Slater Hall, University of Iowa

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A former student has regrets about his rash act.



Slater Hall is a late 1960s’ style multi-storied, modern brick building resident hall that is found on many college campuses, with housing for 499 students; two students to a room with some single rooms available.

It is solidly built, with a handsome design and completely air-conditioned for its coed residents. Each floor has its own lounge, with a piano probably on the first floor lounge. It’s dining facility is located in Hillcrest Hall. There are study areas with wifi availability and electrical sockets for plugging In laptops.

There is easy access to this dining facility, the Field House Recreational Facilities, the computer labs and fitness center, which is a must as Iowa can have nasty weather. The fitness center must be a popular perk.

The rooms are the basic college type with two beds, two desks, spaces to hang clothes and a single toilet, with the main bathroom in the middle of each hall for community use. To make more room, beds are lofted; making more space for storage, etc. Each floor has rooms off the length of the hallway, with a Resident Assistant on each floor.

It is easy to get on a bus to the college campus to get to classes and activities, and the libraries. Buses run by all residence halls every ten minutes going to all parts of the campus.

Alternatives to drinking are encouraged to keep students entertained with an active theatre and other fun activities. Many campus clubs and organizations offer a variety of activities as well as to enrich the university experience and provide a break from the challenging academic programs offered at this university.



Fifty-nine days after the state of Iowa was admitted to the Union, the University of Iowa was founded in 1847, and started its first classes in March of 1855, to students in the Old Mechanics Building, located where Seashore Hall is now.

In September 1855, there were one hundred and twenty-four students, of whom forty-one were women. This university attracted the brightest men and women from its very beginning. The 1856–57 catalogue of instruction offered nine departments: ancient languages, modern languages, intellectual philosophy, moral philosophy, history, natural history, mathematics, natural philosophy, and chemistry.

Two years later when the capitol of Iowa was moved to Des Moines, the university moved into the old Capitol building in Iowa City; also receiving for their development the ten acres that came with the Capitol building.

The University of Iowa is regularly recognized as one of the “top institutions of higher learning” in the country, and over “5,000 courses are offered at the university each year, covering professional studies; organized into twelve colleges offering more than 200 areas of study and seven professional degrees.” Law and medicine are two popular areas to strive to achieve here.

Graduate Studies is also one of best as well. The University of Iowa is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity.”

The population of students and graduate students has really grown over the years. As of 2020, there are 37,500  total students attending, making the University of Iowa a small city where all necessities are provided somewhere on campus.

Many of the state’s professionals including 79% of Iowa’s dentists, 50% of Iowa’s physicians, 48% of Iowa’s pharmacists, as well as teachers and administrators in each of the state’s K–12 school districts all got their training at this wonderful university.

The University of Iowa is best known for its programs in health care, law, and the fine arts, with programs ranking among the top 25 nationally in those areas. It is reasonable to expect that this university would have excellent libraries. “The University of Iowa library system is the state’s largest library and comprises the Main Library, the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, five branch libraries, and the Law Library. The University Libraries’ holdings include more than five million bound volumes, more than 200,000 rare books and 1000 historical manuscript collections.”

It has long been an academically challenging university, with a high standard of achievement to be met by their students. In modern times, the university provides support groups for stressed-out students and people to talk to about their issues brought on by the high expectations of studying here.

The twelve-story Slater Hall, like its neighbor, Rienow Hall, was built in 1968 to be housing for both men and women since it opened its doors. It is located on Grand Avenue. Slater is the only residence hall and first building on campus  at the University of Iowa named after a former athlete who was an African American.

Before the dangers of stress were recognized as a serious problem, a suicide happened at one of its residence halls described below sometimes during the time period after Slater Hall was built in 1968; a student in need of counseling and help. Perhaps he was taking an over-whelming course study and found himself falling behind.



A suicide, three spirits who may have died suddenly, and perhaps a spirit who bonded to the land are probably the main causes of the hauntings at Slater Hall.

Some students enter college who are not ready for the pressure of first-rate academics, new relationships, and unpleasant consequences. If they are psychologically weak, pressure and emotional upset can push them over the edge if they don’t get help.

Indiana Memorial Union at University at Bloomington IN (Several disturbed students committed suicide here and still wander around lost in their pain they thought they would be free of if they were dead).

Kamola Hall, Central Washington University, WA (A female student hung herself from the rafters after having a painful loss).

Graverly Hall at Idaho State University, ID (Some people killed themselves here).

Slater Hall, University of Iowa (A male student snapped under pressure and jumped out of the window that was in the ninth floor lounge to his death below).

Some spirits can be stuck on the land  or places where they did their evil deeds; crimes against humanity. If the land isn’t blessed and cleared beforehand, they can move into any building built on or near this land.

