7 Most Haunted Colleges In The U.S. That'll Make You Reconsider Dorm Life
Believe it or not, I very briefly lived in a 19th-century-manor-turned-dorm-room at Bard College that was said to be haunted. It was beautiful, but also creepy AF — the kind of place that was a little too dark, and could have easily served as the set of a horror movie. While I never actually saw a ghost, I often got goosebumps walking along the hallways at night, and wouldn't have been remotely surprised to come upon a see through child in Victorian era clothes. But Bard College isn't even ranked among the most haunted colleges in the U.S., of which there are plenty, my friends.
Now, it's true that haunted histories are almost entirely based on testimonial. But heck, as neurologist Richard Cytowic, M.D. wrote in a September 2018 article for Psychology Today, "just because something is psychological doesn’t mean it isn’t real to the person who sees it." And given how common ghost sightings are, who's to say, you know?
If you're a believer in the everyday appearances of the after-life, get ready to get down with the ghosts that might just be floating around your campus. Here are seven of the most haunted colleges in the United States.
Ohio University’s main campus in Athens has some really freaky stories, one of which centers on Wilson Hall’s infamous room 428. The story goes a little differently depending on where you look, but according to the Athens County Visitor's Bureau, a female student in room 428 "died violently after using the energy of the room to practice astral projection, a method where the human spirit separates from the body and travels on its own." Ever since, the bureau explains, students have apparently "reported objects flying off of shelves and smashing into walls, doors opening and closing," and sightings of the female student's ghost.
Thusly, room 428 has now been sealed off, as per the bureau, and no one lives there anymore.
Doesn't get much creepier than the stories at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. According to the college guidebook Hollins University 2012, legend has it that almost every building in the school that is over 100 years old is haunted by former students.
One of these buildings is called Presser Hall, and as per Yahoo News, it's said to be haunted by the ghost of a "long-dead girl with an unconsummated crush on her piano teacher." Late at night, the news outlet says, you can supposedly hear music playing throughout the building.
Southern Vermont College
According to Vermonter.com, Bennington's Southern Vermont College is located on an estate that belonged to an oil tycoon named Edward Everett — and apparently, over the years, students and nighttime staffers have reported seeing Everett himself and his second wife, Grace, just popping up around the home, along with several other mysterious people who, very, very creepily, are often said to be wearing black hooded robes.
In fact, Southern Vermont College was featured on an episode of the show Ghost Hunters: In Season 10 Episode 10, investigators Jason and Steve recorded "some of the most stunning thermal footage" of the entire season, according to a recap of the show. They captured "what appears to be a figure that crosses the hallway, leaving one room and entering another" — except the doors to each room were locked, "so the figure would have to have passed through the solid mass." Uh, yikes.
Penn State University
The haunted happenings that have been reported at Penn State University are truly chilling. One of the more well-known, and very tragic stories is the still unsolved murder of Betsy Aardsma, a graduate student from Michigan who reportedly died after being attacked in Penn State's Pattee Library, according to PennLive. Despite the fact that dozens of state troopers worked on Aaardsma's case, PennLive explains, the murderer was never found.
Now, the Central Pennsylvania Convention & Visitors Bureau says Pattee Library "feels every bit as spooky as it looks," and rumor has it that Aardsma's presence can be felt if you walk through the stacks of the library.
The famous women's college that boasts alumnae like Sylvia Plath and Gloria Steinem is apparently so haunted that Smith's website has an associated blog that lists all the places people have experienced ghosts on campus. One of the college's most well known spooky spots is Chase House, and the reason for the haunting, according to the university's blog, dates back to when the house didn't even belong to the school. It was, in fact, a boarding house for single working women.
As per the blog's posts on ghost stories, the (very dark) story goes like this: One of the boarders got pregnant out of wedlock, "and in order to disguise her shame, she had a friend kill the baby immediately after its birth," and then she took her own life. To this day, people apparently report hearing footsteps and the occasional cries of a baby, believed to be the mother and her child reunited.
Come on New York City, you didn't think you wouldn't make an appearance on this list, did you? Fordham was, after all, partially where The Exorcist was filmed. So yeah, you can't get much freakier than that.
According to the website College Raptor, a lot of spots on Fordham's campus are said to feel spooky — but Finlay Hall is one of the worst. As per the site, this dorm was apparently built over an old morgue, and some students have reported being startled awake in the middle of the night because they felt "someone pulling on their feet, or even wrapping hands around their throat."
UH, NO THANKS.
Perhaps this one won't surprise you, given that the school is literally right next to Gettysburg Battlefield — aka the site of one of the worst and bloodiest Civil War battles. Gettysburg as a whole is considered to be a pretty haunted location, but according to the university ranking site College Consensus, Gettysburg College’s Penn Hall, which was once used as a hospital and morgue, is particularly famous for ghost stories.
Rumor has it that staff and administrators at the college have taken the elevator to the basement, only to find the ghostly likeness of a field hospital in operation. Can you imagine?!