What would you do if we told you that your college campus is haunted? Well get ready because it just might be. There are stories from colleges across the United States that claim to have paranormal origins; stories of ghostly apparitions, unexplained events, and other occurrence that have “haunted” some unfortunate students. This especially true for old U.S. colleges that were built near locations of highly concentrated deaths such as Civil war battle fields. However, most of these stories seem to originate from tragic events in their respective school history such as suicides, accidents, and even occult practices. Today, we are going to bring to you 25 U.S. College Campuses that are believed to be haunted. Is your college on our list?
Hollins University – Roanoke, Virginia
According to Hollins University’s 2012 guidebook, a number of urban legends center on the school’s Roanoke campus, the majority of them concerning ghosts. For that matter, there are many accounts that late at night, when no one is inside Presser Hall, music is said to emanate from it.
Wells College – Aurora, New York
This small school was founded by the same guy who started Wells Fargo and American Express. It was originally founded as a finishing school for daughters of the elite who lived in the area and who hoped for their daughters to marry Cornell graduates. It quickly became known for its academics even though there are also a lot of stories about various ghosts that haunt the school and the surrounding town.
University of Illinois – Urbana, Illinois
Literature and film students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign should take note: the school’s English building is said to harbor the ghost of a young woman who drowned. During the structure’s time as a women’s dorm from 1905 to 1937, an unfortunate student allegedly went to her watery grave in the swimming pool there, which has since been converted into an atrium. Many students have claimed witnessing supernatural phenomena while studying there but no solid proof has popped up.
University of Northern Colorado – Greeley, Colorado
According to the University of Northern Colorado’s website, there’s “a ghost story for almost every building” on its Greeley campus, but UNC is not unique when it comes to haunted dorms or ghosts in the basement and things that go bump in the night. There are stories on every campus across the country, and UNC has its share. As with most ghost stories, those of the UNC ghosts have been passed from person to person through the years, a friend telling a friend about something that happened to another student on a dark night, of shadows and visions and voices in an empty building.
Kenyon College – Gambier, Ohio
At Kenyon College where tales of haunted hallways pass from generation to generation, there is a richly embroidered folklore that can sometimes feel, well, eerie. Some Kenyon ghost stories grew out of actual events, such as the Old Kenyon Fire, while others have more questionable foundations. Reading through the “ghosts folder” in the college archives, you will find the phrase “it is said” used a great deal, which should tell you about the credibility of most of these stories.
University of Georgia – Athens, Georgia
Founded at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the University of Georgia “offers an abundance of stories that fit right in with the classic ghost tale.” This is according to assistant director of student programs Evan Tighe, who oversees yearly ghost tours of the campus around Halloween. The unsettling accounts include the tale of Susie Carithers, who near the end of the nineteenth century was presented with a rather sizable wedding present: a home that would later become the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority house. Sadly for her, though, she was left standing at the altar—or so she thought, for the groom was simply running remarkably late. Even so, stricken with grief, the seemingly jilted bride hung herself in her loft—from where her ghost can supposedly be spotted gazing even now.
Huntingdon College – Montgomery, Alabama
The ghost of a lonely girl, an outcast who committed suicide, is said to wander the dorms of Huntingdon College. It is also said that every year on the anniversary of her suicide (no exact date given) red light emanates from the room in which she died, garnering her the nickname “the Red Lady.”
Michigan State University – East Lansing, Michigan
Michigan State University has a hidden ghostly past. Every day hundreds of students walk over the hidden past, the foundations of burned buildings, and the artifacts of students long dead. Mary Mayo is considered to be the most haunted place on campus. The building was constructed in 1931 and named after Mary Anne Mayo, a committee member of the Michigan Agricultural College and strong supporter of women on campus. She died in 1903 of an illness, and never actually stepped foot into the building named after her, well at least not while alive. The hauntings are reported throughout the history of the building, stories are passed down through its caretakers, and students consistently report odd noises and occurrences.
University of Tampa – Tampa, Florida
Onetime Tampa Bay Hotel servants are said to haunt the Science Wing. Witnesses have felt something watching them and had an eerie feeling. Apparitions have been seen all over campus; in fact, many people say quite a few ghosts abound in this university hall after hours. One of the most famous cases is Bessie, an actress who committed suicide after finding out her husband was cheating on her with another actress. She is said to haunt Falk Theater.
University of Notre Dame – Notre Dame, Indiana
“Win one for the Gipper” is a phrase that refers to the University of Notre Dame ghost George Gipp, a legendary ND football player. His ghost is reputed to haunt Washington Hall ever since he died from strep throat in December 1920. He manifests as night noises and footsteps, slamming doors, the sound of someone on the roof, and the feeling of being shoved. His apparition has been seen as well, sometimes giving a student a friendly pat on the back. Also, warrior ghosts on horseback from the Native American Patawatami tribe are believed to ride up and down the front steps of Columbus Hall, which is rumored to have been built over an ancient burial ground.
Texas State University – San Marcos, Texas
Texas State is home to many historic buildings, each containing their own unique—and sometimes spooky—history. While many have heard ghostly tales at orientation, some students have also experienced supernatural sightings firsthand. A student-run newspaper, The University Sun, tells several of the campus’s most notorious ghost stories. The spirit of a student who fell to her death in Old Main has been seen hurrying to class. Some have seen a little girl swinging near Flowers Hall, even though the swing was long ago removed. The Pi Kappa Alpha House is said to contain the spirits of pledges who passed away years ago. These are only a few of the unsettling tales that haunt the university, passing from one generation of students to the next in terrified whispers.
