Temple Theatre

More From Nebraska

Has spirits who don’t want to leave for a variety of reasons.

An eccentric teacher, two accident victims and others choose to stay, causing activity.




The University of Nebraska was founded in 1869, mapped out on 4 city blocks. By 1905 this university had grown by a third, and was beginning to out grow its 4 block campus. This beautiful, immense”Franco-Italian Style” Temple building was originally constructed in 1906, to be a student activity center, and the new home of the University Theatre. John D. Rockefeller matched funds raised to help in this effort, which caused a row with the populists of the era, who felt that Rockefeller’s money was tainted!


Throughout the years, this 4 story, rectangular brick building with a red tile roof, has been well taken care of, and probably has been renovated inside to meet the needs of the university. The entrance is framed by 4 Italian marble pillars strategically placed across the front of the building. On top of the pillars sits a rectangular slab of marble, which has the engraved the name of the building, TEMPLE, and is the foundation for the little patio which is attached to the fourth floor. The building looks like it will last for another 100 years!

Inside this well-constructed building one finds the campus radio station and KUON-TV, all the drama and theatre classes, some administrative offices, probably the Theatre Arts Department offices, and UNL’s two main theatres, Howell and Studio, and other “performance spaces.”

The UNL Department of Theatre Arts and the Nebraska Repertory Theatre keep these theatres hopping with productions throughout the year, which get the support of not only the college community, but also the people of Lincoln.



Haunted theatre buildings have entity residents who don’t want to leave for a variety of reasons.

Perhaps, they suffered a fatal accident in or near the building, or they really loved their work done in the building, or have enjoyed the theatre arts performed and choose to spend their afterlife watching future productions.

Two known spirits:

In the 1940s, a thespian/dramatic arts production student fully involved with a production of Macbeth, had a dumb accident; He fell from the overhead rigging in the main theatre, and died from his injuries on the stage.

Dallas Williams, who was the Theater Department Chairman (1944-1971), was known to do wild things to punctuate his teachings, like throw chairs in his classrooms.



Entity of thespian/theatre production student

Whenever the presentation of Macbeth is in production and performed on stage, this male entity’s clear apparition is seen near the stage by witnesses.

An apparition described as being a “shadowy figure” has been seen, going about his business, standing in a locked sound booth, inaccessible to anyone breathing.

Entity of a young girl

In the 1980s a strange, unexplainable thumping was heard coming from the Temple Building attic when no one alive was up in this area.

A doll was needed for a play. Members of the production crew went up to the attic, and dismembered a variety of dolls to create the perfect doll, leaving a mess of doll parts all over the floor, locking the door when they left. When they later came back to the attic to clean up their mess, someone had organized the parts of each doll, so that each part was where it belonged, including the heads, making it easy to put the dolls back together again.

The entity of Dallas Williams

Students hear the sound of chairs being thrown, coming from empty classrooms.

Other paranormal activity which could be any of the entities who are haunting the building:

The sound of someone walking across the balcony has been heard. A balcony seat then is pushed down, like someone is sitting in it, through the duration of the rehearsal.

In the 1970s, an entity was noticed in the east basement studios of KUON-TV, located in The Temple Building.

A common occurrence is the sound of someone practicing their tap dancing steps on the stage of the Howell Theatre, which can be heard in the halls of the building. No one seen is ever there.


Yes indeed! The eye witness accounts are believable. In the 4/18/07 on-line posting, John Wenz of the dailynebraskan.com, stated in his article that he personally has talked to people who had recently seen the ghosts of the Temple Building.

The student entity died suddenly and unexpectedly, and has unfinished business. Perhaps he still wants to earn his degree, and be involved in the play he was working on, despite being dead.

The entity of Dallas Williams, a dedicated teacher who loved his job, is still teaching in the classrooms, not letting his death cramp is style.

As the attic is filled with all kinds of interesting props and materials which would be of interest to a young girl, a young female entity is drawn to this place to play. We don’t know her connection to this building, but she is still there.

Though unofficially investigated by students who didn’t experience anything, a professional paranormal investigation organization, who are not only armed with equipment, but are skilled in picking up the subtle signs of the paranormal, have yet to investigate this building. I bet they would find evidence of the entities staying here.



Temple Building
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE 68588

Note: (On Q Street, between 12th and 13th Streets.)

The Temple Building is located on the East Campus, of University of Nebraska in Lincoln, on Q Street, between 12th Street and 13th Street. It is just across the street from the Administration Building and Don L. Love Memorial Library, which is the main library on the college’s campus.



  • unl.edu
  • Campus Tour and Map
  • dailynebraskan.com, article by Melanie Mench, 2000
  • dailynebraskan.com, article by John Wenz, 4/18/2007
  • HAUNTED PLACES: The National Directory
    by Dennis William Hauck, 2002

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Our Photos are copyrighted by Tom Carr

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