During the day, Western Michigan University’s McCracken Hall is just another unassuming building next to Waldo Library. At night, however, legends swirl about strange noises and flickering lights, which perhaps point to a haunting in McCracken Hall.
McCracken Hall opened in 1949, making it the first building built on WMU’s west campus. Originally used as a chemistry facility, the building fell into disuse due to new facilities and asbestos concerns. McCracken now serves the purpose of holding a University printing press.
Rumors of haunting in the building have been whispered around WMU for many years, according to a Western Herald article published in 2011.
“I’m a believer,” 21-year-old WMU student Sophie Macaluso said. “I definitely think McCracken is haunted.”
Macaluso said she has heard conflicting stories about why the building is haunted. The one story she has heard repeated is one of a professor who jumped to her death from the top floor of
McCracken and now her ghost roams the halls of McCracken. There are no records to support this story.
“I don’t know which story is true,” Macaluso said. “Maybe they are all true.”
Other students have never heard specific stories about the building being haunted, but acknowledge there is something inherently unsettling about the building.
“It’s been closed for a while, so it’s just got that really creepy vibe,” 22-year-old recent WMU graduate Emily Smith said. “I’ve always been fascinated with McCracken, because it’s this big building in the middle of campus and I’ve been hearing about it ever since I started going to Western. I’ve always wanted to go in, but I’ve never been able to.”
While she has never personally been in the building, Smith said she has heard stories from friends and colleagues who have been inside McCracken who reported lights flickering on and off and hearing strange noises, which can’t be explained.
“It’s little things, but they happen when there isn’t a single other soul in the building,” Smith said.
However, not everyone is a believer in the myths surrounding McCracken Hall.
“I’ve only heard about the hauntings from friends, but I don’t think it’s true” Stephan Green, a 21-year-old WMU student said. “It’s a really old building, it’s not unreasonable to think electrical problems cause the lights to flicker on and off and that kind of thing.”
Whether or not McCracken is actually haunted, students agree that McCracken adds a rich layer of history to WMU.
“I don’t think [McCracken being haunted] would be the worst thing in the world,” Green said. “It would certainly make campus more interesting.”