Reprinted from the November 1, 1991 Old Gold and Black
Back in 1991, I was an occasional staff writer for the Old Gold and Black, and my friend and editor Russ Singletary asked me to look into ghost stories at the college.
I didn’t find much, but what I found wound up in this article.
To celebrate Halloween this year, the Old Gold and Black staff tried to find a few ghost stories about Wofford. There are not a lot of them.
Dr. Lewis Jones, a 1938 Wofford graduate and professor of history, emeritus, said “If you want Wofford ghost stories, you’ll have to make them up yourself.”
Dr. Jones also said most of the ghosts and goblins around Wofford are running around in academic regalia.
Nonetheless, we found a few stories, and here they are.
Dr. Talmage Skinner, a 1956 graduate who is now college chaplain, remembers a story from his days as a senior here at Wofford.
A student went into DuPre Administration Building and started up the stairs. A man passed him on the stairs.
When the student reached the landing, he looked up at the portrait of Dean Mason DuPre and realized the man he had passed was Dean DuPre. He looked back down the stairs and discovered that the man had disappeared.
The student got out of the building with amazing speed. The story spread around campus almost as fast.
Michael Preston, a 1963 graduate who is now dean of students, lives in Carlisle House with his family. The house has been the home of the dean of students for quite a while.
During the Civil War, two Confederate soldiers died of smallpox in Carlisle House. A hospital used to be located across the railroad tracks from Wofford, and patients were sometimes brought to houses at Wofford for treatment.
One of Dean Preston’s children used to hear noises that made her think that someone was in the room with her. Both Dean Preston and his wife occasionally think they hear noises.
“I’ve thought there was something up there sometimes myself,” said Dean Preston. Could Carlisle House be haunted by the ghosts of two 15-to 17- year old Confederate soldiers?
Several people have reported strange sounds and sights around Old Main at night. Not long ago, one maintenance man, who has since died, heard Dr. James Carlisle’s footsteps and cane in the hall near the computer center [note – this is the hall near the Campus Ministry Center]. Several years back, another staff member reported seeing Dr. Carlisle walking down the hall near the computer center.
Dr. Skinner said that there was once a restroom near the back door of Old Main. Perhaps Dr. Carlisle was looking for that restroom to see if anyone else was haunting Old Main.
So, there are a few ghost stories and occasional strange events around Wofford. You may want to watch out whenever you work in Old Main late at night, or you may meet Dr. Carlisle or some other former faculty member.