Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Oregon State University's student-run lifestyle magazine

Beaver's Digest

Latest issue

The hauntings of Sackett Hall

Maya Kirschenbaum, OMN Photographer
A picture of the outside of Sackett Hall located on the Oregon State campus captured on Oct. 9.

My grandfather had found some of the first remains of Ted Bundy’s victims. 

I had once wanted to live in Sackett Hall, not aware of the misery the walls held for the loss of one Oregon State University student. One who, Roberta Kathleen Parks, had lost her life at the hands of the notorious serial killer. 

I just wanted to live in the dorms that had walk-in closets. 

Parks was abducted on May 6, 1974, presumably right outside the Memorial Union, where she was on her way to get a hot fudge sundae around 11 p.m. She was said to have gone straight from her dorm at Sackett to the MU, which was only 350 yards away. 

Sackett still has a creepy, eerie feeling. Many OSU students have told stories of strange sensations and ghostly encounters while they lived in the hall. Sometimes, students have described the ghost as Parks herself. 

Nazomi Furuya, a fourth-year psychology major, had lived in Sackett for the 2020-2021 school year. Her overall impression was that the building was old and eerily quiet, mostly due to COVID-19 impacting the number of students staying in the hall. 

“One time my roommate and I went down to the basement and looked around,” Furuya said. “There was a random door like 4 feet off the floor and when we opened it, there was a chair in the middle of this dark room facing a door and the lights were always halfway off in the lobby (and) hallways so it was kinda scary at night.” 

Natalie Greenwood, a fourth-year biohealth sciences major, also lived in Sackett for the 2020-2021 school year. Her first impression of Sackett was that it was “super creepy” and eerily quiet due to campus being less than full during the peak of COVID-19. She lived on the H Wing on the second floor.

Greenwood said she mostly heard stories from others about their experiences, but she would constantly hear a dripping water noise and never found out where it was coming from. She said the noise was most prominent at night. 

“The big (story) I remember was two (Residential Assistants) had the same dream, I think, where they woke up and there was a girl above them (underneath) the top bunk,” Greenwood said. “I can’t remember if it was a dream or they actually saw it. I don’t know if they were trying to prank us but they said it happened to each of them before they talked about it.”

Libby Brennan, one of Greenwood’s RA’s confirmed that this story was mostly true. She said she doesn’t think another RA had the same incident and also said the girl was kneeling by her bunk bed, not underneath it. Other than that, Brennan said the rest of Greenwood’s retelling was “quite accurate”. 

Brennan, a recent OSU graduate lived in Sackett her freshman year from 2018-2019 on the third floor of the G Wing and was an RA for the hall her junior year from 2020-2021, had plenty of experiences in her two years of living there. 

During her freshman year, Brennan would hear knocking on her door in the middle of the night when no one was there, doors would open despite being locked and motion sensors turning on by themselves. 

“But the biggest experience I had my freshman year was a weekend that my roommate was gone,” she said. “I woke up about 3 a.m., after having gone to sleep two hours prior, and saw that not only the motion sensor lights were on in the closets, but a silhouette of a man was in the doorway of the sleeping porch facing me.” 

Brennan said her first instinct was that someone had broken into her room and knew it wasn’t sleep paralysis because she was fully able to move. She also noted that the room was “really cold” even though the heating was on and all windows were closed. 

“After about one minute, the shadow stepped into the main room,” Brennan said. “I mustered up the courage to go investigate, grabbing a heavy flashlight in case I needed to defend myself from the intruder, but no one was there and my door was still locked. I would brush it aside as a hallucination if the motion sensor lights, which were not that sensitive, especially for both of them to turn on, were on even though no one had walked past them in hours.”

Also during her freshman year, Brennan recalled a time when all the sink faucets in the bathroom had turned on right after she and her friends had left the bathroom.  

“(I) can say with absolute certainty no one else exited their room and went to the bathroom,” Brennan said. 

During her year of being an RA, Brennan would hear things being moved around her room and find them out of place. She regularly saw shadows of people kneeling by her bed or in the doorway. The motion light sensors continued to come on, staying on between two to 20 minutes at a time. 

Brennan also remembers a specific incident of when a door opened on its own.

“I was in my friend Emma’s room on a weekend (and the dorms) were pretty empty,” Brennan said. (Her dorm) was at the very end of the hall. As we’re sitting there, and we both knew with absolute certainty that her door was locked, we heard the door unlatch and swing open. We got up and looked in the hallway, which took no more than four seconds to do, and saw that no one was there. We hadn’t heard any footsteps or any doors closing. Every door was closed.”

Whether or not these ghostly sightings are of Parks, Sackett still holds relevance to her story.

Her remains were found on Taylor Mountain, along with the bodies of three other victims. My grandfather, Elzie Hammons (now deceased) found the remains of Denise Naslund and Janice Ott in a forested area of Issaquah. The two areas were nearly 12 miles apart. 

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