The Lady In Black

Lady in BlackThere is a story from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas that tells of a ghost more popularly known as the Lady in Black. This ghost is said to appear around the campus at around the same time as the school’s Homecoming Week. Numerous accounts of students seeing the ghost have spread throughout the years. Such stories still come to haunt the students each year and have become part of the school’s history and folklore.

Story of a Jilted Lover

The story behind the Lady in Black is one of love lost and one that came to a tragic end. There were once upon a time two students who fell in love with each other. It may sound simple enough, but the circumstances behind this love made it complicated enough. One of them is that the two students come from two different colleges in the area. The other one is the steep rivalry between these two schools that was rooted in their different religions.

Joshua and Jane

The story tells of Joshua and Jane that happened sometime in the 1920’s. Joshua was a student from Henderson Methodist College. He fell in love with a girl named Jane, a student coming from nearby Ouachita Baptist University. Although both Joshua and Jane were deeply in love with each other, there were other people around them- their friends- who disagree to the relationship. So serious was the rivalry between the two schools that Joshua’s friends threatened not to speak to him again if he doesn’t try to break off the relationship.

Being ostracized and harassed may have become too much for Joshua that it led him to finally break up with Jane. Upon knowing of Joshua’s decision to break up, Jane was crushed and deeply saddened. She was hurt even further when she heard that Joshua would be bringing another girl to the homecoming dance.

The news of Joshua with another girl caused Jane so much hurt. This led her to go back into her dorm room and put on a black dress and veil. She then walked to one of the many cliffs lining the Ouachita River where she plunged to her death, a suicide caused by jilted love.

Ghost of Jane

It was this tragic story that gave some meaning to the Lady in Black haunting the grounds of Henderson each year during Homecoming Week. It has become an integral part of the school that the ghost and the story behind it are often told to incoming freshman students at the Henderson campus. Many sightings have been reported by various students through the years, many of them usually happening during Homecoming Week. And many reports of sightings still continue about the mysterious Lady in Black roaming around the campus on homecoming night.

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