Meet the Ghosts of WIU

For years, students and faculty in Western Illinois University’s Simpkins Hall have told stories about phantom children, but many other odd occurrences are attributed to “Harold,” a former janitor or graduate assistant who lurks among the classrooms on the third floor. After classes finish for the day, the disembodied sound of keys jingling, doors opening and closing, or a typewriter clicking, rattle the nerves of even the most seasoned educator. In addition to Simpkins Hall, several of the campus dorms—Bayliss just to name one—are also rumored to be haunted.

Bayliss Hall is haunted by the ghosts of two suicide victims. The first, a freshman girl, allegedly became pregnant and delivered the baby in her dorm room. In a panic, she threw the baby—along with any evidence of the delivery—down the garbage chute. She then hung herself in the closet. Some students claim that the cries of both the girl and the baby echo through the hall. In the second story, the roommate of a young woman suffering from severe depression left her alone over the weekend and she ended her life in the closet. Today, residents of that particular room report strange noises and electrical disturbances.

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When did these stories first start to spread throughout campus? When was Simpkins Hall built and what was its original purpose? Find these answers and more in the September issue of the Legends and Lore of Illinois. Plus, don’t miss the adventures of The Fallen as they explore the haunted campus of WIU – you won’t believe what happens to them when they conduct a seance in Bayliss Hall! It’s all in the latest issue.

Hey Leathernecks – don’t miss this contest!

Be the first to send us a picture of yourself with “Rocky” and win a free copy of “Haunting the Prairie: A Tourist’s Guide to the Weird and Wild Places of Illinois!” Send your pictures, along with your name, hometown, and major, to Photos must be received by October 6 to be eligible for this contest.



  1. Rachel B says:

    So I lived in Bayliss 501 last year, the haunted room where the girl hung herself. COOL


  2. Did anything strange happen in your experience?


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