University of Illinois

Download this issue!The University of Illinois – Champaign-Urbana, IL
By Michael Kleen

Read about this location and more in Legends and Lore of Illinois: The Definitive Collection

Read about this location and more in Legends and Lore of Illinois: The Definitive Collection

The University of Illinois was established as an industrial university in 1867 and first opened on March 2, 1868.  It became the University of Illinois in 1885 and was renamed the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1982.  As one of the oldest public universities in the state of Illinois, the campus hosts a number of folktales and oddities.  John Milton Gregory, the first president of the university, is buried on campus.  His grave rests between Altgeld Hall and the Henry Administration Building, marked by an unsculpted stone and a plaque that reads, “if you seek his monument, look about you.”

The University is home to a number of ghost stories as well.  To my knowledge, Troy Taylor is the first person to have written about these ghosts in a monograph.  His accounts can be found in several editions of Haunted Illinois (2001, 2004) and were reprinted briefly in Field Guide to Illinois Hauntings (2001) by Jim Graczyk and Donna Boonstra.  Cynthia Thuma and Catherine Lower filled in some of the blanks in their book Creepy Colleges and Haunted Universities (2003).

Taylor claims that principal haunted localities on campus include the English Building, the Psychology Building, and the YMCA.  If the other, scattered sightings are true, that would make the U of I one of the most haunted universities on the planet.

What happens next? Click here to download the entire issue (.pdf) and find out!


Legends and Lore of Illinois Vol. 2 Digital Edition

Order all 12 issues of the Legends and Lore of Illinois from 2008 in a special digital edition for your favorite e-readers. Places covered in Vol. 2: Archer Cemetery, Sunset Haven, Peoria State Hospital (Bartonville Asylum), Airtight Bridge, University of Illinois, Calvary Cemetery and ‘Seaweed Charlie,’ Lakey’s Creek, Peck Cemetery, Blood’s Point Road, Old Union Cemetery, Hartford Castle, and more! Plus, read letters from our readers, book reviews, ghostly games, and put your knowledge of these locations to the test with challenging trivia questions. Don’t miss these classic issues from the archives of the Legends and Lore of Illinois.

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  1. larry jennings says:

    Im researching a football player that played with Red Grange.His name was Ray P. Gallivan .Where can i get any info on this player. He is a famous coach at our school and our stadium is names after him . I am writing a article about his football career,any help would be greatly appreciared.



  2. larry jennings says:

    please contact me at


  3. Lord of Numa says:

    I’ve lived in Champaign-Urbana all of my life. We have a few moderately-enticing local ghost stories (such as the Blue Man legend), but I’ve never heard of any hauntings on campus. As much as I’d love to prove my skepticism wrong and stumble upon a legit haunting, I can say with near certainty that the UofI campus is devoid of any supernatural/paranormal phenomena.



  1. […] Folklore of the University of Illinois […]


  2. […] State AsylumAirtight BridgeUniversity of IllinoisCalvary CemeteryLakey’s CreekPeck CemeteryBlood’s Point RoadOld […]


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