Halloween is nearly here, and people all over Missoula are looking for a little extra fright. Look no further than one of the centerpieces of Missoula for over 130 years. The University of Montana campus is known for being a paranormal hot spot in Big Sky Country. Maybe because of its rich history? Maybe because of all the energy that students bring each year? Regardless, there is no denying that the UM campus has some unexplainable activity.

What building on the University of Montana campus are you most likely to experience paranormal activity?

Over the past decade, I have been part of a local paranormal group. We have done many investigations on campus. Each investigation has come up with some sort of unexplainable activity.

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University Theater

This location is one of those places where you can just FEEL the ghostly vibe. Being a small group in that huge room is just unsettling. With claims of a phantom dog, a carpenter, and even an elemental spirit, the University Theater is no joke. During our past investigations, we experimented with a claim that one of the spirits haunting the theater is not a fan of The Rolling Stones. In an effort to get a reaction from the spirit, we played "Symphony for the Devil" on repeat for nearly an hour. Soon after we started the song for the final time, one of our investigators felt a sharp pain in her back. We soon discovered three scratch marks on her left shoulder. How did they get there?

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Jeannette Rankin Hall

Don't believe that UM campus is haunted? Just ask any of the janitors. They will not deny that strange things happen when classes are dismissed and the buildings sit empty. Rankin Hall is famous for the claim of a "Phantom Classroom." Multiple janitors have claimed that the same thing has happened to them on many different occasions. They claim that they would show up to clean the lecture halls on the top floor. When they would arrive, they would hear what sounded like a late-night lecture taking place. In an effort to not be rude and interrupt the lecture the janitors would go on to other duties. Hoping that when they get back they were done, the class would be dismissed. They claim they could hear chatter and even desks moving. When they finally decided to peek inside, the entire room was empty.

Image courtesy of Andrew Kemmis, U of Montana News Services

Main Hall

This was the first permanent structure on the University of Montana campus. Main Hall was where all the students and faculty would spend their day. Just one step inside Main Hall and you can feel the vibrant history of the University of Montana. The few times I personally investigated I can confirm claims of doors slamming in the basement, some just a few feet from me and witnessed with my own eyes. People claim that a man in a red flannel shirt has been seen wandering the halls, as well as the ghost of a german shepherd.

Each of these buildings is spooky in its own right. But, don't be scared. All the janitors and other campus staff believe the spirits are friendly. Unless you decide you need to blare the Rolling Stones at full volume.

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