Home>Editorial>Mysteries>The Mysterious Lady in Red and Other Hauntings at Huntingdon College

The Mysterious Lady in Red and Other Hauntings at Huntingdon College

By Brent Swancer

WHAT is now known as Huntingdon College, in Montgomery, Alabama, began life in 1854 as an all-female college called Tuskegee Female College. After World War I, it began accepting male students, changing names several times before becoming the private Methodist liberal arts college Huntingdon College in 1935. The campus now boasts more than 50 undergraduate programs of study, 18 NCAA-III intercollegiate athletic teams, and sits on the National Register of Historic Places, well known for its Gothic Revival and Tudor Revival architecture. However, for such a large and bustling campus it also sure does have its share of spooky ghost stories and hauntings.

By far the most well-known ghosts on the campus are its two tales of the “Ladies in Red.” The original Lady in Red tale began back in the 1800s, when the college was located in Tuskegee, where students fearfully told of an apparition that appeared as a young woman wearing a scarlet dress, usually also reported as carrying around a red parasol, and who would wander about the residence hall emanating an eerie red glow. The Lady in Red would allegedly never speak, indeed she seemed to be completely oblivious to onlookers, and seemed to be very lifelike in appearance, sometimes mistaken for a real person before vanishing into thin air. No one was ever able to figure out who she was supposed to be, and then one day the Lady in Red supposedly walked out of the hall, went to the front gate, and passed through it to never be seen again.

Huntingdon College

A more fleshed out and more famous tale is that of the second Lady in Red, which starts with a student at the college in the early 1900s known only as Martha. She was allegedly from a wealthy New York family, and had been sent there against her wishes because her mother had once been a student. She apparently made quite an impression from the beginning, always wearing red and adorning he room with red curtains and red bedsheets and blankets, never really explaining why she did this to anyone. This made her seem a bit odd to others, and this only added to her shyness and awkwardness in her new surroundings, making it very difficult for her to fit in and make friends. A lot of classmates saw her as being a stuck up rich kid, with several of her dorm roommates at what was called Pratt Hall requesting to be put in another room. People just couldn’t stand to live with her. Even the President of the dormitory moved in with her, as she was an authority figure and had a reputation for getting along with people, but even then the living arrangement didn’t work out.

According to the story, Martha became withdrawn and morose, which only further alienated her. She began displaying some very strange behavior, such as wandering about the halls after lights out and even visiting other dormitories, where she simply sort of ambled about as if in a trance, staring lifelessly at others and lost to her thoughts, always wearing her red robe. Everyone thought it was creepy, with rumors that she had lost her mind, but no one dared approach her to talk to her about it as by this time everyone was a little scared of her and avoided her. Then one day these mysterious nigh time wanderings stopped, and indeed Martha stopped showing up to classes as well. After several days of this, one of her ex-roommates decided to check up on her, but to her shock found Martha sprawled out on the floor of her room dead, her wrists slashed in a suicide. After that people began seeing Martha’s ghost wandering the halls at night, dressed all in red as she had been in life and bathed in a red glow. The Red Lady Martha is said to spend most of her time on the 4th floor, and like the other Lady in Red appears to be very solid until she vanishes or walks through a wall. Pratt Hall is no longer a dormitory, having been converted to faculty offices, a commuter lounge, and the University’s Department of Education, but the Red Lady still appears here to this day. The legend is so popular on campus that there is even an annual “Red Lady Run” held at Huntingdon College, in which sororities paint themselves in red and run around the campus.

Lady redAlthough the Lady in Red is by far the most famous of the college’s spooks, she is not the only one, kept company by several other alleged spirits. One is a ghost that hangs around at the library and it called “Frank.” No one is quite sure who he was in life, but in death he has made quite the name for himself around campus. Frank is said to be mischievous, filing books away in different places, stacking them in the middle or rows, or laying them out open on tables when no one is looking. He will also turn out lights, whisper in people’s ears as they try to study, or open and close doors. He doesn’t often appear, but when his apparition is seen he takes the form of an older, educated-looking gentleman. Other miscellaneous ghosts on the campus are a young man who committed suicide here by shooting himself and who haunts the green, a little boy who allegedly drowned in the campus pond and lurks about its shore, and a murdered co-ed. Why should this place have so much spiritual energy? Are these spirits drawn to this place for some reason, something compelling them to linger on? Or is it just spooky urban legends? Many locals of the area will tell you that the phenomena are real, and whether they are or not, it is all certainly a good collection of eerie local lore.

MU mysterious universe

Bizarre Night: Creepy Little Girl, Unknown Mad Man & Covid-19

A women describes a bizarre encounter with a young girl who came to her apartment in order to use the phone. Later a man shows up and claims the girl is standing beside him. Very strange!