University of Southern Maine – Portland, Maine
Reported ghost sightings on the campus of the University of Southern Maine sound more like pranks, such as resetting the clocks. But hey, those haven’t been explained otherwise! The Robie-Andrews dorms are known to be haunted by former students who were victims of either suicide or murder. Several students have reported seeing apparitions in the hallways. So, yeah, if you go to this school hopefully you’re dorming elsewhere.
Indiana University at Bloomington – Bloomington, Indiana
Indiana University at Bloomington is said to be haunted in several spots on campus. One is the career center, where babies are heard crying, and at the Folklore Office a deceased department head has been seen. At the Indiana Memorial Union, suicide victims and a ghost dog roam, and apparitions have been seen and heard at Lily Library. Reed Hall is the home to the ghost of a murdered girl, and Read Dorm, to the ghost of a resident advisor named Paula who threw herself down the stairs.
Boston University – Boston, Massachusetts
The fourth floor of Boston University’s Shelton Hall is said to be haunted by playwright Eugene O’Neill, who spent his last years there. It was built in 1923 as a Sheraton Hotel and was renamed the Shelton; the university bought it in 1954. Witnesses say the elevator works by itself, wind gusts come from nowhere, the lights are eerily dim, and something unseen knocks on doors. O’Neill’s famous last words as he passed away in 1953 were “Born in a hotel room and, goddammit, died in a hotel room.”
Wichita State University – Wichita, Kansas
Wichita State is another university where tales about mysterious sounds, lights, and figures are commonplace in the older buildings on campus. One specific building always comes up when campus ghost stories start getting told: the Henrion Gymnasium. The story of the ghost in Henrion tells of a maintenance worker who was electrocuted on the job in the 1950s. Details of his electrocution vary; some say he hit a live wire with his bare head. Another version says he was hit by lightning while mopping. It is said his ghost appears in the building in the middle of the night and early in the morning.
Ohio University – Athens, Ohio
Ohio University is no stranger to ghosts. The area in and around Athens is sad to be one of the most haunted places in the country. Many students report weird and unexplained goings-on in the dorms in which they live. Although different dorms serve as the setting, the stories are sometimes the same, although there are some exceptions.
Iowa State University – Ames, Iowa
Several ghost stories have become Iowa State legends throughout the years, and those stories have recently been recognized on a national scale. Iowa State was recently number five on the list of Most Haunted Colleges in the Midwest by Mysterious Heartland. While some of the traditional ghost stories have sites across campus, one building in particular is responsible for putting Iowa State on the list. The Farm House Museum located near Central Campus. The house, which is now the oldest building on campus, has been the home of several Iowa State presidents, and some of their family members are believed to haunt the landmark.
Pennsylvania State University – University Park, Pennsylvania
Penn State students are used to seeing their university perched at the top of lots of rankings—academic and athletic, national and international. But unless you’ve had the opportunity to take a late-evening stroll across the campus in late autumn, or spent the night alone among the shelves of the Pattee Library, you might not realize that the university is tops in another category: ghost stories. These stories pass on pieces of Penn State tradition, culture, and history through an easily recalled narrative that can move among each new generation of students.
Cornell University – Ithaca, New York
Ithaca’s Cornell University is home to seemingly sophisticated spirits, as male apparitions in tuxedos are said to have appeared in the school’s Collegiate Gothic Willard Straight Hall, seemingly on their way to a formal event. Another legend concerns a terrible 1967 fire that ripped through the North Campus Ecology House. The blaze killed six undergraduates, three graduate scholars, and a faculty member. Since then, students have allegedly heard mysterious footsteps and voices, while others claim to have seen specters in their bedrooms. Also, Central Campus’s Olin Library is thought to host the wicked ghost of a woman who was either crushed by a toppling bookshelf or mangled in mechanized shelves on the library’s lower floor.
University of Tennessee–Knoxville – Knoxville, Tennessee
Strong, the Women’s Residence Hall, is said to be haunted by the ghost of one of the school’s first female students. It is said she appears in the lobby mirror every year on her birthday. Students have reported strange noises at night, and Sophie, the ghost, is said to take a dislike to sexual indiscretions.
Drew University – Madison, New Jersey
“A lot of stuff has gone on here,” were the ominous words uttered by Preternatural Research Society founder Deryl Mitzen when addressing an audience at the university in 2009. It’s true many hauntings have been described at Drew during the years. For instance, in the Great Hall, which is like a castle, ghostly faces are said to appear in the ceiling carvings as the chandeliers swing by themselves. Also, a mirror reflects an apparition of a man in round gold spectacles. At the arboretum, a spectral, filmy lady in blue lingers around the lake. And Hoyt Hall is rumored to be haunted by a girl who hung herself in the attic.
The University of Vermont – Burlington, Vermont
Vermont has many colleges, most of which are said to be haunted. But the most intriguing accounts come from the University of Vermont in Burlington. The story begins in the 1920s, when a student named Henry hung himself in the attic of Converse Hall near the medical center. There are several variations to the rumor as to why he killed himself, just as there are many reports of numerous students to this day hearing creepy noises and seeing ghosts.
Gettysburg College – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Hall at Gettysburg College has been the site of many Civil War–era ghost encounters, but perhaps none can compare to what two college administrators saw one night. As they were taking the elevator from the fourth floor to the first, the elevator passed the first floor and continued on to the basement. When the doors opened, the administrators could hardly believe what they saw. What they knew to be storage space was replaced by a scene from the hospital: dead and dying men lying on the floor; blood-covered doctors and orderlies rushing about chaotically, trying desperately to save their lives. No sound emanated from the ghastly sight, but the administrators saw it clearly.