Bobby Mackay’s Music World, KY (The spirits of two young men who cut off the head of one young woman who was pregnant on land near this building, decided to move inside this structure, along with their victim who is still looking for her head).

Hampton Lilibridge House, GA (An evil spirit bent on murder and mayhem came inside to cause havoc).

Mission San Miguel, CA (The dastardly killers who killed an entire family on this property; inside and outside the building are still stuck here, looking for the gold that they thought was here and the reason for their dastardly deeds).

Slater Hall, IA (The story goes that before Slater Hall and other university buildings were built on the land that they stand on, a maniacal killer was roaming this land, looking for victims, but was caught and hung on the property. An embellishment was added that he was stealing and eating babies. His nickname is the Penguin).

People who wanted to hurt or kill someone but died before they were able, sometimes still try but never can, so they scare folks for chuckles.

The Ham House, IA (The revengeful pirate who was coming up the stairs to kill Ms Ham, was shot through the door and died. He still does the actions today as a spirit, but is forever frustrated.

Comedy Store, CA (The spirit of a mob torturer and killer of folks who displeased the mafia still would love to hurt the living but settles for scaring them.

Irma Hotel, WY (The hotel’s guest from hell, a spirit of a murderous bully, still would like to hang people from his window but has to settle for trying to scare people; especially paranormal investigators).

Slater Hall, IA (This spirit of the student who killed himself is said to also have an axe in his hand as he wanders forlornly around the halls).

When people die suddenly, they sometimes are not yet ready to go to the other side and continue on in their jobs they had as best they can; especially if they loved their jobs.

THE LAKE HOTEL, WY (A spirit of a ported still helps to carry the luggage).

Brumder Mansion, WI (Most of the spirits who used to work here still do but not on the payroll).

Pasa Robles Inn, CA (A spirit of a clerk still puts in a day’s work, while trying to finish his important task of warning guests of the fire that killed him eventually).

Slate Hall, IA (The spirit of a Resident Assistant, and two other male students may have died suddenly before they were ready).



Spirit of Student who suicided

The spirit of this young man has been reported by residents as he walks forlornly around the halls.

Some claim that he is carrying an ax, late at night. This may be a fabrication meant to scare the gullible. Or, perhaps he had wanted to kill someone in revenge but lost his nerve.

Like many people who have killed themselves, he seems doomed to relive his suicide, and screams when he goes out the window.

His footsteps and screams are also heard by the living.

Spirit of The Penguin?

A Menacing Male Spirit supposedly lurks around the first floor.

He doesn’t seem to do much at all but get some chuckles by staring at students as an unseen presence or giving off a frightening aura.

He is said to wander around, trying to fit in they say as appearing as a” fat R.A” on a deadly mission. Right!

Spirit of an RA

She has probably been seen on the first floor/ Otherwise, how would people know that she was once a R.A.?

She is said to go about her duties on the first floor. She may be a real spirit trying to do what she did before suddenly passing away.

An urban legend claims that she really is the Penguin looking for freshman to eat. However, no freshmen have ever disappeared.

UNKNOWN Male Spirit or Two

One male spirit apparently told the living that he died unexpectantly in a car crash. He was a student at University of Iowa.

One male spirit also went to University of Iowa and died mysteriously; to be determined.


Lots of experiences have been reported by students living on the ninth floor of the spectral hall walker. Lots of auditory evidence as well as Visual sightings.

No hard evidence has been made public.

Through a Qujia board, two male spirits made themselves known to three young women working the board.

Some experiences must of been reported about the spirit of the R.A., to be fodder for wise-acre upper classman to tack on another aspect of the Penguin!

No actual experiences have been reported about the Penguin.  Feeling like someone unseen was watching them could be any of the sprits who call this place home.



Yes Indeed for the suicidal student; Possibly so for the spirit of the R.A., and the two male college students, though more reported experiences about these spirits would be further proof that they exist. It would be great if more research was done to proof their existence.

The male spirit who killed himself is definitely still here wandering the halls of the ninth floor.  He has been heard and probably seen by some.
He may or may not have been holding a hatchet.

The Quiji board experience opens the door to thinking that two other male spirits are also still here.

The spirit of the R.A. wasn’t ready to go to the other side and wants to continue to enjoy her duties.
I bet she isn’t looking for freshman to eat.

I’m not so sure about the spirit of the Penguin; it could be a little bit of truth wrapped up in a big embellishment to scare new students. Some upper classmen have great imaginations. Or it could be a totally made-up story.




325 Grand Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52246

Slater Hall can be found on the west side of campus, just across the Iowa River on Grand Avenue in Iowa City, across from Rienow Hall. Slater Hall is right next to the sports campus and health sciences campus and hospital.




Iowa Narratives Project –
Exploring the Mysteries Behind Slater Hall
Danielle Vrankin, University of Iowa
Patrick Markmann, University of Iowa
Michael Reiser, University of Iowa

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

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