The Ghosts of Judson 500

Tom West explores the mystery of Judson 500 and reports.

By Tom West

On a typical college campus, you will hear moaning and you will see spirits, but it is atypical that you will be able to find an explanation beyond a red Solo cup.

Furman University, though not necessarily a hotbed of supernatural activity, does have one ‘cold spot’ – the legend of “Judson 500”, a floor that has remained off-limits and off- putting to Lakeside residents for years.

Urban legends have circulated amongst Judsonians centered on the fatal leap of a forlorn student. Some students, such as freshman Meredith Reagin, have experienced the seemingly inexplicable.

“Whenever I’m taking a nap, or about to fall asleep, I’ll hear a knock on the ceiling clear as day,” she says, while her roommate Lauren Shanklin raps on her desk.

Reagin is not the only one hearing things. Senior Ann Kucharski, once a freshman resident in Judson, says she could hear footsteps at night, similar to what one might hear from “upstairs neighbors.”

Some have been so adventurous as to gain access to Judson 500 dubiously. One student, X, worked magic to charm a set of keys out of the woodwork. “I will say that I got into Judson [500] on the Ramsey side,” X said.

Once inside, the student encountered a hall leading to the base of the cupola’s spiral staircase, where the student met two doors – one leading to the Townes side, the other, locked, with “NANCY DREW” carved into one of its panels. X climbed the staircase and reached the roof to find, lo and behold… a nice view. Nonetheless, night time made the indoor romp a bit more spine-tingling: “The whole area [was] creepy,” concluded X.

Less-than-creepy origins surround Judson’s attic and roof space, the catwalk of which having once served as a sun deck for Lakeside’s all-female population. When it was closed more than a decade ago, the area had simply become too much trouble.

“The roof was closed because the wood up there is rotted to the point that it is not currently safe,” said Brad Harmon, Associate Director of Residence Life and Director of Engaged Living. Furthermore, the attic space is home to HVAC equipment and little else of value. Regarding the legend, Harmon said, “This tends to come around once a year.” Ghost busted.


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