

When he was a young boy living in Cedar City, Bishop was playing with his friends on campus when he said he heard “creepy organ music” coming from Old Main. As it became louder, he and his friends became unsettled and started to hurriedly walk off of campus. When Bishop looked back at the building, he saw, in the southeast window on the third floor, a strange sight: an empty white flower pot on the windowsill with a crack. The pot morphed itself into a cloaked figure standing at the window. When Bishop turned back around to tell his friends, they were long gone, running up the street.

Bishop told the students that even though he’s a storyteller of the paranormal, this particular story is not some make-believe tale. “I believe that I saw a ghost,” he said.

Even though the thought of ghosts and supernatural sightings are unnerving to some, for many people, especially at SUU, it is how they have been able to find connection, not only with people in the past but with those in the present who have shared similar encounters. Bishop stated, “It’s a shared living experience.”

To learn more about Virginia Loomis and the history of paranormal activity at SUU, click here.

Article by: Andrea Rodgers
Photos courtesy by Andrea Rodgers and Southern Utah University