For many years University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB) students have passed down the legend that Presser Hall is haunted.

Photo by Elizabeth Varville

While the University itself was established in 1845, Pressure Hall was not built until 1930 and was completely remodeled in 1978 due to a fire. The hall houses the College of Visual and Performing Arts to include music and performance studies.

Photo by Elizabeth Varville

According to UMHB's website, classrooms, faculty offices as well as a piano and organ practice rooms are located in this building. Students of UMHB have claimed unexplained things have occurred in the building such as the piano playing on its own, footsteps from the fifth floor, the elevator door opening and closing and an image of a girl can be viewed from the top floor window. The top floor is now a storage area because of these events.

Who is this girl?

Photo by Elizabeth Varville

According to the front page of the Belton Journal dated Dec. 7, 1961, her name was Leona Marie Dunlap. She was a 20-year-old senior majoring in English. Dunlap was engaged to Leroy Cockrell, a farmer from Salado and the two of them had known each other for several years. With the encouragement of her mother, Dunlap ended their relationship just a few days prior to the double murder. On that December day, Cockrell with a rifle in hand, gunned down Dunlap and her mother as they tried to escape by car. Cockrell began firing through the windshield. Two bullets struck the girl and one bullet struck the mother. Cockrell then turned the gun on himself.