Nestled in the mountains, among a forest of pine and aspen trees, Flagstaff is picture perfect. It’s the home of NAU and has a long history rooted in lumber, stargazing and higher education.

It also has a long history of ghost stories.

While many have spent their years at NAU debating the truth behind these legends, your go-to guide for the truth is here.

Myth: If your roommate dies, you get straight A’s for that semester.

Truth: According to Jon Merchant from NAU Residence Life, this unfortunate myth is not true.

“The origin of such a rumor is unknown, although it seems to be around for a long time and at most colleges and universities across the country,” Merchant said. So, for those of you wary on your roommate, this myth is actually too good to be true.

Myth: McConnell Hall was built by an insane architect and was purposely shaped like a hazard sign. It is designed to receive exactly six minutes of sunlight per room. One room doesn’t receive said amount of sunlight, which is the room where the architect committed suicide.

Truth: This is a big one. Students have reported seeing the ghost of a man and small children playing on some of the floors. McConnell Hall, affectionately known as McCompton for being so far on south campus and isolated, the dorm was built in honor of Sam McConnell, a former member of the state legislature who was a significant part in increasing NAU’s funding. The dorm’s architect is alive and well and living in Phoenix. No word on his sense of perfectionism, though.

Myth: Students with anxiety are allowed to keep a puppy or a kitten in their dorm room.

Truth: This is not entirely false, but not entirely true, either. Brace yourself for overwhelming disappointment. As required by law, NAU must abide by state and federal laws regarding students with disabilities. NAU’s Service Animal Guidelines state, “Individuals with disabilities may be accompanied by their service animals on all Northern Arizona University campuses where members of the public or participants in services, programs or activities are allowed to go.”

This means that service animals are in fact allowed on campus, but you must provide proof that you are an individual in need of one and go through the proper steps through Disability Resources. Fun fact: according to Brenna McGoff, a former McConnell Hall Resident Assistant, ponies are sometimes allowed as service animals. 

Myth: NAU has an elaborate series of tunnels that run underground, not only through campus but all the way throughout downtown. These tunnels were a way of transporting insane asylum patients.

Truth: This one is true! Sort of. While there is a tunnel system underground in Flagstaff, it was not used to transport the mentally ill. The system adds up to approximately seven miles worth of maintenance tunnels that connect power and water lines. Historically, they were built for immigrant workers to move around when Flagstaff starting booming in the early 1900s. 

Myth: North Morton Hall has a permanent resident: Kathy The Ghost. Here’s the story: Kathy was a 19-year-old student at NAU, living in Morton Hall. During Christmas break in 1953, Kathy’s parents were unable to afford to get her home for the holidays, after having hit hard financial times. To add to her sense of loneliness, Kathy’s boyfriend—and assumed soon-to-be fiancé—dumped her for another girl. She supposedly hung herself with a rope in room 200A, only to be found by a cleaning crew several days later. Rumor has it that days after Kathy’s suicide, a baby was found in the basement of the building.

Truth: While one of the custodians has since passed, a member of The Lumberjack contacted the other several years ago. Mary Nunez said when the two women entered the room to clean it, they found Kathy hanging from a bar in her closet.

“We put our stuff in the room and she was there,” Nunez said.

For several years, room 200A was used as a storage closet, but has been occupied since. Nunez is one of the only people who knows if Kathy’s story was real. There are no reports through NAU of a woman named Kathy’s suicide in Morton Hall. There are no reports of a baby. Some are skeptical and say that it was because NAU didn’t want to publicize the event, but we’ll leave that for you to decide. After all, you have to have at least one NAU myth to ponder for the next four years. 

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