By Kimmie Collins
Oct 31, 2019
Halloween is a spooky time of year. Along with pumpkins, candy, and costumes, All Hallows Eve often brings scary movies and haunted tales to the surface. People search high and low for evidence of ghostly spirits haunting their homes. Even Indiana State University gets into the festivities by sharing its own supernatural legends, and searching for Sycamore spirits is a perfect celebration of Halloween.
One of Indiana State’s most famous tales is the story of Charlotte Burford, the namesake of Burford Hall. Charlotte dedicated 44 years of her life to serving Indiana State, and most of this time was spent in the role of dean of female students. Charlotte was known as a very strict dean with little tolerance for mischief. Legend has it that she was unable and unwilling to reprise her former role of disciplining students. Still determined to put an end to student pranks and shenanigans, the eyes of her portrait hanging in Burford Hall are said to follow students as they file past.
Burford Hall isn’t the only building on campus where a former Sycamore keeps watch over current students. As the story goes, a theater student who was unable to finish her degree still roams Dreiser Hall. This spirit has been affectionately dubbed Karen by current generations of students, and Karen desperately misses her time in theatrical productions. Karen still spends her free time in the Dreiser Hall Theater. If you watch closely, you might witness Karen flickering the theater lights when she gets bored. Karen frequently hovers beside current Sycamores in the lighting booth, gently correcting their mistakes in rehearsals and performances.
Charlotte and Karen love Indiana State so much that they’ve never left their campus home. Be sure to say hello to them next time you are near, and keep an eye out for other spooky happenings around campus and in the community. Have a safe and fun search for spooky Sycamores this Halloween!