Since the inception of UCSC in 1965, several generations of students have explored the campus and helped it evolve into its current state. Like in the children's game "Whisper Down the Alley," though, the information passed between generations can become twisted or corrupted. This has helped to establish an independent fiction regarding landmarks on or the history of the campus property.
List of stories
The foci of the stories include:
- Sarah Cowell, the youngest child of Henry Cowell, who died on the Cowell Ranch property (what is now the UCSC campus).
- Tree Nine, one of the major landmarks of UCSC's upper campus, known as a "right of passage" climb for new students. University officials have since trimmed the bottom branches to make climbing less accessible, after incidents of injuries.
- The supposed murder of a newborn in the residence halls of Crown College.
- Abandoned stairwells in the Cowell College Residence Halls.
- Various suicides and hauntings at Porter College. Including the story if Lily, a transient woman who lived in the woods beyond the meadow in the 1970's. Her ghost is often seen wearing rags or completely naked.
- Mental breakdowns of those who would traverse the UCSC labyrinth under a full moon. The labyrinth has long since been mowed down and replaced by College Nine and College Ten.
- Elfland/fairyland, which still partially exists around colleges nine and ten. Much of it is gone due to more recent construction, but a map of the area (pre-construction) can be found here. The McHenry Library also has a handmade book about Elfland in McHenry Library Special Collections. Various stories about each of the different monuments/shrines/forts can be found here.