Haunted University of Southern Maine

Having a family member in the Haunted University of Maine Theater Department of USM is a lot of fun. We get to see lots of wonderful plays, hear about the backstage plunders, and best of all...we get to hear about the many experiences that staff have with the restless spirits that haunt the University of Southern Maine Theater Department.

Exploring the Haunted University of Southern Maine

USM is a charming college campus located in Gorham, Maine, located just 15 minutes west of Portland, Maine. There are a number of alleged paranormal "hot spots" on this campus, located just 30 minutes East of where we live.

After watching a recent theater production at USM, my sister, who was in the play, told me about a number of ghost legends on campus. A few of the residential halls are known to have fascinating cases of hauntings, but one of the most intriguing locations on campus for ghostly activity is Russell Hall, the current USM Theater building.

Russell Hall, as shown here, is a wonderfully old brick building situated at the very heart of campus. The building has seen its share of the student population, and as rumor has it, possible deaths as well.

One particular story surrounding Russell Hall is based on the recent experience of one Theater student who decided to creep into the hall one night during after hours. Nervous already, because students aren't allowed into the Hall after the doors are closed, this particular student set to work on his tech project.

The Real Ghost Experience

As the student worked silently up in the loft with the tech equipment, at about 4 a.m., he suddenly heard the sound of someone climbing up the ladder to the catwalk near the loft. The student instantly felt panic fill his chest. As the knelt there, frozen, he could hear the slow and steady climb of shoes and hands on the ladder. Then, the heard the footsteps of someone walking across the catwalk. From his vantage point, he could see the lower part of the catwalk. Expecting to see the uniform pants of a USM security guard, he was shocked to see the plaid covered legs and white shirt of what appeared to be a student. The student slowly walked to the center of the catwalk, turned, jumped off and then promptly disappeared.

Obviously shocked, the student scrambled down from the loft and ran out of the building the way he had come in. He swore, to everyone he told the story to later, that he would never allow himself to be alone in the Theater ever again.

The Investigation

The first step in this investigation is to research the history of this building, and determine whether or not there are any records of a death or suicide inside this building since it was built. The next step will be to contact USM and obtain permission to spend a night in the Theater with equipment, including sound, video, and digital stills. If any local paranormal society is interested in assisting with this investigation, please contact me before the end of January!



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