My Paranormal Bucket List - UAA's Wendy Williamson Auditorium
Located on the University of Alaska at Anchorage sits the Wendy Williamson Auditorium. The auditorium is unique in that is far “younger” than most of the paranormal haunts I wish to visit. Construction began in 1973 and put on hold when financial issues were encountered. When construction resumed, the blueprints were changed to significantly lower costs. This mid-construction change left the building with some odd features – doors that lead nowhere, unused elevator shafts, and a catwalk without a purpose.
However, there is more going on at this auditorium than unusual design concepts. Staff, students, and theater buffs have been reporting paranormal activity since the doors opened decades ago. The auditorium is rumored to be haunted by a woman in a white dress, an aggressive man, a former professor, a teenage boy, and children.
In 2001, the woman in the white dress appeared at the end of a performance and was reportedly seen by the entire audience. Spectators were mesmerized by what they believed were theatrical special effects that allowed the woman to seemingly float and glide. When the audience asked about her, the staff members were baffled. The woman was not part of the show, and no one should’ve been on stage at that time.
Apparitions of children have also been seen, though no one seems to know who they are. They can be heard giggling and playing, and they have even been caught on walkie talkie transmissions. The less active and quieter spirit of a teenage boy also appears to be in residence.
While most of the spirits are peaceful and benign, there is one that is considered aggressive and even dangerous. This angry male spirit seems to focus his ill will on specific targets. He is known for pushing females with long, brown hair down the stairs in the lobby stairwell. It is also rumored that an uneasy feeling accompanies his presence.
Lastly, it is believed that John Wendell “Wendy” Williamson, late UAA professor, musician, and auditorium namesake, still haunts the building. Many think he is responsible for the piano playing by itself in the lobby.
Add these amazing encounters to a myriad of unexplained events – flying objects, exploding lights, water and lights that turn on by themselves, disembodied voices, shadow figures, etc – and you have what appears to be an extremely active paranormal location.
What is causing all of this activity? Could it be the close proximity of the Alaska Psychiatric Institute and the McLaughlin Youth Center throwing off the energy and emotional angst of their residents? Or could it be that these spirits are drawn to the theater itself, a place of art, fantasy, music, and passion? We may never know for certain, but one thing is for sure…….the Wendy Williamson Auditorium puts on one heck of a show!