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The unexplainable tales of UTEP spirits

Iziah Moreno
There are multiple buildings on campus that people consider haunted.

Founded in 1913, UTEP started as the State School of Mines and Metallurgy at El Paso with the first campus located in modern day Fort Bliss. However, the campus ended on a grim note, as a year after the school’s opening, it was destroyed in a fire. After the relocation, a couple more name changes and 110 years’ worth of history, UTEP acquired many different creepy and unexplainable stories of souls that may haunt the grounds to this day.  

Cotton Memorial is one of the buildings said to be haunted by the spirit of a worker. According to KTEP, whose offices are in Cotton Memorial, the story goes that the building used to have a stage area with ropes to control the stage curtains. The worker got their foot caught in between the ropes and was lifted upside down for a long period of time before they were found dead. It is said that students and staff see a ghostly figure and shadow roaming the halls and peering through windows. 

The Psychology building was built in 1949 originally for biological science. In their haunted campus tours, UTEP Student Alumni Association (SAA) say that several experiments happened in the building, including experiments on animals like monkeys and on volunteer students.  

While there is no specific reason for the spirits and shadows that appear and cause noises around the staircases on the third floor, some say it may have been because of the experiments that were conducted.  

In addition to the Psychology building, is a haunted artifact: a radio that turns on by itself during nighttime and is heard switching channels. In an interview conducted by the UTEP SAA in 2020 for their Haunted Campus podcast, a janitor recounts hearing the radio turn on and followed the sound only to find that the radio was broken with no parts inside.  

UTEP student Max Stewart shared their thoughts on the ghost stories at UTEP, and the creepy feeling they get when entering the Psychology building.  

“I don’t doubt that because of how old UTEP is that there are plenty of ghost stories, and wouldn’t doubt that the majority are true,” Stewart said. “I’ve definitely gotten an eerie (feeling) in the Psychology building just because of how old it looks. The stairs give you a very antique, ghost kind of look.” 

The oldest building on campus built in 1917, Old Main, also hosts strange activity captured by five reporters from The Prospector in 2002 who stayed overnight in the building. According to the reports, footsteps and voices were heard from the staircase and upstairs floors. Reports also include lights turning off and on and doors opening and closing by themselves. The reporters even said that they heard a lecture going on in an empty classroom, and the main entrance door shook as if someone was trying to get in.  

Seamon Hall, now known as the Rubin Center, is another building with an eerie history and According to the UTEP Student Alumni Association shares the building’s story, as it was once a Geology building, a student was conducting an experiment when he mixed two chemicals wrong causing an explosion, which injured him and produced poisonous gas preventing him to get help. Once help arrived it was too late as he was found dead, and it is now said that his spirit roams the halls or looks out a window at students as they pass the building.  

According to the El Paso Times and the SAA, In the 1930s a dean used to host tea parties for his favorite students to attend. A romance began between two of the students, and rumors began to circulate that the girl was pregnant. Soon after the rumors began, she was found murdered, it was thought her boyfriend was the one that killed her. Because of this, at around three or four in the morning, it is reported that a 1930’s car pulls up to the Rubin Center and the spirit of the young girl gets out and heads into the building and roams the halls.  

Students also shared what they thought were some of the buildings that left them with a bad feeling.  

“The one building that gives me the creeps is the Classroom building especially at night.,” said UTEP student Antonio Cortez. “It’s dark and super quiet and it just feels like someone is watching you.” 

UTEP student Isaac Hernandez, says even though he is a skeptic in the supernatural, he does believe there is one building with a scary feel. 

“I don’t really believe in ghosts necessarily but if there is a place I get creeped out by it’s the Geo-Sciences building only because it is very empty and something about the lights give it a creepy vibe overall,” Hernandez said. 

While it may never be confirmed whether these UTEP ghost stories are true or not, it is safe to say that the UTEP campus offers a rich history and a chance of adventure. An adventure that may lead down a dark and eerie path to one of these haunted buildings, leaving students wondering who or what may be sharing the space.  

Ximena Cordero is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Ximena Cordero
Ximena Cordero, Staff Reporter
Ximena Cordero is a freshman at The University of Texas at El Paso. She is a staff reporter at The Prospector. She is majoring in communications and deciding between a minor in creative writing or English literature. After graduating, she would like to pursue a master's degree, work as a journalist or communication specialist, and maybe even write her own books. She wants a career that will allow her to explore the world and see new perspectives and cultures.
Iziah Moreno
Iziah Moreno, Photo Editor
Iziah Moreno is the photo editor for The Prospector. He is a freshman majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in marketing. After graduation, he hopes to work in the world of photojournalism and media.
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