Ghostly Folklore at USF

As Halloween quickly approaches, tales of library haunting float around campus.


By Daylina Miller News Writer


TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 29, 2010) – With Halloween just around the corner, the USF library haunting is a hot topic for discussion. For years, reports have been made of automatic doors opening and closing without anyone near them and the sounds of doors closing with no students left in the building.


Mark Greenberg is the director of Special & Digital Collections, housed on the fourth floor of the USF library. There, the phantom is said to be seen fading into nothingness after a quick glimpse of her and her bright green backpack. Greenberg jokingly expressed his disappointment in his lack of paranormal experiences there.


“If we have a ghost on the fourth floor, I believe the director has a right to meet it,” Greenburg said.


Greenburg mentioned former librarian Paul Camp, who used to tell students the story of the English major who met an untimely death at her apartment in 1976. The young woman was a student assistant on the fourth floor which, at the time, held the English literature books.


Though the staff seems to be lacking in experiences, students still get the creeps when entering the halls of the fourth floor, particularly at night when the rows of bookshelves are empty of students and every whisper or dropped book echoes menacingly down the corridors.


“You always get the eerie feeling you’re being watched and get that paranoid sense of someone behind you walking through the library,” said Asa Semp, a junior psychology major.


His friend, Brianna McClenithan, agreed.


“I went in to Special Collections to try to find a music score that was quite old,” said McClenithan a senior music studies major, adding that she felt “unsettled” in the surroundings.


Greenburg is indifferent about the haunting but if the phantom exists, he thinks she should make use of her afterlife to help out the librarians with their workloads.


“We’re terribly understaffed in Special Collections,” Greenberg said. “I think a ghost is just what we need.”


Other haunts Around Tampa you should check out:


·         Old Tampa Theater- Located downtown, the old theater still runs shows and movies. A projectionist that worked there from the 1940s until his death is seen roaming the back corridors.

·         University of Tampa- UT used to be a hotel in downtown Tampa more than 100 years ago. Tour guides and students report seeing apparitions from the windows outside and multiple ghost sightings have been reported, including that of Theodore Roosevelt, former U.S. President and patron of the hotel.

·         Myrtle Hill Cemetery- located off E. Chelsea Street, this cemetery is featured in a book called Florida's Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore. The author investigated this cemetery and referenced other paranormal investigations that have taken place here.


Daylina Miller covers student activities and trends. She can be reached at 813-500-8754.