Monday, May 4, 2009
"Lovely Louise" Haunts NC Medical School
Although I have worked at both Duke and UNC Chapel Hill.I only heard this in an About.com Paranormal newsletter.It is said to be Duke...Here it is
"By Mike Conley | The McDowell News
Published: April 29, 2009
One of the best known and most often repeated ghost stories from North Carolina concerns the tale of a young woman's spirit haunting a highly regarded medical school in the Tar Heel State.
In his classic book "Ghost Tales of the Uwharries," author Fred T. Morgan wrote about the ghost of lovely Louise at what he calls Founder's College. A friend of mine told me that the tale happened at what is now Duke Medical School. At any rate, it is a tale worth telling again and again.
The legend holds that back in the 19th century, three young men were students and roommates at a prestigious medical school in North Carolina. All of them were anxious to complete their education and earn the right to be called a doctor.
In those days, medical students were expected to provide dead bodies for their anatomy classes. However, it was illegal for medical schools to purchase cadavers and the students were forced to secretly procure them in one way or another. The school's officials and professors sort of looked the other way when they did that.
At that time, two of the three young men had found their cadavers for the anatomy class. However, the youngest had yet to secure his corpse.
One weekend, the three students traveled to Charlotte or Durham, depending on which version you hear. They were in town to get away from the rigors of their class work and attend an evening performance at the theater. While there, they read an obituary for a young woman named Louise. She had been a member of a rich and prominent family in North Carolina and had recently died of a disease. The obituary listed the cemetery where she was buried.
The students decided that she would make a good candidate for a cadaver in the anatomy class. The three young men gathered some shovels and other tools together and set out in the dead of night to the cemetery. Presumably, they had fortified themselves with more than their share of alcohol as they set out on their grisly quest.
When they got to the graveyard, the students found the grave of lovely Louise and started digging. After quite a bit of work, their shovels struck the top of her coffin. Anxious to get done with the task, they broke open one end of the wooden casket and reached inside. They pulled out Louise's lifeless body by her long black hair and placed it in a nearby wagon. The young men then put the casket back inside the earth and covered it up with the dirt. They dressed the gravesite with cut grass, weeds and twigs to make it look like nothing had been disturbed.
The three students returned to their college and somehow snuck Louise's body into the dormitory room which they all shared. They placed her corpse inside a storeroom or underneath a bed, depending on which version you hear.
Not long afterwards, a tremendous storm poured rain all over the area. The gullywasher loosened the dirt in Louise's grave. The next morning, her family came to the cemetery to pay their respects for their beloved one.
They were horrified to find that the loosened earth had caused her casket to move around. The end that was broken open stuck out of the ground and it clearly showed that her body was missing. Some of the womenfolk fainted right away at the sight.
Louise's father, who was influential throughout North Carolina, mounted a full-scale investigation into the theft of her body. He called out the police and they went straight to the medical college. He rightly suspected that some of those students had taken his daughter's corpse for one of their anatomy classes.
The three students were notified by a friend that their dorm was about to be searched. There was no way they could sneak her body out of the building. So they came up with the only surefire way to hide Louise so she would never be found and they would never get caught. They quietly and quickly took her body up to the attic and lowered it down inside one of the hollow wooden columns that stood in front of the building. Surely, no one would ever think to look there, they thought.
In no time, the angry, distraught father and the local police showed up to search every inch of the dorm. They searched every room, checked out every trunk and looked under every bed. But they could not find Louise's body. The frustrated, upset father and the authorities came away disappointed and frustrated because they were convinced that they would find her there.
According to one version, Louise's body was discovered many years later inside the hollow wooden column and taken out. Supposedly, her skeleton is still on display at this medical school. Another version of the tale holds that it is still inside the old column on the building's front portico.
But all versions hold that the ghost of lovely Louise haunts the medical school to this day. She might still be there now watching as fresh young students arrive to learn how to become a physician.
Contact Mike Conley at 652-3313, ext. 3422 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org."