The Haunted Bells of Beaumont Tower
- Article by Mike O Keefe
- November 1, 2010
Some say that Halloween is the greatest holiday of anything, ever. These people are most likely alcoholics. They are also completely correct. What other time of the year would you see a drunk man dressed as Jesus next to a sexy bee in the back of a squad car. The answer: Never.
While the pageantry of debauchery usually takes center stage during Halloween, I like to think about what made Halloween great for me when I was a young lad, who didn’t have cable till like, ’99. That’s right, 1999. Of course, I am referring to stories about ghosts, goblins, ghouls and other haunted shit.
It should come as no surprise that a university with a rich history and proud tradition such as Michigan State also has a few ghost stories and more than its share of haunted buildings. For example, I have never heard nor seen anyone say anything even remotely intelligent or educated to a group of people outside Wells Hall. I can only assume that this spot is cursed with some sort of “Oh hey, I have an afternoon pass from the Halfway House so I might as well spew out whatever the voices in my head are saying about the homosexual and Muslim communities this week.” I’ve been mulling this situation over for a while and that is the only logical explanation I can come up with for those preachin’ dudes.
With that said, my favorite story of haunting is about the Beaumont Bell Tower. We all know Beaumont. We’ve all walked by it and said, “Wow, that seems incredibly unnecessary and really kind of creepy.” Well, guess what? It’s super haunted.
I lived in Campbell Hall last year. The more astute Spartan or anybody in the Music Department knows that Campbell is precisely 75 feet from Beaumont Tower(don’t quote me on that). Beaumont looks like something a goth kid that’s into Harry Potter would draw for some sort of weird Goth Hogwartz. There’s a live, 24 hour webcam at the base of the tower and all it does it record the screams of tiny children and unknowing and apathetic, boozed up, upperclassmen. Seriously though, there is a live stream on the website. It’s spooky as shit.
Everyday around noon, the bells would play the fight song, which we all know is one of the greatest songs ever written(up there with Gettin’Jiggy With It, an intense aphrodisiac). Like clockwork, that song would play. Every single day. It would often serve as my alarm or my reminder that this was kind of a weird part of campus for me to have lived in, since I am not a music major. Nor do I enjoy dorms that don’t have air conditioning or lead-free paint.
Upon further research, I discovered that there is not always someone playing that sweet, sweet song. While most would assume this is merely a pre-recorded track, they would be assuming wrong. It is a cold hard fact that after then Engineering (then it was called “Make stuff go-er”)student Francis Lankey went into that belltower in 1916 and started playing that song. He played that song in that same bell tower until he died in a later year. Those bells got so used to being pounded in that fashion that they still do it to this day. However, they take a break until noonish every day, and then ghost ass Francis yells at them “Play my shit, son.” And boy, do they play his shit.