Oxford’s community of undead is certainly not confined to the city limits. The University of Mississippi’s rich, and sometimes, tragic past lends itself well to a permanent “unresting” place.
The Lyceum & St. Anthony Hall
The tales of hauntings in Oxford are not limited to just homes in the community. There are even stories of hauntings on the Ole Miss campus. Since The University’s establishment in 1848, many tragic historical events have been associated with the school.
After the Battle of Shiloh, Oxford experienced first hand the horrors of the Civil War. The Lyceum, formerly a building that housed classrooms, was transformed into a hospital for wounded Confederate and Union soldiers. Because the death rate was so high, residents of the community created a cemetery located on the south side of campus to bury the dead.
Though the Lyceum now houses the University’s administrative offices, it’s said that the restless spirits of these fallen soldiers still wander the halls of the building.
A short walk west of the Lyceum on Fraternity Row is the site of another haunting.
Saint Anthony Hall, home of the Phi chapter of the Delta Psi fraternity, is said to be inhabited by the ghost of a deceased brother.
Wes Dean, a senior member of the fraternity, said the ghost is thought to be a former member by the name of Jim Bridges. In 1964, Bridges died in a car accident on his way back home from an LSU football game in Baton Rouge.
As a sophomore, Dean lived in the Sigma Room where Bridges resided before his untimely death. Legend has it, Bridges never left.
“Upstairs in the room that he lived in, the floor creaks when someone walks on it,” Dean said. “One night I was going to bed and all the lights were off in my room. I heard footsteps and I thought it was my roommate. I looked up and there was nobody there. My closet door was kind of cracked and it just slowly came open and then stopped.”
Dean’s experience frightened him, but he and other members of the fraternity respect the ghost’s presence.
“I get freaked out when I hear stuff, but at the same time it’s his house too,” Dean said. “He’s more than welcome here.”
By Lacey Russell, Meek School of Journalism and New Media, firstname.lastname@example.org