Spooky Museums and Haunted Halls

Jewelry made from hair on display

Hair jewelry on display photo by Elizabeth Hybertson

October in DSU is full of spooky activities around campus and throughout Madison. One of these events was held Friday, October 21st, and Saturday, the 22nd at the Lake County Museum located on campus. Madison residents and students walked through the museum, viewing odd, eerie exhibits. Following the walk through the museum, was a ghost tour of Beadle Hall. This beautiful building is the oldest on campus. With age comes the history that tiptoes on the edge of the paranormal, if you believe of course.

I met with Christina Blessinger and the museum director, Julie Breu, and learned about several exhibits they planned to showcase on the nights of the event. The exhibits included a display case with bracelets and necklaces created using human hair from the deceased. Their family would wear the jewelry to pay homage to their lost family members. The jewelry was accompanied by a booklet that had several locks of hair pasted to the pages. The locks were decorated with different ribbons. Christina Blessinger explained that this booklet was from a girl who collected her friend’s hair as mementos. She referred to the booklet as an “autograph book,” as it had signatures of the names of her friends under their hair.

In another display case sat an old photo album with polaroid photos of various car accidents in the Lake County area. Blessinger stated that they had acquired the album anonymously and had found pictures within it of animals who died in the accidents.

After looking through the museum, groups of students headed towards Beadle Hall to begin the ghost tour. First, was a video presented by Professor Thomas Jones that consisted of several ghost hunts he planned with students of DSU in the past. These videos showed strange, unexplainable events such as an orb floating. Orbs are signs of paranormal presence and compasses that detect a change in the electromagnetic field, which is said to be something that the paranormal can affect. After the video, we toured Beadle Hall, going up the building from the basement. The first floor is said to be the tamest in paranormal activity and the second and third have the most sightings.

We weren’t given much information on the exact events and happenings in each room. Instead, we were led through different rooms to see spooky setups like holograms with the face of General Beadle and a conversation with a “spirit,” named Myrtle, which turned out to be a student in the corner of Beadle room 334.

In the video Thomas Jones presented, many past professors had a statue of General Beadle from the bust up in their offices. One of these professors here is a legend that states if you have a statue of General Beadle in your office or room, the spirits will stay away.

I highly recommend visiting the Lake County Museum and checking out its exhibits if you want to learn the eerie history of Madison. Next time you are taking a walk through Beadle Hall, see if you feel different. Is there a certain area in the building that is colder than the others? Do you hear or see something unexplainably spooky? Who knows, it may be a spirit.