The Ghost of Callaway

Allison Perkins


One of my favorite things about MUW is the fact that traditions are abound. Whether it’s a social club’s pastime or the Magnolia Chain ceremony, most everyone participates in some kind of long-standing custom on campus. Not only do these traditions include areas of participation, but they also incorporate legends that have been passed down since the W opened.

One such tale is the story of the Callaway ghost. Mary is known not only by students, but also by members of the community. As the legend goes, Mary was a nurse during the Civil War who fell in love with one of the wounded soldiers being housed in Callaway at the time. It goes on to say that she successfully nursed him back to health, and he left for battle once again and never came back. She was so distraught by this that she jumped from the clock tower at the top of Callaway Hall, plunging to her death. It’s said that she still haunts Callaway Hall to this day, pestering students with her antics of turning faucets on and off, riding the elevator up and down, and even showing up on the edge of beds weeping during the middle of the night.

However, a few of the facts get changed, depending on who is telling the story. In some accounts, Mary hung herself instead of jumping off of the roof. In others, the man who returned to battle died instead of never coming back. It’s also told that the bell on the clock tower rang fourteen times when she died.

One fact that doesn’t ever change is that she’s there. She favors the tower rooms and likes to share her presence with other students.

Some are skeptical about Mary, but making your way to the clock tower or looking into the top windows of Callaway may just change your mind. Legends have to start with some sort of truth, right?