By Ben Macintosh
Dalton Hall may not be the busiest of buildings on campus, but it might be the most active place for UPEIâ€™s otherworldly activity.
Edward MacDonald today is a professor at UPEI, but around 30 years ago he was doing research on St. Dunstanâ€™s University, which became UPEI in 1969. Macdonald sent surveys out to former students and staff of the school about their experience at St. Dunstanâ€™s. Many talked about ghost activity in Dalton Hall.
â€œStudents had claimed that someone had seen the ghost, or that there was an unexplained coldness, puddles of water on the floor where there shouldnâ€™t be a leak,â€ MacDonald said.
He decided to do more research on the haunting of Dalton Hall.
â€œThe basic outlines of the story were about a student who was living in Dalton Hall, which was a residence,â€ he said.
â€œThey were out after curfew, because in those days the school had a curfew, and limited access to the world outside campus and they had frozen to death.â€
After researching the origins of the ghost story, MacDonald found a historical event similar to the haunting story involving a student at St. Dunstanâ€™s named Ivan Molloy.
He said, according to the newspaper reports on Valentineâ€™s Day 1931, Molloy and a friend went into Charlottetown.
His friend arrived back on campus after curfew and discovered Molloy was no longer with him.
The next morning a search party found his body lying behind a snowbank in what’s now the Brownâ€™s Court area.
Molloyâ€™s death is tied very closely to the ghost stories, MacDonald said.
â€œIt was a tragedy and in a sense a scandal for the university and the haunting is connected to that death,â€ he said.
As with most stories, the haunting of Dalton Hall changed throughout the years.
â€œIt’s not surprising to me that Ivan Molloyâ€™s name got forgotten pretty quickly. The interesting thing is layers of details have gotten added over the years,â€ MacDonald said.
He said one of the most popular occurrences surrounding the haunting has to do with water.
â€œStudents who stayed in residence there would inexplicably see a puddle of water at the end of the hall, supposedly outside his room, where the snow had melted off the ghost,â€ MacDonald said.
MacDonald says he has not heard of anyone seeing the ghost in quite some time, not since Dalton was used as a residence.
Time will tell if last yearâ€™s renovations scared off the ghost or if it will return someday.