The Ghost on Campus: Haunted Universities in the US
Universities throughout the United States have long-standing histories of academia, athleticism, and integrity. However, even the most prestigious institutions have their secrets. Some of those secrets will forever remain hidden; others, however, are meant to be uncovered.
These are some of the most infamously haunted universities throughout the US.
Cal State University - Channel Islands
California State University's Channel Islands campus is a 4-year institution which opened in 2002. CI, as it is commonly called, has awarded over 7000 degrees within the first ten years in existence, but there is much behind the modern exterior. The campus itself, you see, used to be Camarilla State Mental Hospital.
The Hospital was closed in 1997, as it could no longer accommodate the ever--increasing number of patients and growing costs. It seems, however, that some residents never left.
There are countless reports of lights flickering, items disappearing which were there a moment ago, and other common examples of hauntings. Near the campus's Island Cafe, there is reportedly an old laboratory which is normally closed off to students. Within this room, there is supposedly terrifying writing along the walls, including the message "no one can help me" and the word, "Die."
There is also supposedly a subterranean area beneath the library which is also closed off to students, but has been accessed by investigators on occasion. Based on the evidence they found, it is believed that this area actually used to be the facility's morgue - and many of the mortuary supplies remained when the hospital was closed down. Perhaps there were a few patients who chose to remain as well...
Notre Dame University
Any University with as much history and notoriety as Notre Dame du Lac (or more commonly, Notre Dame) in Indiana is bound to have a skeleton (or two) in it's many closets - including a celebrity spectre or two. One of the most common reports of hauntings on campus is said to be the ghost of George Gipp, a legendary football star for the prestigious team. He is most famous for his "Win one for the Gipper" speech, which has carried on to today.
The Gipper passed away in December of 1920 of a streptococcal throat infection, which he contracted after he fell asleep on the steps of one of the campus buildings during a cold winter night. Since his passing, students have reported phantom footsteps, the sound of someone walking on the roof, being touched or shoved by unseen hands, and many other phenomena..He is also occasionally seen hovering over students or buildings for a split second before vanishing.
Notre Dame's other hauntings include reports of Native American spirits, particularly men on horseback, seen on campus. There was a rumor, more of a legend, that says that the campus's Columbus Hall was actually built upon a Patawatami tribe burial ground, perhaps unknowingly, and the Native spirits are restless at having their final place of rest disturbed.
Penn State University
Penn State University has a long-standing reputation for it's many achievements and accolades in several fields, particularly athletics, academics, and in its rich campus culture. However, Penn State also may hold a less-publicized title as well - being one of the most haunted campuses in the US.
George Atherton, a former president of the University, received the final honor from his beloved institution by being buried on campus. But it is not the former president who chose to remain on campus; rather, it was his wife. It is said that Frances Atherton is often seen peering out of the windows of 'Old Botany,' one of the oldest buildings on campus, in order to keep watch over his husbands grave - even though she has passed on as well. Several students have reported seeing a woman's face looking out through the second story window, forever keeping her vigil upon her husband's resting place,
Yet there are other far less touching stories involving students and educators who chose to stay on campus, long after they parted this mortal coil. One particularly terrifying tale is that of Betsy Aardsma. Betsy was a student at the school in 1969, and according to actual police reports, while she was doing research one night for an English paper, Betsy was attacked by an unknown assailant and stabbed to death on campus.
Her murderer was never found, and remains unsolved to this day. It is said that Betsy still wanders the halls of the library, unable to rest until her killer is found. Many students have reported feelings of unease, unexplained noises when the halls are otherwise empty, and even reports of physical experiences, such as the sensation of being strangled or choking.
Additionally, there have been over 20 reports over the years of students seeing a spectral apparition of a terrifying man wielding an ax in a threatening matter. It is unknown who this figure might be, but the sheer number of sightings is definitely not to be dismissed.
Monmouth University - West Long Branch, NJ
Monmouth University, located in West Long Branch, NJ, is a historic gem located on the New Jersey's coast along the Atlantic Ocean. The entire campus has a rich history- the largest and arguably most impressive building on campus, Wilson Hall, is the former summer home of Woodrow Wilson, who was president of the United States from 1913 to 1921.
The building now houses the University's English department and several beautiful classrooms. Many students report strange noises, electrical issues and occasionally, missing items which were accounted for only moments before. There have additionally been numerous reports of 'spirit orbs' appearing in photos, when nothing was visible to the naked eye.
Additionally, the campus library is widely reported as being haunted. The Guggenheim Library was formerly the mansion of Murray and Leonie Guggenheim, and given to the University in 1960 after Leonie's passing. It appears, though, that she may not have left her summer home after all.
It is said that Leonie is often seen walking along the staircase every night at Midnight - but as the library 'conveniently' closes at 11:30, most students have not witnessed this firsthand. However, there are countless reports of strange occurrences in the study area which used to be Leonie's sitting room. People have reported hearing loud thuds late at night while no one else was in the general area, as well as foot steps, and strange smells like the scent of cigar smoke, appearing out of nowhere (while this might also be attributed certain other 'extra-curricular' campus activities, many students feel that the distinct cigar smell appears while no other students are around).
It seems that since their passing, Leonie and her husband have not truly been able to leave their beloved summer home after all.
Of course, no list would be complete without mentioning Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. The university itself is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in North America. The university was established in 1809, and has played a role in the state, and the county's history.
There are stories that the ghost of a man named Nicodemus, who was once a slave, haunts the house that is now the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority house. The house was formerly a private residence and a point along the Underground Railroad. it was reported that, when locals discovered that there may be fugitive slaves on the property, they stormed in, and shot Nicodemus on site. Strange disturbances have been reported on the property almost every semester since its acquisition by the university.
Jefferson Hall also has a history of strange phenomena. In 1996, students reported seeing a woman who appeared to be a school teacher from the 1950s sitting in a classroom. When they noticed she was ethereal and was not making contact with any solid objects, the students ran to get help. When they returned with a RA, the door to the classroom was securely locked and there was no one inside. Additionally there are several reports of electrical issues, objects being moved and even the infamous 'marble sound,' which students say sounds like several marbles being dropped onto the ground on the floor above them, even when the classrooms are unoccupied.
Another campus building, Shively Hall, has a bit of a sordid history. It was actually documented that a female student living in this residential building had participated in some kind of cult ceremonies in the local cemetery. When she stopped practicing in these activities, she reported experiencing a series of strange, supernatural events in her dorm room. Afterwards, all record of her seems to have disappeared. To this day, it is not know what happened to her.
Whether you'd like to visit any of these campuses, or if you are/were a student at any of these or other haunted locations, please send your feedback. There are many mysteries to uncover throughout America's haunted Universities, and you can be a part of the investigation... if you dare.