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Spooky Stories: Women in White

An archived photo shows Converse Hall. It’s home to one of Westminster College’s spookiest ghost stories: the Woman in White. Women in White are wives with tragic deaths who are said to reside in the last place they felt joy. They return wearing their wedding dress — signifying the happiest day of their lives.
(Giovale Library, Westminster College, Salt Lake City)

*This story is the first of a three-part Spooky Stories series about the ghost legend stories at Westminster College. You can read the second story here.

If you find yourself in Converse Hall often, are an Honors college student or have to cross the campus bridge every day: beware of the Women in White.

Westminster College, founded in 1875, has been an evolving institution over the years, and it’s picked up a few spooky stories. Whether these stories are true or not is up for you to decide.

For part one, we will be talking about the Women in White: Westminster’s oldest forever-bride that can be found on campus.

Converse Hall

Converse was the first building on campus and was completed in July of 1907. It’s also home to one of Westminster’s spookiest ghost stories: the Woman in White.

Women in White are the ghosts of wives or future-brides who come back from the grave to haunt.

Some of these women are mothers who drowned their own children before killing themselves. Some were betrothed but committed suicide before they got married.

And others are wives with tragic deaths who are said to reside in the last place they felt joy. They return wearing their wedding dress — signifying the happiest day of their lives.

The Woman in White residing in Converse is said to be a bride who was married in Gunston Memorial Chapel. According to the legend, this chapel was built close by where Westminster stands today. Some people believe it was converted into another building that is located a few blocks away.

On her wedding day, this bride and her groom traveled to Wendover for their honeymoon. On their way, a drunk driver hit their car and they were killed. 

The bride — or at least her ghost — returned to the place where she felt happiest: our very own Westminster College, where legend says she had gone to school.

The Black Bridge

But this is not the only Woman in White haunting campus. Westminster has more bridal spirits.

The Black Bridge and Emigration Creek have their own legends.

The Black Bridge, which was dedicated August 10, 1973, is named after Lawrence F. Black: a former trustee of the college who supplied the materials for the bridge.

One bride, named the “Lady in White” by some, was making her way to be married in Nunemaker Place — which was originally built as a chapel building in 1977. 

While she was crossing the bridge, she suddenly “changed her mind,” according to Alyssa Appleman, who hosts the Legends Tour during first-year orientation recounting campus ghost stories.

She jumped off the bridge, committing suicide. 

To this day, students have reported seeing a white figure haunting the bridge and some have said they caught a glimpse of a white blur ‘falling’ from the bridge, according to the Legends Tour Script.

Nunemaker Place

Nunemaker is home to several ghost brides, most of whom died on their wedding days. 

The former chapel and current home to Westminster’s Honors College, is also haunted by Kelly Sullivan. 

Sullivan was about to be married when she mysteriously died inside Nunemaker.

No other information could be found on this tragic and forever bride-to-be who haunts the honors building, but some say they have seen her pacing along the edge of the creek.

But this isn’t the only area she likes to wander. 

Ray Barber, a campus patrol officer, works the graveyard shift checking the campus throughout the night. Barber has been a full-time officer for two years, and says he’s “never seen anything by the creek besides people looking to get in trouble.”

But Nunemaker is a different story. 

Often time, Barber will go into Nunemaker to take breaks. While in there, he said he can hear the air vents clanking and items being thrown around. There’s also a presence you can feel while sitting in the empty rooms, he said. 

“There’s one mass that you can feel moving towards you,” Barber said. “You can feel a person is next to you, and then it’s right here, right behind me.”

*The majority of information in this series comes from the Legends Tour script and research.

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