The following account was recently referred to me:

“I (27f) was home alone on a Thursday night. February 4, 2021, to be exact. I live with my boyfriend (28m) but he was at work until late that night. He is a bartender so he doesn’t get home until 4:00 in the morning. It was around 10 PM at night, I had already eaten dinner and was watching a movie in the spare room of our apartment, when I heard a knock at the door. I have a friend who comes over unannounced fairly regularly and even has his own house key, but the door was double locked so I got up without thinking and unlocked and opened the door. I was confused when, instead of my friend, there was a girl standing there. She was maybe 8/9 years old and wearing house shoes.

“Uh, hi?” I said, and she mumbled something in return that I couldn’t quite hear.

“What was that??” I asked

“My mom, I need to call my mom.”

“Your mom isn’t here?”

“Uh, my dad. I need to call my dad. Can I use the phone?”

I was a little dazed and confused, but the strangest part was my heart was absolutely racing. I was absolutely terrified and I’m not sure why. I hesitated and almost told her no, but I also knew if she really did need help and I turned her away, she would likely go across the hall instead, and my neighbors don’t seem the most “kid friendly” so I said sure. I told her she could step just inside while I find my phone because it was freezing and she was dressed for summer. When I found my phone I handed it to her and she dialed a number and then started speaking in another language for a minute. I’m not sure which, maybe Spanish, but I didn’t recognize any of the words. She spoke for maybe 30 seconds and then hung up and was just standing there. “Uh, was that him?” I asked. She just looked at me confused.

“Who?”

“… Your dad?”

“Oh! Right!”

At this point she was seriously freaking me out, to the point where I just wanted to avoid looking her in the face, so I walked over to my cat who was half hiding behind a chair and just tried to distract myself and pet her. The girl dialed a different number, spoke in the same foreign language for maybe 15 seconds, then hung up. After that, she basically shoved the phone back in my hand, shouted “Thanks” and literally ran out the front door. I was left just standing there, confused as all hell and uneasy in the pit of my stomach. I walked the 6ish feet to my door to lock both deadbolts and as I turned away from the door there was another knock. I looked through the peep hole and it was a man, maybe late 40’s, in one of the work outfits for the building maintenance team of my apartment. Oddly, I didn’t recognize him, even though I’ve lived in this complex for over 3 years and had thought I had met all of the maintenance men. I talk to them regularly because their office and storage shed is right at my front stairs where I park my van. I also found it kind of strange that anyone from the team was still here so late at night, when they usually get off almost 5 hours earlier.

Like an idiot, I open the door again.

“Hello?”

“Hi, was there a little girl here a moment ago?”

“Uh, yeah, she asked to use my phone, and then just ran off.”

“She is here.” At that I was confused. “Where is she?” I asked, and he looked at me like I was crazy and just pointed at the ground next to him. “She is standing right here.” He said sternly. He was very clearly the only human in the hallway, a long straight hallway with no corners to hide around. At that point my panic was through the roof. “Uh, oh, yeah, right..” I said. He just shook his head and said “She should not have done that. She will not be doing that again.”

I meekly said “It wasn’t a big deal…” And he cut me off and raised his voice slightly and just repeated. “She. Should not. Have done that. Understand?”

Makati City Pabakuna

At this point I’m pretty sure this dude is about to murder me over an invisible girl standing next to him so I just say “Yes, understood, of course.” And he replied “We apologize for this. Enjoy your night.” and he walked away.

I called my boyfriend right away and told him the whole story. He agreed that it was weird but was super busy so couldn’t talk long. I reassured the whole apartment was locked up and opened a beer to calm my nerves.

Time passed until my boyfriend got home and we hung out for about an hour then went to sleep. The entire night neither of us really slept a wink, we were both absolutely burning up and shivering and breaking out in cold sweats and having night terrors. By 8:00 in the morning we were both dizzy and coughing and had fevers, and later that day my boyfriend tested positive for Covid-19. His lasted 2 rough weeks, mine however just cleared up a week ago, after having turned into one of the worst & longest running sicknesses I’ve ever had. I’m still getting over it and getting my breath back. I haven’t seen the child or that maintenance worker since that night.

That’s the last time I ever let some “kid” into my house.” DG

phantoms & monsters

Real Creepy Tales From Readers

OVER the course of time, I receive a lot of stories that can be classified more so as ‘creepy’ as opposed to ‘paranormal.’ Here are a few of the more interesting incidents.

“This story was unveiled to me by my uncle, when he was drunk. Whenever I ask him to repeat it he tells me to stop asking, says that he doesn’t want to talk about it and thanks me for stopping him from sleeping that night. Needless to say, we don’t bring it up very often.

My uncle lived in an old English cottage, wooden beams, wonky ceilings, strange stairs and creaking floorboards, the works.

