Austin Peay State University

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Austin Peay State University’s Trahern Theater is said to be haunted by Margaret, a ghost who haunts the third floor and the stage. Margaret is said to tinker with elevators and electricity, lock doors, bang on lockers and call the names of students.

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Geographic Information

601 College St
Clarksville, Tennessee 37044
United States

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36.535039, -87.3540979
Montgomery County, Tennessee
Nearest Towns:
Clarksville, TN (0.5 mi.)
Fort Campbell North, KY (10.1 mi.)
Oak Grove, KY (10.2 mi.)
Guthrie, KY (13.0 mi.)
Trenton, KY (14.0 mi.)
Adams, TN (16.3 mi.)
Pembroke, KY (16.6 mi.)
Slayden, TN (17.8 mi.)
LaFayette, KY (17.9 mi.)
Cumberland City, TN (18.5 mi.)

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  1. Ok, first off, it is so difficult to get to the third floor (where the ‘ghost’ is most active). secondly, Margaret Trahern was who the building was named after, but she did die there, she died in her mansion a few block down by the river.
    The elevators are the mainly freaky part of that cursed building. Was trapped in there, at night I might add, for a good 15 minutes before it miraculously started up again as I pulled my cellphone out to call for help. Campus is a defiantly frightening place to be at night already but now I stick to the stairway. But even then, can’t stand them, doors slam even when you know there’s a stopper, noises are amplified, and for some reason, how do I put this…. Oh ya, Flippin footsteps follow you, windows are strangely open and then close, and the stage area, where she’s also supposedly active, you can literally be suffocated in there if the air vents shit off.
    Haunted? Wouldn’t be surprised

  2. So I’m not having any problems in trahern, but in my dorm. In hand village my apartment door has been shaking and the door handle jiggling like someone is trying to get in. And the occasional bang of frustration. I need help on this. Please.

  3. Patrick Ramsey  |  

    I am Patrick Ramsey and I used to be a student and also used to work at APSU. Yes, folks APSU is very haunted. The Clements Building, 3rd floor, at night or during the weekend, you get an uneasy feeling in the hallway. Also, in the Music/Communication Building, at night, you will hear footsteps coming towards you on the other side, around the corner; however, no one comes around the corner, even though you still hear footsteps. At time, in the theater, you hear the piano playing, but no one is around. The campus library is also haunted. Lower level.Night time.Also, the kitchen cooking area, at night.pots and pans moving on their own.Downstairs below the kitchen where the student P.O. Boxes and other officer are at, at night, you feel as though there’s someone/thing following you. I can go on and on.

  4. There’s a bunch of folklore surrounding this old school and a bunch of stories floating about.
    I actually have a few stories from my time at APSU that are “”paranormal”” or just weird..
    I have tried to find the teas and whether or not it was true, to no avail. No confirmed horrible deaths from what I could find. Other than finding APSU used to be a catholic school at one point?

    The Trahern:
    It is like the oldest building on campus, or one of them.. Weird things happen all the time here and whenever stuff happens, we blamed it on ‘Margaret’ I believe it’s just a nickname in memorium of Mrs smith-trahern (she died in her home, waiting for her husband to return, she has her own ghost story) and not her actual name, but if it is, they’re unrelated.
    The ghost Margaret here supposedly threw herself out of a third story window (or off a catwalk in the theater and onto the stage depending on who you’re taking to) on the night of her first lead in a play
    Incident 1: So, I have never been stuck in that god forsaken elevator until one night. I was in an upstairs studio early in the night, so I took the elevator because i was being lazy..The elevator ended up shutting off in between floors, lights and all. I flipped out and couldn’t find my phone that i had dropped in the dark and ended up scooting into a corner on the edge of tears before it started up again like nothing happened.
    incident 2:I had an early morning class in the theater. Teacher was going through a power point as per usual and a few other classmates and I heard a very loud thud in one of the rows behind us.. like almost like a sack of sand had just been dropped from the ceiling or something. Like all of us jumped. One brave soul went back to see what it was, but couldn’t find anything.
    Incident 3: still in the same theater, I heard a clang from the ac duct, and when i turned my head to look at it, my teacher dramatically gasped as the projector shut off. Soon after her gasp, the lights were doing that “shows about to start” thing. Class was dismissed right after that lol.
    incident 3: When I took ceramics, it was normal to stay to work after security shuts down the building since there was a back door. This night I just happened to be the only over achiever in the studio. I had went over to prepare some clay to throw on to one wheel while I had left a bowl on another, overturned so I could do stuff to it. I was about to take my chunk over to the wheel when i noticed my bowl wasn’t on the wheel anymore… it was on the counter.. Ooooo! spooky!
    Lets just say the professor asked the next morning (I was in the first class of the morning) why I had left my stuff around the studio..

    Some friends and previous classmates had similar experiences if not more scary ones, like what happens on the third floor (there’s a separate elevator to get to it so people that don’t normally have business there find it difficult to get to) like seeing a full entity.

    The Library:
    OK, so apparently there was a medium at one point to visit and confirmed that this spot is quite haunted, mostly the basement floor.
    When I went to middle college here, we patrolled every corner of the campus and were really into seeing our limits of where we were able to journey. keeping that in mind, we found some pretty weird things, and creepy, unsettling places on campus.
    One of which was the outside stairs going down the side of the building. walking down there , we had to jump a crappy single chain (no longer there now) which most likely meant please don’t cross, we did anyways. at the bottom was like a horrible rotting smell and behind the stair way we saw what looked like a pile of bones. Haven’t ventured down there since. Could’ve just been coincidence of some sort.
    The bottom floor of the library is all the big boring books on weird rolling racks along with a bunch of study space, and a wall of computers. opening the door to the stairwell to the main part of the library creates a weird windy suck-y feeling that slams the door every so often if you don’t watch the door. None the less, there’s a really weird silence, almost deafening, but its also followed with a creepy feeling when you’re alone, like you’re being watched by more than one set of eyes..
    one of my classmates claimed they heard screaming like a man was in pain, and a few other things that i have forgotten over the years.
    The medium that I had mentioned said she could see some sort of make shift hospital from some war and upon entering from the back, she could see bodies lined up along the walls. A classmate had found this lil bit of info out after I had left APSU. Coincidence? maybe?

    There is a lot more, especially in the old buildings that were around before APSU and one of the dormitories, but most of it could just be campus folklore that students tell around campfires, or to scare some newer students. whether they are true or not, still interesting to hear the stories.

  5. Hello! My name is Melissa Smith I’m originally from Clarksville Tennessee currently in Lee County Florida where there was a bunch of things that happened only once maybe about 15 occurrences that happened only once causing the major Witchcraft and still going on and I don’t know I’m reaching out to other places because I have a lot of gifts that God gave me and down here it’s nothing but more ones and I want to try to get into something to reality and see how I do I am a psychic medium I am a true Angel medium and I am a witch by blood I’m also an Angel by blood and I have which tendencies I am better off in Tennessee where I am closer to my roots and I am connected to the earth and the body’s soul anything that you want I can do with you is not going to be happening I want to do a study if anybody is interested in it I would love to get paid to actually do it I can prove it to you anything that you would like to know please give me a call at 239-217-2619 I am very very very very interested in any type of haunted place I want to go there and see what I find because I am a true medium I do see alien I see spirits I see witchcraft in a witchcraft with paranormal and I figured out a lot of theories that I said yes to myself two people and it’s hard to get the word around down here because a lot of people down here are just fake the wrong ones are here and I want to get around people that believe in this type of stuff and know it and prove that I know it and that way I can further myself in my journey please again give me a call have a great day

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.