Five of the Most Haunted College Campuses in the US
There are plenty of terrors in college, like student loan debt, grading without a curve, and roommates that snore like they're possessed. We'll make those worries seem small with stories from five of the most haunted college campuses in the United States. We've got tales of former students, professors with an eternal tenure, and stories that are scarier than a pop quiz.
P.S. these haunted campuses can be scary, but finances don't have to be. Kora can spot you $$, help you stick to a budget, and rewards you with points for learning about finance.
Ohio University – Athens, Ohio
As one of the oldest public universities in the United States, it’s natural that Ohio University in Athens, Ohio has more than a few ghost stories.
First of all, this campus has an abandoned insane asylum across the street from the university, the Athens Lunatic Asylum (now known at The Ridges), which is already the stuff of legends. One tale involves the ghost of a former patient named Margaret, who is said to wander the halls. If you visit the nearby cemetery, you might just spot the mysterious "Cemetery Angel" statue weeping blood. Not a great study spot!
Another of the most famous haunted spots on campus is Room 428 in Wilson Hall. This room is said to be haunted by the ghost of a student who fell to her death in the 1970s. Students have reported hearing strange noises, seeing apparitions, and even feeling physical contact from the ghost.
Gettysburg College – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg College is located on the site of the famous Battle of Gettysburg, which took place during the Civil War. It's no surprise that the campus is rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of soldiers who died in the battle.
Penn Hall served as a hospital and morgue during the battle. Students have reported seeing apparitions of soldiers in the building, hearing strange noises, and feeling cold spots.
Another resident ghost resides in the Jennie Wade House, which was the site of a famous Civil War incident in which a young woman was killed by a stray bullet. Visitors to the house have reported seeing the ghost of Jennie Wade and hearing her crying.
Kenyon College – Gambier, Ohio
Kenyon College has plenty of ghostly tales of students who never left the campus.
The most famous is Old Kenyon, which is a former dormitory that burned down in a fire in 1949, killing nine students. Students have reported seeing apparitions of the students who died in the fire, flickering lights, and feeling cold spots. Some students have even claimed that they have been physically attacked by the ghosts. For more on Old Kenyon, you can read one student's account in this New York Times OpEd.
Another ghostly hot spot is Caples Residence, which is home to the ghost of a student who fell down the elevator shaft and died in 1979. Students have reported seeing the ghost of the student walking the halls and hearing him scream.
Another phantom, known as the Greenhouse Ghost, lost his life in a diving accident at the pool. Students say that he leaves wet footprints around, and randomly turns on showers
Penn State – State College, Pennsylvania
Penn State ghosts are so famous and abundant that the university has its own paranormal research society on campus.
One of the most haunted buildings on campus is the Pattee Library, where researchers suspect negative energy permeates the basement due to the 1969 murder of graduate student Betsy Aardsma, which still remains unsolved.
Beautiful on the outside but perhaps haunted on the inside, the Old Botany Building is said to harbor the ghost of Frances Atherton, wife of founder George Atherton. After George died in 1906, he was buried to the side of Schwab Auditorium so that his grieving widow would be able to watch her late husband’s grave from the upstairs window of the residence. Rumor has it, she still does to this day.
To mix it up from the usual tales of students and professors, Penn State is also home to the ghost of a mule - the university’s first mascot, Old Coaly. Students have reported hearing his hooves clopping against the hall floors and the sound of brays.
Smith College – Northampton, Massachusetts
Since 1871, the largest women’s college in America, Smith College, has had centuries of accidents, murders, and epidemics to draw from. These are a few standout stories, but you can browse them all here on their blog.
The most famous story centers around the Sessions House, built in 1751, where star-crossed Revolutionary War lovers would meet in a hidden stair: one, a British soldier, the other, an American girl. Their ghosts reportedly still haunt the house and new residents to the building are traditionally tasked with finding the hidden staircase (yes, it's real!) on Halloween.
Other ghosts include a senior who died after forgetting to turn off the gas oven, a little boy who died after being locked in an attic, and a broken-hearted mother (dating back to the days before Smith, when the building was a boarding house), who walks the floors with the crying baby she murdered in life.
Now that you'll be awake all night, why not start working on that essay you've been avoiding? And don't worry, if you go to one of these schools or any university with a rich history, it sounds like you'll have plenty of company late into the night...maybe with some previous students. Sweet dreams!
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