Alaska Life

Feels Like Teen Spirit and Other Phantoms in UAA's Wendy Williamson Auditorium

Visitors from a nearby psychiatric ward and youth correctional facility aren't the only uninvited guests to spook a bizarrely built Anchorage auditorium.

Multiple ghouls -- including some that don't respect personal space -- are said to stalk the Wendy Williamson auditorium at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Props have flown off furniture, stage lights have exploded, inexplicable shadows have slid across walls, and the occasional patter of ghostly footfalls have creeped out the living, according to a report in the university newspaper. One might wonder whether Hollywood magic was at work.

"On three different occasions, women have tried opening the door to exit the handicap bathroom, only to find that someone will vigorously shut it from the other side," said the reporter, Renee Dillard, after talking with auditorium personnel.

The poltergeists apparently include a man, woman, kids and a teen boy. A psychic once said the spirit's teen body was killed in a nearby car crash. Rumors suggest these chain-shakers might be ghouling around with the earth-trapped soul of late university professor John Wendell "Wendy" Williamson.

Paranormal activity surfaces throughout the auditorium, which saw its building plans change midway through construction, leaving it with a useless catwalk, elevator shaft and other curious features. The ghosts apparently get aggressive in the foyer, targeting female brunettes.

"Women with long brown hair have often felt themselves being pushed down the stairs on the lobby's left stairway. Music also plays by itself on the lobby piano, and reflections that are unaccounted for sometimes appear in the doors of the entrance," the paper reported.


Visitors looking for an out-of-body experience won't get one.

"Most people who have come here and said they wanted an experience don't get it," auditorium staffer Shane Mitchell says in the story. "It always happens when you're not suspecting something or when you're not wanting something to happen."

Contact Alex DeMarban at alex(at)

Editor's note: This story originally ran on Halloween in 2012.

Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or