711 S. Vienna St.
Ruston, LA 71270
Louisiana is known for many of its prestigious universities. Whether it is for the strenuous curriculum of Loyola, intense sports programs of LSU, or unmatched partying of ULL, people travel from all around to experience a college life like no other. One of these hidden gems that often do not get the notoriety that it deserves is Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. Established in 1894, Louisiana Tech is one of the top schools in the state for those pursuing an engineering, business or marketing degree.
As with many of the universities in the state, Louisiana Tech has its share of haunted tales that echo across campus. Like the years of alumni who have come and gone, so have random events that have etched a reminder in time. For many of the cities in Louisiana, as soon as they were settled, venues for higher learning were usually soon to follow. As part of the property belonging to Louisiana Tech, near its campus sits one of the buildings that have long been reported as haunted.
Prior to Louisiana Tech growing to the size it has become, the city of Ruston built a hospital in 1928 on South Vienna Street. The hospital was originally named the Ruston-Lincoln Sanitarium, Inc. The hospital consisted of a four-story building with the first floor serving as a morgue, the second and third floors being patient rooms and the fourth floor being the surgical area. In 1963, the hospital was remodeled and turned into a nursing home for the elderly. In 1977, the facility was purchased by the university and transformed into the current Biomedical Engineering Building.
For years, this building has been home to quite a bit of paranormal activity. Most notably, the elevator seems to take on a mind of its own, going from the first floor to the fourth floor by itself. Many people feel that the building is still occupied by the director of nurses, Ms. Evans, who supervised staff and patients during the days as a nursing home. She was said to have been an extremely dedicated woman who cared for her staff and the residents. She had turned a portion of the fourth floor, which was once the surgical area, into a makeshift apartment, enabling her to stay on the grounds at all times. Even after her death, her devotion to the nursing home lingered on. Many people correlate the phenomena with the elevator to Ms. Evans, as she is simply going up to her apartment as she once did on a daily basis. During the thirty-five years that the building was operated as a hospital, a large number of people reportedly died here, which definitely contributes to the many reasons that the location is haunted.
A good friend of mine, Jeanne Frois, who has written great articles for many of the prominent publications in Louisiana, had the opportunity to interview a rehab technology specialist at the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Sciences. His stories were amazing, as he has witnessed first-hand on a regular basis, some of the hauntings that the building has to offer. In one instance, the day prior to receiving a group of special needs children, all of the batteries were replaced in the toys. The next day, none of the toys would work, as all of the batteries had drained. One thing we have learned over the years is that drastic battery drainage from fully charged batteries is often a sign that an entity is present. As I mention in my first book, when an entity is trying to manifest, it requires energy. Sometimes that energy is pulled from humans, electrical devices, or batteries. In another incident, one night when the employee was all alone, he heard doors opening and closing down the hallway as though multiple individuals were exiting their offices at the same time.
Upon further interview, the gentleman recounted the experiences of a young graduate student who was there alone one night working late on the fourth floor. The graduate student told the gentleman that the radio suddenly turned on and began blaring in the room. The student tried to turn it off, but it kept playing, even after it had been unplugged! Another graduate student was alone working there at night when the gentleman got a phone call at home. When he answered the ring, the graduate student cried, “You’re home!” The gentleman asked her why she was so surprised. The young lady replied, “Someone from your office here keeps calling me. It is apparent that whatever haunts the Biomedical Engineer Building in Ruston is a harmless, yet extremely mischievous spirit who enjoys playing pranks on staff and students alike.