Worker upholds tale of theater ghost

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Tales of ghosts and apparitions on the east side of Memorial Stadium have been told by K-State students for years. Stories tell of at least one ghost, Nick, a student who died on campus and now haunts the building.

Sally Bailey, associate professor of theater, has worked in the Purple Masque Theatre in East Stadium for eight years. Theatergoers and drama students who frequent the Purple Masque often are present when Nick chooses to interact with the living.

“Supposedly, [Nick] was killed in a football game in the stadium many, many years ago when the old stadium was used for football games, and also used as the dorm for the athletes,” Bailey said. “What is now the Purple Masque was the cafeteria.”

Bailey said Nick’s ghost has stayed in Memorial Stadium all these years because he is still waiting for his parents, who were not with him before he died.

“He was carried in from the field to the cafeteria and that’s where he died,” she said. “It is believed he still haunts the Purple Masque. … Legend says they were on their way to the game, but it was a dark and rainy night and they had an accident on a country road and were killed, never making it to see Nick.”

Nick is known as a prankster, and Bailey said she believes several strange occurrences can be attributed to his mischief.

“My first couple of years of teaching, there were a couple of times when I thought that my purse had disappeared, and then at the end of class or the end of rehearsal, it would show up back where I had originally put it,” Bailey said. “I decided that Nick was spiriting it away just to let me know he was around and that I’d better be respectful.”

Bailey teaches Creative Drama in the Purple Masque each semester. She said by telling Nick’s story out loud to her students during class, Nick feels that he is being remembered and keeps a low profile.

“I think that he feels we are keeping his name alive and respecting his memory, so he doesn’t feel the need to play tricks on me and my students,” Bailey said.

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