Back to Top

Ghost of deceased student rumored to haunt Presser Hall

The ghost of Brad continues to haunt Presser Hall at Ohio Northern. (photo/ flickr)

During the Halloween season, most people speak out on their haunted stories, urging people to believe their words. At Ohio Northern University, there are a few creepy stories that may be true, but no one will ever know.

Presser Hall is home to the music department at Ohio Northern. Students pass through the halls inside the old conservatory, but many of them do not know what lurks behind the cracks in the wall.

A famous ghost story is passed from student to student each year, becoming more popular around the Halloween season. No one knows if the story is true, but it is enough to make the hairs stand up on anyone's back.

The story begins with two senior music majors who were currently engaged to be married following graduation. The man's name is the "infamous Brad." It was the night of his fiancé's senior recital, and Brad was not going to miss this show. As he was driving to the show, he was killed in a tragic car accident, never reaching his destination.

Hearing the sad news, his fiancé understood her dilemma, but was urged to continue with her performance by her fellow classmates. Ed Williams, the music department chairman at the time, remembers stepping out of his office that night and witnessing the globe lights crashing to the ground, closely missing him. The lights bounced down the stairs, but did not break into a thousand pieces.

As the recital began, everything remained calm until Brad's fiancé was ready to perform her rehearsed pieces. The chandeliers in the recital hall slowly began to sway back and forth during her performance. The music stopped and the audience became alarmed at the spooky sight in front of them.

Ed Williams exclaimed, “Brad, stop it!”

Everything stopped. The chandeliers stopped swaying and everything looked normal, as if nothing happened at all. Brad's fiancé returned to her performance and finished her recital. Her classmates told her that it was Brad’s way of telling her that he was still with her that night.

Since that freaky night, people have heard clanking on the water pipes inside Presser Hall, which is unusual because the hall has plastic pipes. A common rumor is that Brad never liked the key of d minor. Whenever someone plays the key in the hall, their sheet music falls off their music stand.

Dr. Denise D'Arca remembers a spooky Brad story. "I was just practicing my piano in my office. I had a piece that went into d minor. I played the scale, and my sheet music just floated down to the ground. Nothing else has really happened since then that I have witnessed or heard, but you never know."

Another consequence is that the elevator in Presser Hall is extremely temperamental. If someone pushes a button for a certain floor level, it will take the elevator down to the bottom level, no matter what. It can never be fixed, and many music majors believe it happens because of Brad's existence.

Brad is a friendly ghost, so no one needs to be alarmed.

"Brad has never hurt anybody and will never hurt anyone. He seemed like a friendly student, and if he is with us in spirit, he is exactly the same as his living form," D'Arca adds.
When asked if she truly believes Brad is a real ghost, D'Arca replies, "I don’t know. There is no other explanation for the occurrences, so I can’t say for sure. I'm not really ready to say if I believe in ghosts yet."

Whether people believe in Brad or not, Presser Hall is not just a music hall. It has a deeper story hidden behind its doors.