HAUNTED MICHIGAN: The Hauntings of Olivet College
Olivet College was established in 1844 and, over the years, many stories about campus hauntings have arisen, dating back over 100 years.
The first odd occurrence happened right from the start, even before the college was founded. In 1844, while Reverend John J. Shipherd was visiting the Ingham County area, his horse would always lose its bearings and get lost. Every time the horse got lost, it would always find its way to a hill overlooking a swamp. Shipherd noted this repeated odd incident, believing some power was intentionally drawing him to that particular spot. He decided then and there the college would be on that site. And that’s where Olivet's campus stands to this day.
As the years went on, reports of paranormal sightings and objects coming out of the Society House walls were prevalent. One picture exists of a face peering out of one of the House’s walls. There have been numerous reports by students and faculty of objects mysteriously moving by themselves – not just in campus structures, but even in & around downtown.
In the college’s Margaret Upton Conservatory of Music, the sounds of something playing the piano comes from empty practice rooms. Those who know the tale claim it’s the ghost of Margaret Upton herself, enjoying the conservatory which bears her name.
In the basement of Dole Hall something seems to lurk in the shadows, always watching whoever goes down to the laundry room. This has been noted by some of the ones brave enough to do their laundry after the sun goes down. The legend says the dorm was built over an old graveyard. When the cemetery was being moved to make way for more campus buildings, some of the unmarked graves went unnoticed and some bodies still lie underneath the dorm. The discontent and rebellion of these lost souls are said to be the ones who haunt the cellar of Dole Hall.
In Shipherd Hall, security guards have reported eerie music coming from empty dorm rooms. Upon going into the rooms, they are completely devoid of people, with no appliances, radios, TV’s, phones, or computers running. But the music was definitely heard.
For the 175 years the college has been in existence, it’s no big surprise there are hauntings and unexplained occurrences. Ask someone who was a student there…they may have tales to tell.