The Ghost of ASU

By Catherine Gravelle, Features Editor
On October 26, 2007

Almost 30 years ago, a headline screamed from the front page of the Ram Page: "ASU Coed found slain in BA building."

On the evening of April 27, 1978, sophomore history major Robert Mark Wagner murdered freshman Leandra Morales in the Hardeman Building, Room 200. Wagner was apparently romantically interested in Morales, and after she declined his advances, he strangled her and stabbed her with a pair of scissors three times.

Wagner was formally charged with the murder, but an unsettled matter still plagues the building.

It is rumored that the girl's ghost lingers in the building. When the murder took place, the Hardeman Building was home to the journalism department, and former Ram Page staff reported eerie occurrences in the building.

In 2003, a year before the journalism department moved to the third floor of the library, Ram Page columnist Winston Hall compiled an article consisting of these spooky incidences. He noted that over the years, workers in the building reported hearing footsteps in the hallway only to find no one walking about. Faint arguments between a man and a woman have also been heard. Those in the building have also seen an ethereal apparition on the staircase.

"Back in the day when I was a student, I did hear some people mention that when they were here very late at night, they would glimpse a female with dark hair in a white dress," Audrey Wilson, Director of the ASU OneCard Program, said.

Other strange happenings in the Hardeman Building, according to Robby Duncan's Shadow Hunters Web site, include unplugged radios suddenly being plugged in and turned on. Duncan also noted on his Web site that "the elevator operates independent of corporeal human influence."

Mary Eades, CDJ Department secretary, used to work on the second floor of the Hardeman Building.

"I personally never experienced anything spooky there, but I only worked on that floor three years," Eades said. Eades also made mention that she does not believe in ghosts.

Wilson, who has worked in the Hardeman Building since 1988, said that even though she comes in early and stays very late, she has never had a spooky experience of her own.

The room in which the murder took place is now home to the Residence Life office. While the workers are well aware of the room's terrible past, nothing creepy has occurred as of late.

"We have heard the rumor, but no one here has experienced anything 'paranormal,'" Residence Life Director Connie Fraizer.

Whether or not Leandra still walks the halls will remain one of ASU's biggest mysteries. But to most, it would seem that after all these years, Leandra's ghost is finally resting in peace, and the Hardeman Building is free of the spirit that haunted it...at least for now.


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