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

Alleged ghost of Ida Kidder haunts Waldo Hall

Sam Misa
Photo illustration- a ghost (Isabella Hodges) haunts Waldo Hall at OSU Oct. 3.

As dusk falls over campus and fog descends upon Corvallis, the historic walls of Waldo Hall cast an eerie glow, its towering spires provoking feelings of mystery for over a century.

Built in 1907, Waldo Hall originated as a female-only dormitory hall. Since its opening, it has become the home of various different campus organizations and has hosted many members of staff and students in its walls. Over time, it has become a hotspot for rumors of ghostly hauntings and spooky happenings. 

Anna Bentley, operations manager for the office of academic support, has been hearing these stories since she first started working at the Academic Success Center in Waldo Hall two years ago. She never took them too seriously, until she had an experience of her own in the bathroom on the main floor. 

“I was far away from the sink in the bathroom, and suddenly it started turning off and on super fast,” Bentley said. “It’s happened to me several times now, often after hours…the water will just turn off and on and off and on…I’ve tried cleaning the sensor on the outside at least and it doesn’t seem to make a difference.”

Bentley has also heard what she describes as “weird sounds” coming from the walls, which she originally attributed to the steam heating system that runs through Waldo Hall. 

“Even when the heat was off, there would be clanking sounds and knocking that was very spooky,” Bentley said.

Much of Bentley’s knowledge comes from stories she’s heard around the building, where colleagues have claimed to see a woman’s figure in 1800s clothing in the windows of the fourth floor.

Bentley said she doesn’t know if she definitively believes in ghosts, but her experiences align with the stories of Ida Kidder, who is known as the suspected ghost of the building. 

Kidder served as a librarian and lived in Waldo Hall until her death in 1920. 

“Whatever spirits are here have good vibes and no ill intent, and that’s why I think it could be Ida,” Bentley said. “She was beloved by her students and loved OSU.”

Crystal Laine is the current building manager of Waldo Hall and has been working in the building for over 5 years. She was previously a student at Oregon State University. 

“When I was a student here in the late ‘80s, this building was always one of those buildings that people shied away from after dark,” Laine said.

She, too, has had strange experiences in the building and reports hearing bizarre and unexplainable noises like giggling when no one else is around. 

Once, in the women’s bathroom on the second floor, Laine said the sink turned on and off on its own, toilets flushed, and the curtain ripped open and closed by itself.

From Laine’s office, there is a clear view of a blocked-off tunnel entrance that once led students to and from Waldo Hall. The staircase is completely inaccessible to students and staff alike, and the doorway that leads into it has been walled over. 

Laine recounted a hair-raising incident looking out her office windows.

“In the middle of the winter hours when it’s dark outside, I’ve seen lights going through the tunnel area that’s completely blocked off,” Laine said. “I’ve seen lights moving in there, almost like someone is walking across the floor carrying an old-fashioned lantern.”

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    Michael GreivingNov 7, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    Well Written. Makes me want to know more. Maybe you should have Ms. Murphy follow this through with a series that runs from the building of the Hall to the closing of the Tunnel with the Life and influence of Ida being more fully explored.