Indiana Daily Student

Ghost Walk shares campus legends

Dressed in masks, wigs and robes, guides led a different kind of campus tour Wednesday evening.

Taking off from a house on North Park Avenue, Ken Glynn, an alumnus of IU’s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, greeted guests by saying, “Come in young lords.”

Accented by the Ghostbusters theme song and a cauldron full of candy, students in the Folklore and Ethnomusicology Student Association put on a Ghost Walk Wednesday evening, sharing stories of levitating bed sheets and haunted dorm rooms.

The tour traveled through the west side of campus, stopping behind Collins LLC, outside the Indiana Memorial Union and beside the construction of a new fraternity.

The tour incorporated more than 15 campus legends and drew a crowd of more than 50 students, 
professors and kids.

“This is more of a qualitative project than a quantitative one,” senior Ian 
McCabe said.

McCabe was an actor for the event who played a construction worker in one of the legends shared on the walk.

“If we can just share a little bit of the culture of what people walk through everyday when they’re on campus,” McCabe said, “then these people will have a greater understanding of the world they live in.”

Having been organized by folklore and ethnomusicology department professors for more than 10 years, FESA picked up event planning when professors’ schedules became too busy to take on the task.

This year on the tour, FESA incorporated new elements, including new ghost stories, actors and a “cider stop” at the Herman B Wells statue.

The folklore department, which FESA President Jackson Garrison said can be a “rather large mystery” to non-Folklore majors at IU, sees the event as a way to reach out to the community and share a taste of legends around campus.

“Honestly it’s a way to feel involved with the 
department,” Glynn said.

Glynn has been involved in the Ghost Walk for the last three years.

“I love introducing people to the culture of IU,” Glynn said. “A lot of people aren’t aware of the ghost stories and there’s also that hidden joy that because of this there maybe that one student who walks with a little more trepidation 
because of it.”

Glynn shared one of these stories during the tour, the story of Richard Dorson, the founder of IU’s Folklore Institute, now known as the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.

He stopped the tour just outside 504 N. Fess Ave. where legend has it a student had seen the ghost of Richard Dorson after his death in 1981.

In addition to Dorson’s ghost, Glynn said multiple students reportedly saw a light post just outside the house at 504 N. Fess Ave. turn off and on each day at dawn and dusk.

Glynn said all who passed the light assumed it was on a timer.

However, after the light stopped turning on, two men from the electric plant determined that the light post hadn’t been connected. The light post has since been removed.

“Maybe they removed the lamp post simply out of discomfort, maybe out of necessity, but I personally feel there’s nothing to be afraid of,” Glynn told his tour. “If you ask me, it was just Richard Dorson trying to make sure the students are faculty were safe.”

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