He suffered from constant nightmares as a child, and they all seemed to be part of the same story. There would always be a boy that walked down his street in tattered clothes, went to the window and knocked on it. My uncle would look, causing the boy to scream. That was the point where my uncle would wake up.

Wherever he was the dream seemed to adapt, sleeping in a car, car window, camping, outside the tent. It all seemed a bit too coincidental that this same boy would keep appearing in all his dreams. This carried on until he was 14, he was in the car with his mother, sleeping, when the car crashed. He says he heard the same scream, the window smash and then he woke up.

They had ran into a boy, the same boy from the dreams, who proceeded to crash through the windscreen and land on his lap. His cold dying eyes fixed on my uncle as if he had seen him before, like he was death itself. That stare haunts my uncle, and had to go through months of therapy to get over it.” RD

—–

“In 2007 I was living with my parents in Anchorage, Alaska while I attended college. They lived in a nice, three-level house in an upscale part of the city. My room was in the downstairs, the middle floor was the kitchen and living areas, and my parents’ room was on the top level. The kitchen was directly above my room and, since it had a tile floor, I could always very clearly hear it when someone was in the kitchen.

One morning in early March, I was up late finishing some math homework. My parents had been in bed for hours, although both are known for having occasional insomnia. I heard a door upstairs slam shut and heavy footsteps in the kitchen, it sounded like they had shoes on as well. I immediately assumed it was my dad having trouble sleeping and I thought I should go up and keep him company. As I left my room, I got a funny feeling about it and instead locked myself in the bathroom with my cell phone. I called our landline. My father answered, and sounding annoyed said “What are you doing stomping around the kitchen?” They came downstairs to get me and together we searched the entire house. We found absolutely no evidence of any intruder. All doors and windows were shut and locked, nothing broken, etc. Additionally, there was snow on the ground outside, but we found no footprints around the house and no mud or water in the kitchen where the intruder had been walking.

The thing that made it most creepy to me was the disturbingly strong “this isn’t right” feeling I had as I left my room. It was at least once every few weeks that one of my parents would be up in the night from insomnia and I, being a night owl, would always go up and join them, so hearing someone walking around the kitchen was completely normal. I sometimes wonder what would have happened or what I would have seen if I had ignored that feeling or hadn’t felt it at all.” TW

—–

“My mom told me a story about her cousin Bobby. Bobby and his girlfriend got in a severe car accident. His girlfriend died, but he lived. After the accident he had a reoccurring dream that he and his girlfriend were on opposite sides of a river. She would always scream and try to get him to swim across the river to her, but he refused.

One night, he woke up and said goodbye to everyone in his family and that he’d never see them again. Everyone was very confused, and he explained that he had dreamed that he had crossed the river. He died the next day in a car crash. And no, the car crash was not his fault.” LR

—–

“I was reading a reference to Skinwalkers. They’re these native American medicine men (mostly in Navajo and southwestern tribes) who are pure evil. They shapeshift and stuff, look them up, they’re creepy bastards. I’m half Lakota-Sioux Indian so I’ve heard of them mentioned by friends and relatives before. They kill people after driving them crazy from fear. Anyways they prey on Indians and other ethnicities if you talk about them.

Well I started reading stories about them and telling friends about the stories and how creepy they are. People say if you talk about them they stalk you and kill you. I didn’t actually believe in them, so I figured I was fine. I keep this up for a week.

Then one night as I’m laying in bed I hear a tapping on my window and it doesn’t sound muffled like a fingertip, but like a sharp rap from a hard pointy tip of a claw or knife. I calm myself and try to sleep thinking I’m just going crazy and spooked myself. But then it gets louder and clearer with more force, accompanied by a whispering sound. At this point I know I’m not imagining it, so I pray for it to go away but it won’t. So I grab my shotgun and open the blinds and nothing is there. By now I’m nearly sh*tting myself from fear, but I lay back down with my gun. It doesn’t happen anymore, and I doze off.

Then, as soon as I go into a deep sleep, I hear this piercing sound next to my ear, as loud as a megaphone. It sounded like an eagle scream mixed with a bear roar, and it’s so loud I lose hearing for a few moments. Outside my window is just ferocious banging, as my window began to rattle. So I start pleading for God to send whatever it is away over and over again and it just abruptly stops. Then about ten seconds later my 3-year-old brother just wakes up with a blood curdling scream and my parents rush in to check in on him. He said something was outside his window.

The next morning I go to investigate outside and everything is normal except my brother’s window screen had one large gash in it.

I tell my parents about the things that happened in the night, about how I’d been talking about Skinwalkers, and my mom got extremely pissed (she’s full-blood Native American) and curses at me. She eventually calls our local medicine man over to our house. He does a ritual and blesses the family. Since then we have been fine. But because of that I decided not to f*ck with that anymore.” UJ

Phantoms & MOnsters