Seeing Dale in Tutwiler Hall University of Alabama
by Beverly Barnes
(Mobile, Alabama USA)
I was a freshman at the University of Alabama in 1968 living in Julia Tutwiler Hall, which was a brand new dorm for women. My roommate was a sophomore named was Dale. In November she had a chance to move into a single room by herself, which she did. To visit each other, we had to cross through a large common bathroom which connected the two hallways. In December, before going home for Christmas break, Dale came to my room and gave me a Christmas present, which was an unexpected gift. I did not have a gift for her, and I felt bad by my oversight. I promised I would bring a gift back to her.
The day I came back from break, I crossed through the bathroom and went to knock on her door. I glanced over my shoulder looking left and saw Dale standing in the hallway going to the living room area beside the elevator banks. I yelled at her and told her to stay there, that I had a Christmas present for her. She was smiling at me.
I went back through the bathroom, into my room, grabbed the gift and walked down my hallway into the living room. No more than a minute had passed. Dale wasn't in the living room. I was looking around thinking that she must have gotten into an elevator.
I was looking somewhat confused (I guess) when one of the graduate student "hall monitors" asked if I was Dale's friend. I was stunned when she told me Dale had committed suicide on Christmas Day. She said Dale had been eating dinner with her family, and walked into her parent's bedroom, and shot herself.
I told the graduate student that I had just seen Dale standing in the hall, and I pointed to the open door. She told me she had been alone. I started to cry. I went back to my room with Dale's Christmas present, and then almost immediately and went to my boyfriend's fraternity, the Phi Kappa Psi house. I told several people what had happened, and, of course, no one believed me. No one else saw Dale.
I did not feel comfortable living at Tutwiler, and moved into New Hall at the end of the semester. I graduated from the University in 1971. This happened 45 years ago, and I have never forgotten seeing Dale.
I wrote this because a "ghost" has been reported on the 11th floor of Tutwiler -- supposedly the girl died from suicide by setting herself on fire. I don't know if this "ghost is Dale or someone else.