Myths and Legends tour showcases the spooky history surrounding EC landmarks

Mark Wakeley tells students the history of Old Main’s bell tower during the Myths and Legends Tour on Tuesday, Oct. 4. (Photo by Stefan Carlson)

Students filled Kranz Forum on Oct. 4 to participate in the Myths and Legends Tour at EC.

The first stop on the tour, which was led by Service Manager Mark Wakely, was the bell tower in Old Main.

To get to the bell tower students walked up to the third floor of Old Main and entered room 303, the photography studio. In the room is a corridor with a door leading to a spiraling staircase.

As the group climbed up the spiral staircase, Wakely pointed out the names written on the walls and carved into the wooden railings. The names were dated as recent as 2016 to as early as the early 1900s.

The students then walked to the other side of campus to the Accelerator Art Space to see the particle accelerator EC students built in the 1950s when the space was used as a physics lab prior to being converted into an art gallery to house student work.

After the Accelerator, the next stop on the tour was the Mill Theatre, where the students heard the story of the ghost of David Payne as told by Department Chair and Associate Professor of Theatre Alan Weiger.

According to Weiger, during a dress rehearsal for “The Marriage of Figaro” during a January term in the 1960s, a student went to the scene shop to get information on the set design.

The student was met halfway up the staircase in the scene shop by David Payne, the technical director of the play at the time, and had an in-depth conversation with him about Payne’s plans for the set design or the play.

When the student rejoined the other students in the production and told them about the conversation, they thought he was making a horrible joke as Payne had been killed by a drunk driver the previous day.

To this day students claim they feel a chill in the air as they walk up the stairs in the scene shop where the conversation occurred, and odd noises are sometimes heard coming from the upper floor of the shop, said Weiger.

After hearing the story, the students were able to walk up and down the staircase and see if they could experience the chilling air created by the ghost of Payne.

Unfortunately, one of the most highly anticipated stops on the tour, the tunnels running under EC’s campus, could not be visited due to the amount of students who attended the tour, said Office Administrative Assistant Carol Raveret.

She said that the high attendance would have made it difficult for everyone to be able to see the tunnels in the time allotted in addition to creating a potentially dangerous situation.

Junior Jentry Schirmbeck expressed her disappointment at not seeing the tunnels.

“I came the see the tunnels,” she said. “I mean, when would I get another opportunity like this?”