SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Missouri State University’s McDonald Arena is one of the oldest buildings on campus and one of the most haunted.

History of McDonald Hall and Arena

According to University Engineer and Director of Facilities Management, Brad Kielhofner, McDonald Hall and Arena was built in 1940. It was the fourth building built on campus. University president Roy Ellis requested that fans should be able to watch basketball from upstairs, so the seats go up throughout the building.

When the student center was built in 1976, basketball moved out, but it is still home to the P.E. department or what is now called ‘kinesiology’, according to Kielhofner.

The arena is still used for health, physical education and recreation today.

Is Missouri State University haunted?

Jeni Hopkins, daughter of a former department head for physical education, Dr. Tommy Burnett, believes that she experienced something strange multiple times while closing down the arena with her father.

“I’m not sure that I believe in ghosts. I’m not sure that I’m sold on that. But I do know that there were a couple of experiences that my father and I had when we were here,” said Hopkins. After attending Greenwood, she would come to the arena to wait on her father to finish up his work.

“One night… I was out in there shooting baskets and I was by myself and I finished and turn the lights off in the gym. And I went into his office and I was kind of just saying, ‘Okay, let’s go, let’s go.’ And we started hearing balls bouncing in the gym and shoes squeaking like there was some people playing,” said Hopkins. Her father asked who was in the gym with her, in which she responded saying, “No one.”

The two investigated the gym and no one was there.

They went back to the office and then heard it again. They returned to the gym to only find silence.

“Another time we were sitting in his office again and there used to be these blue metal lockers in the locker room and they were all open because they had just cleaned them. And there was this sound of like someone slamming them shut,” said Hopkins. “So there was like this ‘bam, bam, bam’ and they were closing, but nobody was ever there.”

Despite having these events happen to her and her father multiple times, she is still skeptical.

“I can’t really explain those instances, but, you know, I’m not sure there is an explanation, but that something that was a little bit… Let’s use the word creepy that occurred to me,” said Hopkins.

As for the rest of campus, some students have reported a ghost roaming the fifth floor of the dorms in Freudenberger House known as the “Dorm Mom.”

Check out the video above to see our ghost investigation with the Southwest Ghost Finders.