Something in the halls of science—Ruston, Louisiana

Old Biomedical Research (CREST) Building
Louisiana Tech University

711 South Vienna Street

If a building can resemble a person, then the CREST Building’s white brick and severe lines resemble the old fashioned, white-clad nurses of days gone by: stiff, strict, and starched. Author Jeanne Frois ascribes a more sinister appearance to the building’s windows as looking “like hollow eye sockets holding an empty presence within.”

Perhaps these nurses are still patrolling the halls of this former hospital. The building opened in 1928 as the Ruston-Lincoln Sanitarium. At that time, the morgue was located on the first floor with the hospital’s surgical suite located on the fourth floor. In 1963, the facility was transformed into a nursing home and served that purpose until the 1970s, when it was turned over for use by Louisiana Tech.

While the academic faculty and students are working to improve the lives of the disabled, it seems that the old nursing staff may continue to check up on them as well. In a 2007 article from the university’s newspaper The Tech Talk, one staff member reported that she believes the spirit may be the nursing home’s former director of nurses. According to the article, this woman had an apartment on the fourth floor so that she could respond quickly if there was a problem. This particular staff member worked under this nursing director whom she describes as “never mean,” though she was “strict and firm; she was a stickler for every detail.” She told the newspaper that, “She had a good heart, though, the patients all loved her, and the doctors loved her because she kept the patients happy.”

Perhaps this devoted nursing director has maintained her devotion in the afterlife, though none of the reports of paranormal activity point to a specific spirit haunting the building. The activity is varied and most commonly includes the sound of doors opening and closing. One staff member working in the building after hours heard the sounds of doors opening and closing all up and the down the hall on the fourth floor. Annoyed and curious, he checked all the doors on the hall to find them all closed and securely locked.

Electronic equipment also sometimes has odd issues. One student watched as a printing calculator began to print random numbers. Another person put fresh batteries in a number of toys in preparation for young patients only to find the batteries drained the next day.

There are also issues with the elevator which regularly makes the journey from the first floor to the fourth floor without being called. In his recently published book, The Ghost Will See You Now: Haunted Hospitals of the South, Randy Russell states that the ghost will often open the doors to anyone carrying doughnuts. It’s an absurd notion, but in the world of the paranormal, anything can happen.

UPDATE: It seems that Louisiana Tech has moved it’s Center for Biomedical Research to a new building on its campus. The old hospital building it once occupied is currently for sale.

Sources

  • Frois, Jeanne. Around Louisiana: Northern Louisiana.” Louisiana Life. September-October 2009.
  • History: Building.” Louisiana Tech University. Accessed 10 November 2014.
  • Jones, Davey. “Frightening encounters flourish in old Biomedical Engineering Building. The Tech Talk. 25 October 2007.
  • Russell, Randy. The Ghost Will See You Now: Haunted Hospitals of the South. Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair, 2014.
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One Reply to “Something in the halls of science—Ruston, Louisiana”

  1. Hi, we are the current owners of this building and looking for any and all history and information regarding this building, specifically anyone of significance who was born or died here. Contact Cary Lincecum at 3183813813 or carylincecum@yahoo

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