• Tayden Bundy

Lincoln Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire

Updated: Jul 14

Share these spooky tales around the campfire this summer


Wilderness Park

One afternoon, a girl and boy wandered too far into the woods. As they tried to find their way back to town, they stumbled upon a cabin. Walking in front, the boy cautiously approached. As he moved closer, a woman emerged from the doorway. He looked back at the girl, who was frozen in fear. The woman motioned for him to come closer and when he reached the cabin, the woman snatched him up, dragged him inside, and slammed the door.


Frightened, the girl ran until she found her way back to town. When she told her parents what happened, they rounded up the neighbors, formed a mob, and went into the woods. When they arrived at the cabin, they found the woman, but the boy was gone.

As they searched the property, they found the graves of several other children who had gone missing.


They decided to take justice into their own hands. They found a chain in a shed, wrapped it around the woman’s neck, and hanged her from a tree.


Today, disembodied voices of children can be heard screaming in the woods and people see the ghostly form of an old woman wandering around.


They also say, that if you find a chain in the woods and follow it. It will lead you directly to the grave of the Witch of Wilderness Park.



C. C. White Building

In October of 1963, Colleen Buterbaugh walked over to the C. C. White Building on Wesleyan campus to find a professor visiting from Scotland. As she entered the building she could hear music and students talking and laughing. As she reached the first-floor office, all the sound disappeared.


Across the room, she saw a woman, reaching up to retrieve sheet music from a section of cubbies lining the far wall. The woman did not appear to be solid and she was wearing clothing from another time.


Suddenly Colleen sensed what she described as a male presence sitting at a desk to her left. When she looked over, no one was there. While searching for the person she believed to be watching her, she peered out an open window. Outside she noticed the sorority house that had recently been built was gone and the town had gone back in time. When she looked back toward where the woman was standing, the ghostly figure had disappeared. Colleen ran out of the building and as she did all the sound came flooding back. The music and the talking and the laughter.


After returning to her desk, her boss could tell something was wrong and when he asked her, she relayed her experience to him. After speaking with other faculty members, based on Colleen’s description, someone showed her a photo in an old yearbook. When she looked at the photo, she confirmed the woman she had seen was Clara Mills.


Clara Mills was a music professor who had worked in the C. C. White Building. One morning, she had arrived at work, took off her coat, and died at her desk in that first-floor office, 23 years before.



Nebraska State Capitol

In the 1960s, the outer dome was covered in Christmas lights. The task of hanging decorations at 400 feet, was taken on by inmates, who volunteered in order to receive praise at their next parole board hearing.


One evening, after everyone else had left for the day, a maintenance worker and an inmate made their way to the top of the building. After securing himself into a harness, the inmate hoisted himself up and out onto the surface of the smooth and slick dome. Before he could even attach the first string of lights, the inmate slipped, lost his grip, and fell 14 stories down. As he plummeted to his death, his scream echoed through the city.


People hear disembodied voices throughout the building. Doors and windows slam shut on their own, and dark figures are seen in the stairways.


Most report hearing the sobs of a man on the southwest side of the observation deck and the ghostly form of a person falling from the topmost section of the building, only to disappear before hitting the ground.



Lake Street Lake

Long before houses surrounded a little pond in the center of town, a dairy farmer and his family owned the section of land that would later be known as Lake Street Lake. Locals would gather on winter afternoons to ice skate on the oval-shaped rink. One afternoon, a young boy found himself in the middle of a scuffle with several local bullies.


As the fight broke out, the boy was stabbed and left bleeding on the ice.


Before anyone could help him, he died, crying out as his last breath formed into a cloud.

The pond has long since been drained and only a single tree from the farm remains.

On cold winter nights, the blue ghostly form of a boy can be seen skating across the surface of the empty pond.



20th and Washington

On a late winter night, in the early 1900s, a young prominent bachelor was walking through the neighborhood near 20th and Washington. As he approached the intersection, a roadster came barreling down the street toward him and squealed to a sudden stop. The young man leaned over and appeared to speak to the people inside the car until two gunshots rang out. The man stumbled back and fell to the ground.


The sound stirred the neighbors, who came flooding from their homes as the car sped away. When they approached him, he could not speak as he writhed in pain. In one last effort, while lying on the sidewalk, he attempted to use his own blood to spell out the name of the person who had been inside the car, but before he could do so he perished.


His murder is still unsolved.


Today, if you walk around all four corners of 20th and Washington, people say you can experience a mysterious cold spot on the southeast corner. Could that be the ghost of the man still trying to expose his killer?






Read about the history associated with several ghost stories from Nebraska in Beyond Lincoln: A History of Nebraska Hauntings. Purchase a copy today at taydenbundy.com/store





The author:

Tayden Bundy


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