NewsCovering Kentucky


Transy Students Spend Night In Raf’s Tomb

Posted at 6:47 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 20:05:03-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18)– Lexington’s Transylvania University dedicates an entire week to Halloween, all leading up to the night when four students will get to spend the night inside the tomb of a professor who cursed the university.

The tomb is cold, musky, and even a little dirty, perfect for Halloween night.

Every year on Halloween, at the end of Transy’s RafWeek, two students’ names are drawn. Hannah Piechowski with Transy Student Life said that the two students whose names are drawn each get to bring a friend with them,

“Some have made it all night, some have not,” said Piechowski.

The tradition started because of a professor named Constantine Rafinesque. He made significant contributions to the world of botany and started teaching at Transy in 1819. He often skipped class to do research, causing the university to part ways with him.

Raf told the school that he had cursed the University. In response, upon his death,  his body was put in a tomb on campus. The Transy community believes that Raf is the source of all the weird things that happen at Transy every seven years.

“One year, our administrative building burned down, another year, there was yellow fever on campus,” said Piechowski. “Ever since then, we’ve tried to honor him and we’ve tried to recognize his work, the bat that was named after him and maybe put a halt on that curse.”

The professor taught on campus for seven years, which administrators say might be the reason strange things happen every seven years. The good news for the students staying in there this Halloween night is that it’s an off year.