Some say that the tortured spirit of Charles Whitman still lives in the Bell Tower on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. Charles Whitman went on a killing spree on August 1, 1966, that left 17 people dead, including his mother, his wife, and his unborn child. Whitman himself was killed by two shotgun blasts to his head that ended his life and his killing spree.

Charles Whitman lived a troubled life from the beginning. His father was an alcoholic bully who regularly beat him and his mother. After his father nearly killed him, Charles joined the military, but he didn’t fare well. He was promoted, demoted, and reprimanded. He was discharged (honorably) at the rank of private, but he had once risen to the rank of lance corporal.

Whitman was a student at the University of Texas at Austin for a while, and that’s where he met and married his wife. But that didn’t go very well either. His wife was a teacher and virtually the breadwinner, while Charles had to take whatever low-paying job he could get.

Finally, Whitman went over the edge. He carefully and logically planned his attack. He bought supplies and he got a permit to unload them in a restricted area. He first killed his mother, his wife, and his unborn child. Then, dressed as a maintenance man, he wheeled his supplies on a dolly up to the top of the Bell Tower, and there he started shooting.

Charles Whitman still roams the Bell Tower, they say. The autopsy report says that Whitman had a brain tumor that could have contributed to his behavior, and he left notes for his wife and mother that said he was trying to spare them any further pain. Whitman’s spirit has never done any harm, but he does like to turn lights off and on at bizarre times.