As students across the country walk to class on their college and university campuses, they may not realize that they could be walking amongst the supernatural. Many campuses across the country have ghost stories and haunting specific to their school’s history.
At Birmingham Southern College in Ala., it is believed by some that Charlie, a retired director of who died after 30 years with the university’s theatre department, now haunts the theatre on the campus. Accounts from singers and musicians using the theater for practice have witnessed lockless doors locked, footsteps, voices heard on stage and in the stairwells. Oddly enough, the ghostly visits only happen when music is being played or when someone is singing. Creepy!
At Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pa., the stately six-story North Hall is reportedly haunted by the spirit called Sarah. On each floor of North Hall, which was built in 1874 as a women’s dormitory, railings surround the open atrium that rises from the ground floor to a skylight 70-feet above. According to one story, while students stood around the landing of the atrium and sang during the holidays that Sarah fell to her death from the sixth floor. In following years, students would occasionally see her quietly roaming the halls. When North Hall was closed in the 1980s, people would still see her image in the windows at dusk. When the building was renovated in 1996, two students, who were shelving books late into the night to meet the deadline of the grand opening, reported that their work was slowed when books began popping off the shelves. Members of the Central Pennsylvania Paranormal Research Association have tried to document the presence of Sarah. During a visit in 2001, one member reported seeing the torso of a woman with dark hair and another took a photo that developed to show the head of a person peeping around a pillar. The team’s audio technicians may have even picked up her voice on tape. When they asked if Sarah was in the building, a soft, almost breathless voice replied, “never, never, never.”
Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa., has so many alleged haunted happenings on its campus that it has developed a walking ghost tour. The tour includes a stop at the Mary Green Residence Hall, which is haunted by a little girl who came with her family to help her freshman sister move in. While playing behind the building, she chased her ball onto the train tracks and was struck and killed by an oncoming train. Since then, the little spirit annually “adopts” a freshman girl who moves into the hall. The new student experiences all sorts of strange happenings, from posters being turned upside down, to phones ringing with no one calling, alarm clocks going off without even being plugged in. The third floor of the Vickroy residence hall has also seen some spooky events, such as doors shut with no provocation, alarms and radios turned on and volume levels going up and down on their own. Other scary sites on campus include North College, which is said to be haunted by a sorority sister, Mary Ellen, and Saylor Hall, the former home of the Saylor family whose spirits still seem to roam their house.
The Mary Reed Building, a former library in the center of campus at the University of Denver, is supposedly haunted, perhaps by the ghost of its namesake. The old-fashioned elevator rattles between floors, often without being called. Some say that lights turn on and off, windows open and shut, locked doors mysteriously swing open. Custodians report books moving on their own and voices murmuring in the Renaissance Room. Some stories tell of a student wandering into a darkened room, turning on the light and finding an elderly woman in a black dress and high collar reading a book. As the student runs away in fear, the light flickers out.
Brave visitors to Roanoke College in Salem, Va. can sleep with the spirits at the College’s Monterey Guest House, an antebellum Greek revival building listed on the National Historic Register.“One of the first families who lived there were the Chapmans,” says Thomas Carter, associate professor of English, who teaches a course on ghosts and human perception. “Their son attended Roanoke College but dropped out to join the local militia during the Civil War.” He was shot, becoming the first death associated with the house. Over the years, the house has served as a hotel, medical facility, fraternity house and rooming house. In 1920, it became a private residence until the College acquired it in 2002. “It was no secret that the College wanted the house for decades,” he says. “The owner famously told the College, ‘You’ll get this house over my dead body.’ And that’s pretty much how it happened. A couple of years after she died, her children sold us the house.” Carter’s class includes a night spent in the house monitoring eerie happenings through electromagnetic activity, electronic voice phenomena recordings and dousing rods. Students who have camped out in the house for the class have witnessed dark shadows, fleeting shapes, small specks of light, and have heard a baby babbling and crying.