University of Connecticut, Depot Campus (Storrs)

Posted: July 16, 2013 by linktay in Investigations
Tags: , , , , ,

As the daughter of a UConn alum I have heard many horrible stories of “the jungle” and the success of the basketball teams that call the school home. The school is so popular you can even find Gino Auriemma spaghetti sauce in the Stew Leonard’s by my house. Everyone in Connecticut knows of, and loves their Huskies… but not many people know of UConn’s ghosts…

The school’s website describes its depot campus as home to the puppetry department (gah) and a “clean energy plant” that provides power to the campus. And yea, that’s all swell… but it’s depot campus’ past that I’m more interested in. (Sorry if anyone wanted to hear about the clean energy plant or the puppets).
The site started off as the Connecticut School for Imbeciles and then was later merged with the Colony of Epileptics in 1917 to become one of the largest institutions in the state. Then institution was changed again. Depot campus then became the Connecticut School for the Feebleminded. And after that, it was called Mansfield Training School.
The treatment of the people who resided there is considered unacceptable by modern-day standards. You have to understand that in that time period people with mental illness were seen as ‘broken’ human beings. It was considered disgraceful to have such an illness, and recovery was almost impossible in these types of situations. People spent their entire lives withering away in places like these. Our understanding of mental illness now is light years ahead of the information we had back then. People were experimented on, and treated quite poorly. Overcrowding was another major issue. The depression and World War Two brought budget cuts, leaving the hospital understaffed and dorms crammed full of patients. At it’s height, the hospital housed as many as 1,800 patients.
So it’s no wonder so many students report seeing ghostly apparitions in and around the now abandoned buildings. Kaitlynn and I made the trip from West Hartford on an extremely foggy and rainy night. It also didn’t help that my car sounded like it was about to explode… but we figured it just kinda added to the excitement. When we finally arrived and parked our car at a nearby car park we started making our way towards one of the buildings. The air was thick not only because of the horrible humidity we’ve been having, but because the energy around us had a palpable quality to it. It wasn’t long after that, that we began feeling uncomfortable. It started with a strange humming sound we heard in the nearby bushes. At first, we both dismissed it was an animal. But upon hearing it a second time it was obvious it had a distinctly human quality to it. It grew louder and louder until we finally decided to get off the main trail and continue waking through the damp grass. It was then that we came upon the second building where Kaitlynn had heard a growl a few nights before, accompanied by heavy breathing. We stayed there for a while asking for any type of sign and explaining that my emf detector could pick up energy. It seems we were talking to ourselves, because after about a half hour of no response we decided to move on. Later we listened to our evp session and let me tell you if I was a ghost I’d ignore us too… we sounded like nervous morons…

Kate asking questions.

Kate asking questions.

After walking a little bit we came upon the third building.

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Almost immediately did we think we saw something walk past one of the windows. This sparked another moronic evp session of which that was particularly fruitful depending on your idea of success. After asking whomever was with us to “please give us a sign” it sounded as if something sprang out of the bushes and ran at us prompting Kate and I to run into the meadow where we then fell into a ditch (typical) and pulled every single muscle in our bodies. After pulling ourselves together, we made our way to another building that is the biggest building of all.

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I can only describe the sensation we felt as ‘being herded’. It felt as if we were cornered, as if we were being corralled by something we couldn’t see. We became confused very easily, and found ourselves wandering aimlessly from one corner of campus to the next as if sealed in by some unseen energy. It’s a very tough thing to describe to you, but just think of a sheep dog as it corners its flock. When one tries to go astray it blocks its path, bringing it back to the flock. That’s how we felt, the parking lot was in sight but it felt as though we couldn’t get there…. We were the sheep….

Finally we got out of whatever hold something had on us and made our way to my car. It was then again we sensed something was not right. We stopped walking, and to our horror it sounded as if someone behind us had just stopped waking as well. The silence was deafening, it seemed to last hours. It was then that I counted to 3 and we ran like hell, said a prayer and took off towards well, Cumberland farms. There’s nothing like a milkshake after being pursued by the paranormal.

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So would I say UConn’s depot campus is haunted? Yeah, I guess I would. There is something extremely odd going on there (one shuttle bus driver claimed to have seen a ghostly life size clown puppet walking around) that can’t just be explained away. Go check it out for yourselves. But be prepared.

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Credit to: http://secretuconn09.wordpress.com for a wonderful post on the history of the campus.
If you see something we missed in our photographs, please feel free to point out any spooky sightings!

On a completely unrelated note, the book I ordered came in. So excited to read “The Demonologist” the story of Ed and Lorraine Warren! Will let you know if it’s a good read, and if you’ve read it what do you think? There’s also a movie about them coming to theaters on July 19th! I know i’ll be there!

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Comments
  1. What an amazing history, and the various names for the building are terrible/awesome.

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