Staff Editorial: The haunted halls of Dana Auditorium?


It’s Halloween season in Greensboro. The trees around town are as orange as a Spirit Halloween sign and the leaves crunch under shoes like a candy wrapper. 

North Carolina folklore is filled to the brim with specters and spirits that call the Triad home, like Lydia’s Bridge in Jamestown and Devil’s Tramping Ground in Bear Creek. One of the state’s lesser-known legends is close to home—Guilford College’s own Dana Auditorium.

The stories surrounding Dana have existed since its opening in 1961. The land that the auditorium sits on was reportedly the site of a field hospital used during the battle of Guilford Courthouse during the Revolutionary War. Dana’s oldest reported ghost is one of the many soldiers who met his end during the battle, who was given the name Lucas by former students, according to authors Michael Renegar and Amy Spease.

Lucas’s antics have been described as fairly harmless, and are usually witnessed by security guards or students working late during the early morning hours. These occurrences include light switches turning on and off, the sound of footsteps walking up and down the dark hallways and sometimes the sound of a few keys being played on the piano. 

Another spirit reported to inhabit Dana is a bit more chilling. The specter is described as a little girl who doesn’t have a face. While the idea of the undead trailing someone in an old building late at night is enough to make the average person uneasy, an apparition as disturbing as this is enough to make anyone think twice about hanging out in Dana after hours. 

The final spirit found while researching the building’s paranormal history was written about in Michael Renegar and Amy Spease’s 2011 book, titled “Ghosts Of The Triad: Tales From The Haunted Heart Of The Piedmont.” When conducting an interview for the book, a former security guard said he saw a man wearing a long overcoat and a brimmed hat in the auditorium. According to the guard, when he approached the figure, the man turned and walked straight through a solid wall. After witnessing this, the guard did what most reasonable people would do: He turned around and walked straight back out the door.

Whether you view the paranormal as fact or nonsense, there is no denying that a big open building that is supposed to be bustling with people can be eerie when all has fallen silent. When all has gone quiet, our minds play games. Ambient sounds that are usually drowned out by a crowd can start to develop a ghostly feel.

While the existence of ghosts is destined to be a mystery forever, we at The Guilfordian can agree that something just isn’t quite right in Dana Auditorium late at night.