Bowling Green, Ohio

As we have noted many times before in our continuing journey to the haunted places of America, a college campus can be a great place to find a ghost. Or they always the product of a student's overactive imagination... or are they something more?

The Bowling Green State University campus is home to more than one ghost, but it is the most famous one who haunts two of the college's theaters. These theaters, named after actors Joe E. Brown and Eva Marie Saint, are said to be haunted by the ghost of an actress named Alice. No one is sure just how the story of Alice got started, but it generally accepted that the spirit is genuine.

In one story, Alice was an actress who was killed by a falling object during a show and in another she was killed in a car crash, but regardless, the stories say that she must be invited to all of the performances that take place at the theater. Tradition holds that the stage manager must stand alone on the darkened stage and formally invite after the last dress rehearsal for the show.

If she is not invited, bad things can happen in the theater, especially during the shows. It has been said that sets fall apart, things fall over, lights go out, and sometimes much worse, if the tradition isn't followed.

For those who are skeptical that such things can happen by accident... Alice has even been seen in the theater on more than one occasion. She has been seen wearing clothing that appears to date from the 1920's and she is very pale and has long hair. She has been reportedly seen very recently and according to a recent update by author Chris Woodyard, Alice wreaked havoc at a production of Henry IV by knocking down props, injuring two actors and causing the box office computers to go off-line on opening night. A staff member believes that someone may have talked badly of Alice during rehearsals for the show.

If theater ghosts are most common on a college campus, they are closely challenged in popularity by ghosts of the local sorority houses. At Bowling Green State University, the famous sorority ghost is Amanda of the Chi Omega House. According to legend, Amanda rushed Chi Omega many years ago and was killed by a train on the very night she was to be made a sister. She was so desperate to join the sorority that she has returned to haunt the house. One of the rooms in the house is called "Amanda's Room" and it is here that she most often makes her presence known. Items fall from the walls, doors lock and unlock, lights turn on and off in the room. Things also disappear from the house and tend to reappear again in a small utility closet that apparently Amanda claims for her own. This closet, dubbed "Amanda's Closet", has a door that tends to lock by itself.

Every year, the sorority has a composite photo taken with portraits of all of the girls in the house. A blank spot is always left open and labeled "Amanda". In the 1986-87 composite, Amanda was accidentally left out of the portrait and that particular photo routinely falls off the wall!

Bowling Green University is located just north of Bowling Green, Ohio, which lies about twenty miles south of Toledo on Highway 25.

Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor

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