The Haunting of the Wesleyan University of Nebraska

Wesleyan University – Lancaster County, Lincoln, Nebraska

Photograph ©StateUniversity.Com

5000 Saint Paul Avenue
Lincoln, Nebraska 68504
(402) 466-2371

The activity that occurred at the Wesleyan University seemed to be confined to the C.C. White building. This building has been torn down since that time and normally I wouldn’t write about something as such, however this story is very odd and I found it quite intriguing.

The story begins with a woman named, Urania Clara Mills. Miss Mills came to work for the university in 1912 as a music teacher and spent her entire teaching career there. In April of 1940, Miss Mills was found dead in her classroom; she was about sixty years old at the time.

A little more than two decades passed before any activity began in the C.C. White building, the reason for this are unknown. However, the story of how the strange events began is rather strange in itself.

In October of 1963, a school employee, Mrs. Coleen Buterbaugh, went in search of the school’s Scottish guest speaker. The guest speaker, Professor Thomas McCourt, had been using the old music room since his arrival at the university; the same room where the late Miss Mills had passed away in 1940.

Mrs. Buterbaugh walked through the hallway and to the door, surrounded by noisy students on their way to class. Mrs. Buterbaugh said she took two steps into the old music room and the entire world around her changed! Suddenly everything was dead still; the sounds of the students in the hallway were suddenly gone! At the same time, she was hit with an odd odor that she later described as the smell of a gas jet being opened with the smell of gas leaking out. Mrs. Buterbaugh said that she then felt a presence in the room with her; she turned and saw an older woman with her hair pulled back into a bun. The woman was standing with her back to Mrs. Buterbaugh and she was reaching into an older-style filing cabinet.

Mrs. Buterbaugh then looked out of the classroom window and saw that everything outside had changed! She later recalled that outside there were no streets and that the Willard Sorority Hall had just disappeared!

Extremely frightened and disoriented, Mrs. Buterbaugh ran from the room, straight to the Dean’s office where she told her story. The Dean, Sam Dahl, took her story very seriously; apparently Mrs. Buterbaugh was in complete control of all of her faculties and she wasn’t the type to make up stories.

It’s reported that Mrs. Buterbaugh was never the same after the incident and soon afterward she quit her job with the university and moved to the state of Colorado.

Over the ten years that followed, disembodied footsteps, lights turning on and off and a phantom piano playing were reported frequently. Then, in 1973, the C.C. White building was torn down. No reports have been made here since then.

The experience that Mrs. Buterbaugh had in 1963 interested me because this is not the only time that I’ve heard of this sort of thing. In Juneau Alaska this same type of experience happed to a woman who worked for the Alaskan Hotel, you can find that story on my site, “True Hauntings of America”.