Old ‘sis’ Linn may be haunting Glenville State College
In 1919, actor Charlie Chaplin ruled the motion picture market. The song “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” was at the top of the American music charts and the average car cost just $525. The pop-up toaster had just been invented and crime rates everywhere were low. Life was good. Perhaps that is what made the violent murder of an innocent woman in rural West Virginia even more horrifying.
Sarah Louisa Linn was born in Fairmont in 1853 and most folks simply called her “Sis”. She taught school at several locations in the state before marrying a Mr. Chrisman in 1905 at the matronly age of 52. It is not known why, but her husband abandoned her just a mere six months later. The courts allowed her to take her maiden name back and it was well known that she had acquired a fairly large estate during her short lived marriage.
Sis lived in a house that is now part of the grounds of Glenville State College. In February of 1919, and by an attacker never found, she was beaten to death, leaving the town reeling in horror at the violent act. She was found dead in her bedroom with an old and bloody club nearby. No valuables were gone and no money was stolen. The assailant was never found and Sis Linn eventually became a cold case.
Several years later, her home was purchased and was demolished to make way for the building of a new women’s dormitory which was named after Verona Maple. The dormitory hall was completed in 1926 and became home to 80 students. The building was later torn down in 1978.
Unusual occurrences have happened on campus and many speculate it may be the spirit of Sis Lin who is behind the acts. Most activity reported seems to be centered on Clark Hall and the site of the old Verona Maple Hall. Paranormal activity experienced ranges from strange sounds to the old cemetery gates being left open for no reason. Many stories seemed to circulate by the time the 1970s rolled around with some tales making the school’s newspaper, The Mercury. Individuals who came forward with stories include staff, students and faculty. One professor stated that she had been in her office before the school session started. She heard loud noises like people moving metal desks and throwing things around yet the noises seem to come from all over. She was totally alone. She thought “I wonder if this is Sis Linn?” and suddenly the sounds stopped.
Another incident involved a student working alone in the basement of Clark Hall. He heard loud noises and when investigating he reached out to turn on the light switch and the lights came on even before he touched the switch. He ran to the top of the steps, and the lights went off casting him into darkness. He then looked down the hall and by the glow of the red exit sign he saw an object about the size of a small black bear. He noticed it looked as if it were swaying back and forth. The light suddenly came back on.
Other occurrences are in the form of hearing unexplained noises, feelings of being watched all alone and blinds moving when no one is near and no indoor breeze can be explained. One couple swears they saw a “dense gray mass” rise up from the cemetery grounds located behind Louis Bennett Hall. The curiosities continue to happen on the campus. More recent reports surfaced again in 2010. Some say she is continuing to search for her murderer while others say she just wants attention.
If you drive through Glenville during the day, stop at the old cemetery were Sis is buried. Pay your respects, be sincere and say a prayer. Perhaps one day she will find eternal peace.
Sherri Brake is a paranormal researcher, author and Haunted Heartland Tour owner. You may email her at SherriBrake@gmail.com or visit her website at www.HauntedHistory.net