Haunted Colleges and Universities

Colleges and universities are some of the oldest institutions in America, so it's not surprising that they might harbor ghosts of those who passed through their hallowed halls in times past. College buildings and their surrounding grounds are often home to eternal residents that give new meaning to the term school spirits.

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Eastern Illinois University (Charleston, Illinos)

The resident ghost of Eastern Illinois University's Pemberton Hall was a young woman who was brutally raped and murdered there by a school custodian in 1917. Fortunateley for current students, the fourth floor - where the crime took place - has been closed off for years, but maintenance workers still report seeing bloody footprints appear and then disappear on that floor. Residents elsewhere in the dormitory have heard piano music coming from the vacant floor above, where the murdered coed is said to play her spirited song.


Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Harvard's Thayer Hall - which was once used as a textile mill - is now inhabited by ghosts of years past. Spirits dressed in Victorian apparel have been seen entering and exiting through the doors that no longer exist. Perhaps they're seeking the warmth of the building because they are often seen during the winter months.


Huntingdon College (Montgomery, Alabama)

If you visit Pratt Hall at Huntington College in Montgomery, Alabama, you might just encounter the ghost of a young lady named Martha. Better known today as the "Red Lady," Martha left her native New York and enrolled at Huntingdon in the early 1900s because it was her grandmother's alma mater. She was known on campus for her love of red: She decorated her room with red drapes and a red rug, and she often wore red dresses. Lonely and taunted by her peers, Martha killed herself in despair. She now haunts Pratt Hall (which once housed her dorm), where residents occasionally catch a glimpse of a young lady dressed in red. In recent years, she seems to have gotten bolder, as students have reported cold blasts of air surrounding those who are caught picking on their classmates.


Kenyon College (Gambier, Ohio)

Established in 1824, Kenyon is one of Ohio's most haunted colleges. At least three students who commited suicide in different dormitories now haunt them: One rearranges furniture in Manning Hall; one turns off lights, knocks on doors, and flushes toilets in Lewis Hall; and one roams around Norton Hall late at night. And back when Bolton Dance Studio was know as "The Greenhouse" (so named because of the building's glass roof) and housed the college pool, swimmers would occasionally hear a voice calling out to them. More recently, dancers have seen wet footprints in the studio, heard splashing sounds, and observed showers in the locker room turn on and off when no one in present. These stange occurences are attributed to the "Greenhouse Ghost" which is thought to be the spirit of a male student who died at the pool in a diving accident during the 1940s.


Luther College (Decorah, Iowa)

The ghost of Gertrude - a Decorah high school student who desperately wanted to attend Luther Collage back in the days before women students were admitted there - is said to make her presence known at Larsen Hall. Students living there have blamed Gertrude for walking the halls at all hours of the night, sounding the fire alarm, and stealing items - especially modern lingerie - and sometimes leaving behind her own old-fashioned garments. She was killed in 1918 when she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle, ending her college dreams before they even started.


St. Joseph's College (Emmitsburg, Maryland)

In 1810, Mother Elizabeth Seton, a Catholic nun, founded St. Joseph's Academy and Free School for Catholic Girls. In 1902, the school became St. Joseph's College until it closed entirely in 1973. Mother Seton was buried on campus and was canonized in 1975. Today, her ghost is often seen gliding through the hallways of the school she knew so well. Observers have seen her walking with the ghost of an unidentified doctor who carries a medical bag, both apparently still searching for suffering souls to heal.


University of Notre Dame (Sound Bend, Indiana)

Notre Dame

The hallowed halls of Notre Dame are home to several ghosts, including Father Edward Sorin, the university's founder, who is said to wander all over the campus, including in the Main Building and near the famous golden dome. Columba HallNative Americans from the Potawatomi tribe are thought to haunt Columba Hall, which is located between the two campus lakes - on land where they once lived and buried their dead. Washington HallIn addition, Washington Hall is rumored to be the home of a few ghosts, among them a steeplejack who fell to his death in 1886 and Brother Canute Lardner, who died peacefully while watching a movie there in 1946. And then there's the ghost of George Gipp, Notre Dame's famous football star. Gipp died of pneumonia and strep throat, which he may have contracted after spending the night on Washington Hall's front steps because he stayed out after curfew and was locked out of the dorm. On his deathbed, he allegedly told Knute Rockne that when his players need a pep talk, he should tell them to "win on for the Gipper." Since Gipp's death in 1920, students have heard unexplained footsteps, doors slamming, and ghostly music in Washington Hall.