Paranormal W.Va: E. Moore Hall and Mountainlair Ghosts

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University is home to several students year-round, but did you know it also holds several ghosts in those same hallways?

On the second floor of the Mountainlair, the spirit of a little girl named Sally can be spotted dancing the halls. She also has been seen on the second floor of Stewart Hall.

Then, across the street, the ghost of Elizabeth Moore can be found protecting females inside the building with her name, E. Moore Hall.

The Ghost of Elizabeth Moore

Elizabeth Moore is said to haunt ‘her’ building at West Virginia University, Elizabeth Moore Hall (E. Moore Hall).

E. Moore Hall

There are stories that people tell of seeing the ghost of Elizabeth Moore throughout the building. Some have seen her walking the hallways or the steps; then, her spirit will slowly disappear.

However, the unique thing about the ghost of Elizabeth Moore is that she will only appear to women. It is said that she will appear to men, but only if a woman accompanies them.

One story tells of Mrs. Moore appearing in the pool. Two students, one male, and one female, were swimming in the pool, located in the basement of E. Moore Hall. These students reported having seen Mrs. Moore’s spirit floating on top of the pool next to them.

“When you put this into context of Mrs. Moore’s time, a young girl or a young lady would not be on a date with a young man without a chaperone. They could’ve stayed and swam around the pool all they wanted to, but Mrs. Moore was not going to leave because she was the chaperone,” said Jason Burns, West Virginia Storyteller.

Another story behind the ghost of Elizabeth Moore talks about the photograph of her inside the building.

When you first walk into E. Moore Hall, a photograph of her, is hanging on the left wall in the doorway. It is told, back in the mid-to-late ’70s, people wanted to replace her portrait with someone who was working in the building at the time.

Portrait of Elizabeth Moore

However, the story tells that once her portrait was replaced, the next morning, her portrait was back on the wall where it had been before. The portrait of the person who they were replacing hers with was on the ground.

Rumors spread that it was Elizabeth, and she was angry they were trying to move her picture.

The faculty then moved her portrait and replaced it with the same one again, only to find the same thing had happened.

Since that morning, her portrait remains in the same spot it always has been, and nobody has ever tried to move it again.

Elizabeth Moore‘s History

Elizabeth Moore came to Morgantown, W.Va. from Wheeling, W.Va. She was the Head Mistress of the Woodburn Female Seminary, while her husband was the Morgantown Academy head.

Woodburn Female Seminary

During her 10th year at the Seminary, the Civil War broke out in West Virginia. This caused the Confederate soldiers to raid Morgantown, in hopes to capture Waitman T. Willey.

Willey was in the senate for West Virginia at the time, and he was responsible for establishing the state documents that allowed West Virginia to become a state.

Elizabeth Moore hid her students in the basement of the school building, while she invited the soldiers inside for tea.

After convincing the soldiers that she was on their side, they left her alone. Moore waited until she felt it was safe to bring the students out of the basement.

When WVU was established, they began to build what is now known as E. Moore Hall. Named after Elizabeth Moore, unfortunately, she passed away the same time the building was finished being built.

Sally — the Mountainlair Ghost

Sally is said to be the ghost of a young girl. Wearing a yellow dress and a yellow bow in her hair, she has been spotted dancing on the second floor of the Mountainlair and Stewart Hall.

Illustration of Sally

After research, Jason Burns came up with a theory about Sally. Burns said that he and a friend found out there was a cemetery in the same location Stewart Hall now sits.

He found a list of names of everybody that was buried in the cemetery. Sally, an 8-year-old girl, was the only child on the list.

His research also shows that a building known as Reynold’s Hall stood in the same place the Mountainlair is now. Reynold’s Hall was the original commencement building.

Reynold’s Hall

According to Burns’ theory, Sally was probably attending a party inside Reynold’s Hall for a University event.

A Typhoid epidemic hit Morgantown around the same time Sally passed away. This epidemic killed mostly young children and the elderly.

In theory, Sally attended a party inside Reynold’s Hall and passed away shortly after. She was then buried in the cemetery where Stewart Hall is now, which is why her ghost can be spotted inside the Mountainlair and Stewart Hall.

In Jason Burns’ personal experience with Sally, he explained that she haunted him when his office was located on the second floor of the Mountainlair.

Burns had a pair of scissors with yellow handles that one day just disappeared. He searched his entire office and even asked everybody else on the floor if they had taken them.

Nobody knew what happened to his scissors. However, when Burns returned to his office, the scissors were sitting on his desk. He immediately knew it had to be Sally. So, he then went out and bought a pair of yellow scissors to keep on the desk.

“Don’t touch these. They’re Sally’s,” Burns told his coworkers.

Although Burns is no longer in that same office, he did pass Sally’s scissors down to the next person. He told the lady, who moved into his old office, to keep the yellow scissors on her desk or Sally will start pranking her.

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