13 Days of Spooky Blogging – Day 9 – Mary Reed Building, University of Denver by Kaye Spencer #hauntedbuildings #paranormal #ghoststories

The University of Denver, located in Denver, Colorado, was built in the 1890s. Mary Reed, a Denver socialite, who inherited millions after her husband died, donated generously to the university. Mary was a noted women’s rights proponent and philanthropist. The Reeds’ fortune came from mining, ranching, banking, and irrigation.

In 1931, the school named a building in her honor and another one in her daughter’s memory (Margery). Mary died in 1945, and Margery died in 1925.

Mary Reed Building is on the left. Image from header on the university’s website.

Over the years, paranormal activity and paranormal encounters in the Mary Reed Building have been reported by visitors, staff, and students. The odd occurrences most often reported happen later in the evening and when people such as cleaning staff, are alone.

  • doors closing by themselves
  • lights turning on and off mysteriously
  • elevators moving of their own accord
  • rattling noises heard after dark with no identifiable source
  • sight of a transparent form of a woman on the staircase
  • sound of shuffling feet
  • feeling an invisible touch or gentle push

Marcella Miller Du Pont, a Denver socialite, who had donated money for a library within the Mary Reed Building, died in 1966. People have reported being greeted by an elderly woman who then vanishes. Feeling cold spots and seeing books fall off shelves are other occurrences. It is commonly accepted that Marcella’s spirt lingers in the building, because of her love for the place.

My paranormal experience at the University of Denver occurred while attending a specific cohort of classes for licensure for my administrative Director of Exceptional Student Services license during the 1998-1999 school year. These classes were scheduled during the day on weekends and over the summer session.

Mary Reed Building c. 2011
Own, University of Denver’s Mary Reed Hall, CC BY 3.0

I arrived at the university having never heard about these ghost stories or of the paranormal activities, and no one mentioned them…

Until my cohort met for a special evening “professional networking” session that included a guest speaker, which was held in the Mary Reed Building. It was late when people left to make their way along the various walking paths toward the not-so-close parking.

I was one of the last to leave. As I reached the doors, I felt a bump on my side as if I’d brushed against someone in passing. There was no one near me. Along with this invisible shoulder-bump, I had a sensation of walking into a pocket of cold, still air. Since this was back in the dark ages before the instant gratification of Internet research, I had to wait until the next day to ask around about what in the heck I’d experienced.

When I arrived for class the following morning, there were a handful of classmates already there. Take a guess what they were talking about.

I wasn’t the only one who had experienced the invisible bump and the cold air. These classmates had left a few minutes after me. Apparently, the Mary Reed Building’s spirit-world inhabitant, or inhabitants, had been more than ready for us to vacate the premises, and we received a boost to send us on our way.

Day 10 – Somewhere Over the Rainbow – A message from beyond the grave

Until next time,
Kaye Spencer



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