Murder? Or just another ghost story?

Nestled in the hills of Western is the old Moore Building that overlooks all of campus. Once an all-female dorm, the Moore Building is now home to the Health Sciences and Nursing departments. However pleasant and majestic the building may seem on the outside, it was rumored to have once witnessed the murder of a young student who still roams the halls to this day. Located in the older section of campus, the Moore building is currently the oldest building on campus. In Western’s early years, Western was an all-female teacher’s campus, and the Moore Building was simply known as Moore Dorm. When the building was converted into classrooms, the third floor was left vacant until recent years. The Moore Building features grand fireplaces, an elegant common room, and architecture that is found only on the older buildings. It is the perfect setting for a ghost story. In earlier editions of the Western Carolinian, the story of the Moore building has always been that two young women were staying on campus for the holidays during the 1920’s. While others were packing to leave or reuniting with loved ones, one of the girls decided to take a shower while the other got ready for bed. As the time kept passing by, the girl became concerned about her roommate’s long absence. She began to hear heart-stopping scratching and groaning echoing from the other side of the door. Immediately, the girl locked the door as the scratching and groaning continued. She stayed in the locked room until she saw a passing maintenance worker and called out for help. After she called for help, an unknown voice from the other side of the door said that everything was all right. Terrified, the girl opened the door to find her roommate’s throat cut while she lay bleeding to death on the floor. Though the story would make anyone look twice over their shoulder, Phillip B. Kneller, Associate Professor of Health Sciences, uses it in a different way. “I use the story as an ice-breaker for open house. I’ve heard at least two versions, some say there was a murder, and others say it was a hoax.” Various sites like have a more detailed story. They claim that a girl in the teaching program was murdered after she refused romantic advances of a local resident. Due to the man’s mental capacity, he was quickly caught and sent to Broughton Hospital in Morganton, NC. With the help of his well-respected family connections, he was released and lived out the remainder of his life at home. The girl was reportedly killed on the 3rd floor where sounds of crying, screams, and pacing have been heard. Other sites such as have a different version and claim that the girl committed suicide after her fiancé was killed in World War II. Afterwards, “students had reported seeing her form wandering the hall late at night, and are often awakened by the sounds of sobbing. Some even refused to live there, saying they would drop out before setting foot on the third floor” The students were complaining so much about the problem, so Moore was converted into classrooms. Alex Esmon of the October 27th, 1999, Carolinian wrote, “the interesting fact is that this exact same story has been told for generations at Indiana University, Purdue University and The University of Kanas.” All of the stories told on these campuses are almost identical with the same unknown girls. Out of all of the stories surrounding the Moore building, only one is a known fact. During the 1920’s three orphan mice died on the 3rd floor of the Moore Dorm. The Cullowhee Yodel reported that, “sorrow prevailed on the third floor of the Moore Dormitory November 7th, 1927, when solemn funeral services were held for three small orphan mice.” Is the Moore Building really haunted? Was a young woman brutally murdered on the third floor? Though no names have ever been found of the supposed girl that was murdered, students walking the halls of Moore may have the feeling of being watched whether it be from a long forgotten murder or the untimely death of three orphan mice.