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Campus Life

The Ghost of Kilachand Hall

Rumors of strange doings, even 63 plus years after Eugene O’Neill died there


Kilachand Hall has had a long and illustrious history. Built in 1923 as a luxury apartment building and hotel, the 91 Bay State Road edifice was first known as the Sheraton Apartment Hotel. It attracted all kinds of fancy residents, including Hollywood musical star Jeanette MacDonald and Red Sox legend Ted Williams.

But the hotel’s most famous resident was playwright Eugene O’Neill, Nobel- and Pulitzer-prize winning author of such plays as Anna Christie, Strange Interlude, The Iceman Cometh, and Long Day’s Journey into Night.

By 1951, when O’Neill moved with his wife to an apartment on the fourth floor, the building had been sold twice, first to the Bay State Road Company in 1939, and when the company was later renamed Sheraton, the now-famous hotel chain was born. It became the Shelton Hotel when it changed hands again in 1950. After O’Neill died there in 1953, his widow reported several visits from, and long conversations with, the great writer.

BU bought the building in 1954 and turned it into a dormitory for women, Shelton Hall. From the beginning, there were stories of strange goings-on on the fourth floor: lights that inexplicably dimmed, elevators that stopped and opened on four for no apparent reason, knocks on doors with no one there when opened.

The dormitory became co-ed in the 1970s and in 2013 was renamed Kilachand Hall in honor of the parents of BU trustee Rajen Kilachand (Questrom’74, Hon.’14). It is now home to Kilachand Honors College and the college’s and other BU students.

Stories of eerie happenings on the building’s fourth floor still surface, so to mark Halloween, we bring you a short video about the building’s haunted history. What do you think? Mere coincidence—or the ghost of Eugene O’Neill continuing to make its presence felt?

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Devin Hahn, Producer/Editor, BU Today, Bostonia, Boston University
Devin Hahn

Devin Hahn can be reached at dhahn@bu.edu.

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