Penguin Lady of Graham Hall

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At Central College in Graham Hall, there is a locked room rumored to be inhabited by someone they’ve nicknamed the Penguin Lady. Residents there say if you place a sheet of paper under the door, it will be quickly sucked into the locked room. When the staff unlock the door, they will find the paper sitting neatly on a dresser.

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Geographic Information

University and Broadway
Pella, Iowa
United States

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41.40047219611575, -92.9191496847946
Marion County, Iowa
Nearest Towns:
Pella, IA (0.5 mi.)
Harvey, IA (5.9 mi.)
Leighton, IA (8.1 mi.)
Knoxville, IA (11.3 mi.)
Monroe, IA (12.7 mi.)
Sully, IA (12.9 mi.)
Reasnor, IA (13.4 mi.)
Bussey, IA (13.7 mi.)
Lynnville, IA (14.1 mi.)
New Sharon, IA (14.7 mi.)


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Comments (4)

  1. History on the dorm is it use to be an old insane asylum, and penguin lady was a patient and they would put a penguin sticker on a paper and thats how they would get her to open the door for treatment, she eventually hung herself in the closet of her room, they have found the room with all the furniture stacked in odd ways, the room completely flooded from the sink running while this room is locked at all times, i visited this dorm while on a college trip loved the campus but that whole building is haunted. I was woken several times from the sounds of someone or something dragging against the walls of the hall outside of the room, i would constantly check and no one would be there. You could see light movement under the door as if someone is passing. The chapel is said to be haunted too, along with the science building.

  2. This story is hogwash. Graham was built as a dormitory in, I believe, 1917. It was never an insane asylum, Civil War Hospital, etc, etc, etc. The only things in Graham Hall are wild imaginations (same for the Chapel—which was built in the 1980’s)

  3. I was a student at Central in the 90s, lived in Graham my first year. The story was that a student in the 20s had a boyfriend who cheated on her or broke up with her and she hung herself in her room, but I don’t think it’s true at all. For one thing, there aren’t any records of student suicides to be found. The conspiracy minded could say they covered it up, but even if there is a ghost it doesn’t seem to be an angry one, like a suicide would probably be. My phone rang every couple of weeks with nobody calling and I would sometimes hear knocking at my second floor window at night. Some friends also talked about their radios or tape players going off in the middle of the night. If there’s a ghost there it’s a playful one.

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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.