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Macky Auditorium

Macky Auditorium

Boulder, Colorado

The University of Colorado at Boulder Information:

The University of Colorado at Boulder is a public research university that was founded five months before Colorado was admitted to the union in 1876. The doors of the university opened on September 5, 1877. There were only 15 students enrolled at the college and about 50 students enrolled at the preparatory school that first year.

Canon City competed with Boulder to be the site of the University of Colorado. But Boulder won the contest and Canon City got to be home of the Colorado State Prison instead.

Macky Auditorium Information:

Macky Auditorium was named after Andrew J. Macky, a prominent businessman in Boulder during the late 19th century. Macky Auditorium officially opened its doors in 1923, thirteen years after construction on the building started. The reason why the building took so long to construct was because May Macky, Andrew’s daughter was perturbed that her father left her no money in his will when he died, but left $400,000 to CU for the construction of Macky Auditorium. May sued for a third of this money, but lost the case. Construction on the building then resumed.

Macky Auditorium is used for talks, plays, and musical performances on the University of Colorado campus. It is the home of both the College of Music, the Jazz Studies Department, and the Choral Department. It also houses the art gallery.

In 1986, Macky was refurbished with improved seating, custom carpeting, modern plumbing, and an elevator. An electronic bell system rings out the hours during the day.

Haunting at Macky Auditorium at the University of Colorado in Boulder:

In 1966, a 20 year old student named Elaura Jaquette at the University of Colorado was lured by a janitor into a soundproof area at Macky Auditorium where she was brutally raped and murdered.

The Boulder Paranormal County Paranormal and Research Society investigated this location thoroughly in May of 2008. According to their research, Elaura Jaquette’s body was found in Room 304 of Macky Auditorium’s western tower. Reports say that the walls of this room were covered in blood top to bottom. A piece of wood was used as a weapon to kill Elaura. She sustained multiple skull and facial fractures during the assault. Forensic evidence suggested that Elaura tried to crawl out of the room but was picked up and swung by her feet, striking her head against the wall.

A 37 year old man named Joseph Dyre Morse, a CU campus janitor was eventually arrested. His daughters had seen him carrying a bucket full of bloodied clothing with him on the day of Elaura’s murder. A palm print on the murder weapon solidified the case against him. He was sentenced to 888 years in prison. In 1980, he finally confessed to the crime. Joseph Dyre Morse died in prison in 2005.

People have reported the apparition of a man in brown clothes at Macky Auditorium. Students also report that lights turn on and off by themselves and disembodied voices echo through the building, including the sounds of singing and of screaming. Some have reported hearing the sound of organ music playing in the middle of the night.

Students report that blood appears occasionally on the floor and on the walls of one of the towers at the Macky Auditorium. The west tower is considered to be particularly haunted by the spirit of the young woman who was murdered in 1966. Unfortunately, some students have tried to break into Room 304 to do “unofficial investigations” on Halloween. This is terribly unwise, as Room 304 is used as an office and university officials are prepared to arrest anyone breaking and entering. 

The Boulder County Paranormal Research Society found no conclusive evidence of a haunting in Room 304 of the Macky Auditorium. There was no scientific data that supported a haunting at this location, despite the grisly events that occurred there.

If you’re interested in other buildings on campus that might be haunted, consider investigating Cockerell Hall. A woman in a white gown has been spotted near the bathrooms in the dorms here. Could this perhaps be the restless ghost of Elaura Jaquette?

Finding authentic haunted colleges isn’t easy. If you’re interested in learning about other colleges where historical events support the paranormal phenomena said to occur there, take a look at Concordia College. This educational institution was built over an Indian burial ground. David Dorm is the paranormal hot spot on campus at Concordia College where bones where found in the ground during the construction process.


Boulder County Paranormal Research Society (2010). Macky Auditorium:Debunking an Urban Legend. Retrieved March 3, 2011 from

Real Estate Pro Articles (n.d.). A Tour of Boulder Haunts. Retrieved March 3, 2011 from

The Shadowlord (1998). Haunted Places Index. Retrieved March 3, 2011 from

Wikipedia (2011). Macky Auditorium in Boulder, Colorado. Retrieved March 3, 2011 from

University Avenue, Boulder, CO Colorado, USA

University Avenue, Boulder, CO Colorado, USA

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