I would like to hear from anyone who has encountered paranormal activity at UMSL. Please e-mail us with you stories, photos or background info for inclusion in our database.
I worked at UMSL for 11 years, mostly during the middle of the night. I worked in the electrical mechanical shop of the university and often dispatched the elevator repair service for complaints. I was also a shop steward at the university. So I can tell you a little about hauntings and the turmoil they caused.
Thomas Jefferson Library was designed, originally, for two elevator cars. Only one car was installed at first. The second was added about 20 years later, when expansion money was put in the budget. That first car, in the middle of the night, would travel up and down the shaft, unmanned. Many people working late have seen this happen. This includes police officers on patrol, maintenance workers on service calls late at night, and many custodians. Often the elevator would move when only one person was in the building. The custodial department instituted a policy that at least two people had to be in a work area together, for "safety". I called the service people out many mornings for safety inspections, after a busy night. University workers seldom used the elevator in TJL after 10 p.m.
I know personally of a maintenance technician who refused to go in the building without a buddy in tow. It is difficult to tell what is truth and what is folklore. However, it was believed that a former professor had research that indicated these interesting items:
1. TJL was positioned on and American Indian burial site.
2. Close to TJL, are two buildings of interest; Clark Hall and Lucas Hall.
3. Those families, Clark and Lucas, had a common fence line that ran through what is now TJL.
4. The Clarks and the Lucas's had a blood feud and some men were killed in that general area.
5. Finally, the names Clark and Lucas are historic to Missouri, but not related to the farm owners. So the Board of Curators named the Buildings, sort of with a dual honor. However, Clark Hall is on the Lucas family land. And vice versa as well. So perhaps the building names have caused unhappy spirits?
I hope this trivia adds to the curiosity!