Echoes of a crime–University of Memphis

John Willard Brister Hall
University of Memphis Campus
Memphis, Tennessee

Students, staff, and campus police have been perplexed by screams heard within the old Brister Library for years. Constructed in 1928 and named for one of the school’s early presidents, Brister Hall was, according to legend, the scene of the rape and killing of a student in a dark corner. University officials, however, contend that a student was raped in the building, but she was not killed.

Brister Library University of Memphis Tennessee
Brister Hall, 2014. Photo by Chris6320, courtesy of Wikipedia

Odd screams still persist. An article from the school’s newspaper, The Daily Helmsman, notes the experiences of one of the school’s deans while she was in the library on Halloween night, 1985. “I was doing research in the library. I heard this howling all over the library, and it sounded like an animal. Any other time I would assume it was wind, but it was Halloween — and in a spooky library.” The graduate student summoned a library staff member who also heard the piercing screams but was so unnerved that he didn’t investigate further.

Sources

  • Cunningham, Laura. Haunted Memphis. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2009.
  • Sisung, Ryan. “Ghosts haunting U of M.” The Daily Helmsman. 31 October 2003.
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