Secret Monkey Lab at the University of Washington

Background: My informant, ET, attended the University of Washington from 2009-2013. I asked her about campus folklore, and this was her response:

ET: “The UDub Health Sciences Building is known for having a secret monkey lab. They conduct experiments on monkeys because it’s closest to humans for different kinds of testing. But there’s a lot of environmental and animal activists in Seattle, so animal activists try to sneak in and free the monkeys from being tested on. Basically, whenever students are in the building, they try to look for a room full of cadavers to find the monkeys.”

Analysis: I think this legend is really interesting because it not only speaks to the history of some of the buildings on campus, but also the student culture and mentality around the school and in the greater part of the city as well. The story plays to the instinct that some college buildings must have mysterious things going on inside them, particularly a room with a bunch of cadavers and no other context, but also the larger activism presence around the area as well, which adds to the realism of the story. Those in the know with this story would feel a greater sense of–if not attachment, at least more curiosity over the ongoings of the university, and develop a school pride as the one that seemingly houses monkeys in a secret lab in a discrete science building.