The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Spirits of Aggieland

Photo by Illustration by David Allen

The Animal Industries Engineering Building is rumored to be haunted by the spirit of a man who died while working in its basement.

Believe them or not, ghost stories and spooky tales are woven into the fabric of Texas A&M’s long history.
There are several stories of potentially paranormal activity throughout campus and the surrounding area. While some legends are well-known, other supposed ghosts have appeared to students, and organizations in unexpected places. From Kyle Field and educational facilities to off-campus housing, some students say they have experienced unexplainable, and even supernatural, encounters.
On the morning of Nov. 14, 1959, a meat locker room foreman at the Animal Industries building, Roy Simms, was preparing to cut a slab of bacon. According to an article in The Battalion from that year, Simms’ knife slipped, severing the femoral artery in his groin. Meat locker employee Zellie Newton, who had stepped outside to check the weather report on his car radio, returned to the room to find Simms bleeding profusely. Newton called an ambulance, but Simms was dead by the time it arrived.
Stories of Simms’ spirit haunting the structure, which is now the Animal Industries Engineering building, have grown over the years. Industrial distribution sophomore Zachary Carson said he’s heard several paranormal stories about the AIEN building from both students and professors. According to a 2013 article from Good Bull Hunting about the accident and ensuing legends, some say Simms crawled toward the freight elevator during his last moments in a desperate attempt to find help.
“There are stories of screaming voices and the elevator moving without people on it,” Carson said. “They might just be stories, but the thought of elevators moving and unexplained sounds when no one is supposed to be there is creepy. I’ve even heard about janitors asking to be reassigned to different buildings because it scared them so much.”
The meat lab has since been relocated, but the basement where Simms died is still there, now a men’s restroom. According to a 2011 article from The Battalion, that level of the building is still home to the steel hooks that were once used to hang animals.
However, the AIEN building isn’t the only supposedly haunted building on campus. Dash Dozier, psychology senior and member of the Texas A&M Paranormal Society, said Francis Hall is one site of suspicious activity that could be paranormal.
“[We] went to Francis Hall and members kept seeing this girl around in a white nightgown,” Dozier said. “We swept through the entire building and couldn’t find her. My friend saw her looking into the building on this ledge that is nine feet off the ground. There’s no way that someone could be there.”
Dozier said he saw a woman walking down the stairs while he was on the third floor, but she never made it to the second floor, where other members of the Paranormal Society were investigating. There are no known legends about the origins of spirits in Francis Hall, but Dozier said he and other members heard shrieks and saw ghostly figures that couldn’t be explained.
The legends of ghosts at A&M aren’t limited to human spirits either. Lauren Lund, international studies junior, said she’s encountered Reveille V’s spirit in Kyle Field.
“I first noticed it when I did Kyle Field clean up with my organization,” Lund said. “I got bit on the booty by something that wasn’t there. The next game the following weekend, the girl in front of me did the same motion like she was being touched on the booty by the person behind her, but she wasn’t.”
Lund said Reveille V bites those who are “redass” (full of school spirit) in Kyle Field because she is the middle child among A&M’s mascots and must act up to get attention.
Beyond campus, the LaSalle Hotel in downtown Bryan is said to be one of the most haunted places in the area. Having been a nursing home from 1959 to 1975, a number of deaths have occurred in the building and many believe those spirits may still roam the halls.
“The hotel is supposedly filled with ghosts,” Carson said. “Lights will flicker on and off, there will be random knocks on windows. I’ve even heard a story about someone ordering a pizza to a third floor room when no one was staying on that floor. It had the entire staff spooked.”
As the legend goes, a mysterious spirit, or multiple spirits, wander around the LaSalle closing doors, moving items and tugging at guests’ feet in the night.
Dozier said several weeks ago, the Paranormal Society got a call from residents at a different off-campus location: The Reserve apartment complex. They had received similar calls before, so the society went to investigate. According to Dozier, locked doors and windows were opening on their own, but that wasn’t the scariest thing that happened while investigating the apartment complex.
“I was with my friend Nathan and we were walking upstairs,” Dozier said. “We heard someone downstairs call out, ‘Hey Nate.’ It was weird because no one calls Nathan ‘Nate’. We went downstairs to see who was calling for us. We clearly heard someone say, ‘Hey Nate’ twice, but no one said they called for us.”
Dozier said the society looks for scientific evidence to disprove paranormal activity in the places they investigate, but experiences like that are hard to explain.
Some people are certain that ghosts haunt buildings in Bryan-College Station, while others remain skeptical. Whether these myths and legends of Aggieland are true or not, one spirit is certain to wander through Bryan-College Station this Halloween — the Aggie Spirit.

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