With time, an institution will gather its fair share of urban legends.
Founded in 1884, the W is no exception. Several legends exist on the campus. Probably the most well-known of these is Mary, the ghost of Callaway.
The story goes that she was a nurse in Callaway Hall, which was being used as a military hospital during the Civil War. She fell in love with one of the soldiers as she nursed him back to health. When the soldier returned to the battlefield and died, Mary threw herself from the clock tower. She haunts Callaway to this day.
According to the book, “Haunted Halls of Ivy, Ghosts of Southern Colleges and Universities,” by Daniel W. Barefoot, a painter working on the outside of Callaway and Columbus Halls was so terrified by Mary that he was unable to complete his work.
“At the close of a day’s work, the man chained and locked the door of Columbus Hall. He then climbed into his truck and, looking out the window, observed the spectral figure of a young woman in a long dress opening the very door he had just secured. She disappeared into the building. In a state of disbelief, the painter hurried back to the door, which was chained and locked, just as he had left it.”
According to accounts, she mainly haunts the fourth floor. She is known for crying, and turning faucets on and off.
I don’t say that I don’t believe it,” said Jesse Teague, a sophomore psychology major from Chicago, Ill. “It’s definitely interesting.”
“I don’t believe in ghosts,” said Mallory Ritter, a junior culinary arts major from Olive Branch, Miss., and a resident of Callaway Hall.
Another campus legend is that if two lovers sit under the gingko trees at MUW and Mississippi State University at the same time, and a leaf falls on both of them, they will be together forever.
Yet another legend, and one of the oldest, is that if a female student walks through the Old Maid’s Gate on north campus, she will never marry, and be an old maid forever. However, she can remedy the curse by kissing the “Kissing Rock” near the gate.
Believe them or not, these legends are here to stay. They have stood the test of time, and continue to be passed down through the generations of students.