The Legends of UC

When October rolls around each fall, it’s hard not to find yourself sitting around talking about the many myths, spooky events, and urban legends out there. It’s even more fun talking about legends when they are about places you pass every day! Ghosts, silly rumors and urban legends abound at the University of Cincinnati. Have you heard of any of them?

Spooky Specters

Do you believe in ghosts? What about spirits? If you’re not sure, take a visit to the rare book room in Blegan library. It’s said that the ghost of a former classics professor who died in the early ’60s haunts the room. Witnesses describe the man as short, about 60 years old, and wearing a tweed cap and jacket. Kevin Grace, an archivist in Blegan, told UC Magazine that “working in there can be ‘unnerving’ when one is alone.” He said, “You hear many strange noises, and it definitely feels as if someone is looking over your shoulder.”

Not-So-Cowardly Lions 

UC’s oldest legend (it dates back to before World War II) states that the ferocious lions guarding the McMicken arch will roar when a virgin walks by. This legend is so infamous that Snopes.com has even documented if on the Urban Legend Reference Page! Other schools join us on this page with descriptions of the ways their own statues act out on campus. 

Strange Structures

No one can deny that the buildings on our campus are unique, and rumors that some of our hallowed halls have secrets of their own are common. One of the well-known rumors is that while Crosley Tower was being poured—it was poured as a single piece of concrete—a worker fell in and was entombed within the walls. While that isn’t true—and neither is the one about dropping a Volkswagon into the mix—it doesn’t stop people from passing it on.

It’s also said that when Crosley Tower was being planned, they forgot to include bathrooms, so they had to put them in the stairwells! While the bathrooms are in the stairwells, they were planned that way. Since Crosley was poured as a single piece of concrete, the stairwells were designed to hold the ventilation, conduits, and plumbing necessary to run a building. Consequently, those same stairwells were the perfect place to have bathrooms.  

Blegan Library entrance

Blegan Library entrance.

McMicken Lion

Mick or Mack? Nobody knows who's who when it comes to the McMicken lions.

More Legends are Out There

There are tons of urban legends out there, and while many of them aren’t true, it’s fun to wonder about the possibilities. If you want to find out more about UC’s urban legend’s check out this article from UC Magazine. You can also visit Creepy Cincinnati’s site to see the many urban legends, ghost sighting and other spooky stories to tell during your next campfire. Enjoy!

Written by Hillary Oberpeul, Graduate Assistant for the Graduate School Office