The University of Hawai'i at Mānoa was built on one of the oldest ahupua‘a on O'ahu. The campus has been featured on numerous ghost tours and can be found on list of haunted places across O'ahu, and with good reason.
Take into consideration the old burial grounds that were surely disturbed when the ground was broken and the foundation was laid for many buildings you see today.
Our ghostly tale is taken out of history, and started in 1952. The Frear Hall known today by dormers on the Mānoa campus stands on what used to be known as the Mary Dillingham Frear Hall. The Mary Dillingham Frear Hall was originally built to house 144 women and was dedicated to Mrs. Frear.
The Hall was in use until 2000 and sat empty for many years before being demolished sometime in 2006, and was re-opened as Frear Hall in 2008.
Mrs. Frear was married to Walter F. Frear who served as a chief justice of the supreme court of the territory of Hawai'i in the early 1900s. Mrs. Frear was a regent for the University of Hawai‘i and had a strong affinity with the Hawaiian communities on O'ahu.
Stories of strange activities in Frear Hall are shared by friends and fellow dormers. Some students tell stories of a ghost still roaming the halls of Frear, according to a current resident identified as Brian.
Before he moved into the dorms, his friends shared a story with him about the ghostly apparition that students call “Mrs. Frear.” The story was that she walks through the halls wearing a white dress, typical of what woman would wear in the 50s.
She is said to be carrying a ring of keys. The ring of keys would have been used for the old-style dorm rooms but has since been replaced by a key card system. The story also says that when Mrs. Frear passes she leaves behind her a scent of perfume.
“One night I was coming back to the dorm from a night out and I was getting off the elevator and I saw a lady pass down the hall to the right,” an anonymous Frear Hall resident said. He asked to remain anonymous because he doesn’t want people to think he is crazy.
Recounting his night the anonymous resident said, “It was weird, I was the only person in the elevator and when I saw the lady pass she was moving fast.” When he realized he was on the wrong floor, one floor below where he needed to be, he decided to take the stairs.
“I was pretty wasted that night but I decided to take the stairs up one more floor,” he said. “I saw the lady as I went right out of the elevator. She was going left down the long stretch of hallway. As I left she was gone. I didn’t hear any doors open or close, she was just gone. I remember a strong smell a perfume. Had it not been for the perfume I would have thought I was tripping.”
Does Mrs. Frear really walk the halls of Frear Hall? We can’t say for sure, but if you think you see something ghostly and you smell perfume in the air then there is a strong chance you encountered “Mrs. Frear.”