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Memorial Union


Haunted Place: Memorial Union - At University of Wisconsin in Madison


800 Langdon Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53706

Mapquest Info


The Memorial Union building can be found in the heart of the University of Wisconsin in Madison campus, on Langdon St., which runs between N. Park St. on the north and N. Lake Street to the south. It was built on the banks of Lake Mendota, a beautiful spot indeed!




The Memorial Union is an impressive multi-story Italian-Renaissance style building, which sits on the shoreline of Lake Mendota, in full view of their lakeside Union Terrace, that is big enough for 600 chairs. Inside this beautiful building, one finds a 1300 seat theater, dining facilities and eateries, a games room, a craft shop, a travel center, and a German-style tavern. There are also 20 different meeting rooms and places for a variety of events; including elegant reception and banquet areas in Great Hall and Tripp Commons, which offer a beautiful atmosphere.


The plans for this student union building were made in 1919, with the duo purpose of also being the University's war memorial, which is why it is called The Memorial Union. In 1925, on Armistice Day; (known now as Veteran's Day), University President Glenn Frank had the honor of breaking the ground with a shovel, in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 5,000. The building was opened in 1928.

"The Memorial Union is the recognition of the importance of the leisure hour. The Memorial Union building will give us a living room that will convert the University from a house of learning into a home of learning." President Glenn Frank.

1930s-1940s -The first "outing club group" made up of three students and three staff members, called the Wisconsin Hoofers came into being, which planned a skiing trip for its first event. By the 1940s, The Wisconsin Hoofers was a popular way to have fun. A Hoofer Sailing Club, with 450 students formed to receive dry land instruction.

In 1952, the original Union Building Committee incorporated themselves, becoming the Memorial Union Building Association, defined as a tax-exempt educational corporation, whose purpose and dedication was and is to focus on serving the Wisconsin Union and its members.

1962 - The Stiftskeller, an eatery and meeting place for students, opened in the previous Billiards Room, providing additional seating space. Murals were added here in 1978.

In 1971, the growing student body needed more room, so the Memorial Union opens Union South, which celebrates with the theme, "Fewer Walls, More Bridges."

In 1983, The Memorial Union Building Association came up with the money and supplies to continue to make the  beloved Union Terrace "sunburst" chairs, which have been popular with students who hang out on the Union Terrace, beginning in the 1940s.

In 1987, the Union Terrace was expanded. Before this expansion, most activity on the Union Terrace took place just outside the Rathskeller rotunda.



Memorial Union is supposedly built on an Indian burial ground. It is a beautiful spot, near a lake, which would be a favored place to lay to rest loved ones. Building on top of burial grounds is never a good idea!

Perhaps someone who was deeply involved with the Memorial Union building can't let go just yet, wishing to keep an eye on the living.


Stairs leading from the first floor to the second floor:

The full apparition of an elderly woman, dressed in 19th century - early 20th century attire is seen by the living, standing on the top of this staircase for only a moment or two.

Second Floor of the Memorial Union:

The living have felt a strong, unseen, domineering presence.

This presence gets its chuckles by playing with clocks and watches - making their hands spin wildly around, in an untimely, non-logical fashion, sure to scare the living witnesses who are present.


It seems to be, according to eye witnesses. I couldn't find any paranormal investigations posted on line, but the living have experienced these manifestations. Perhaps an over-dedicated female entity and/or a restless Indian entity have also made the Memorial Union their home in their after-life.


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