Camp Randall Stadium, nestled in the heart of Madison, Wisconsin, stands as a venerable monument to college football’s rich history. Since its inception, the stadium has witnessed thrilling victories, heartbreaking defeats, and an unparalleled energy that echoes through its aged walls.
However, the narrative has a peculiar twist—a haunting presence that has intrigued and spooked visitors for years. Let’s delve into the captivating history of Camp Randall Stadium and explore the eerie tales surrounding its haunted reputation.
Before Camp Randall Stadium became the home of the University of Wisconsin’s football team, the Badgers had a dark history.
During the American Civil War in 1861, the place was a barracks and a training ground for Union soldiers.
But war doesn’t come without a cost. Prisoners of war were hauled into the stadium, along with the 70,000 troops training. With so many captured soldiers in a cramped facility, disaster soon would befall those in Camp Randall.
Within weeks, viruses and illness rapidly spread throughout the camp that housed 1,200 prisoners. During the stadium’s short stint as a prison/army camp, one hundred forty men perished.
Those who died were buried in a nearby cemetery. Besides the 140 soldiers, there were as many as 339 unmarked graves, headstones, and a desecrated Native American holy ground.
The place became a hotspot for the paranormal with so many fallen soldiers (not to mention those unmarked). Some people have experienced headaches while approaching military burial plots. There were also stories claiming they had encountered soldiers, all covered in Civil War uniforms and hospital dressings, haunting the place.
Surprisingly, these spirits were highly active during game day mornings, and tailgaters are said to have seen a glimpse of them wandering around the stadium.
The head of security in Camp Randall Stadium also shared his own hauntings. While patrolling the area, he saw a Confederate soldier walk through the room. He even gave chase but was appalled that he saw nobody.
The Lady in White
In the Philippines, there is the infamous White Lady that resides in Balete Drive. Camp Randall also had the same spirit.
Apparently, there was a lady in white spotted wandering the Forest Hill Cemetery. She wears an oversized hoop dress.
It is believed that she was mourning someone or something, and many speculated that it was the ghost of Alice Waterman.
A hotel manager, Waterman took it upon herself to care for the stone cenotaph of the 140 prisoners of War during the American Civil War. She did it until she passed in 1897. Her remain was also buried in a plot alongside the grave of the men.
During the early 2000s, an undergrad student toured his friend’s 20-year-old sister in the university. They were having a good time, appreciating the architecture and the surroundings, until they stopped at the Abraham Lincoln statue. The sister, absolutely terrified, urged her friend to leave the premises immediately.
Apparently, she saw two heads appear behind Lincoln’s. What was even creepier was that the bodiless figures were smiling at her. It was believed that those were the spirits of two men buried beneath the statue.
While there were many paranormal encounters at Camp Randall Stadium, some are skeptical about the hauntings and associated it with the “Stone Tape Theory.” The theory states that ghostly experiences result from mental impressions following severely traumatic events. They are not spirits but rather energies brought upon by the tragedies in the place.
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