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College Trivia for Halloween

Just in time for Halloween, here's a look at the creepiest college campuses, where ghoulish tales of things that go bump in the night abound.

Halloween is upon us, and while you may be getting a little too old for trick-or-treating, there's no reason why you can't have some fun in and amongst all the homework assignments and college applications. Take a break with this rundown of the scariest, creepiest, spine-tinglingest (yes, they're so scary, we had to invent a new word!) facts from our Amazing College Fact Machine.

  • Gettysburg College’s Pennsylvania Hall, the school’s oldest and most central building, was used as a field hospital during the Civil War battle with which the school shares its name. Stories say the soldiers who died there still linger...
  • Students at Muir College drop a huge—up to 430 pounds!—candy-filled pumpkin every year from their 11-story Tioga Hall. They measure the “splat” the orange monster makes too.
  • The movie The Exorcist was filmed at Georgetown, and since then, students have taken to howling at the moon in the campus cemetery on Halloween!
  • Emory University celebrates Dooley’s Week, named for its unofficial mascot, Dooley the skeleton. Dooley himself will wander the campus during this time to excuse students from their classes.
  • Every year, UNC Chapel Hill hosts “Halloween on Franklin Street,” a community gathering—up to 80,000 people—to celebrate the spooky holiday.
  • Washington University in St. Louis’ campus buildings are adorned by fearsome, whimsical, Gargoyle-esque sculptures called “bosses” or “grotesques.” These medieval-inspired shapes include mermaids, scholars, owls, scholarly owls, angels, demons, and even students drinking beer!
  • Though he only met the man once, Stephen King named a character in his short story The Green Mile after former Emerson College professor Reverend John Coffey.
  • Contrary to spookier assumptions, the “catacombs” under the MacDonough Hall dorm at SUNY Plattsburgh were to serve as bomb shelters, due to fears of a Soviet nuclear strike.
  • Rankin Hall on the University of Montana campus is said to be haunted by the ghost of its namesake, Jeannette Rankin, the first Congresswoman.
  • Another one of Gettysburg College’s many resident ghosts is the Blue Boy, an orphan who some believe froze to death outside Stevens Hall—the building he now haunts.
  • Roberta Hall, a sorority dorm at Northwest Missouri State University, is said to be haunted by its namesake, Roberta Steele, a student who died following a 1951 dorm fire.
  • DePaul Theatre School alumnus Michael Rooker co-stars in The Walking Dead.
  • Endicott College’s scenic seaside campus is allegedly home to multiple spirits. One is a young woman in white who wanders around Winthrop Hall and nearby cliffs. People say she took her life after learning her husband would never return from sea—but waits for him still.
  • One of Berklee College of Music’s dormitories was once a hotel and the site of a fire that took several lives. Students say they still see the victims of the blaze wandering their living quarters.
  • With dorms that used to serve as a hospital, it’s no surprise that Boston Conservatory experiences multiple ghostly happenings, such as slamming doors, mysterious footsteps, and strange voices.
  • The fourth floor of Shelton Hall at Boston University is the writing students’ dorm, which is fitting as playwright Eugene O’Neil lived—and died—in room 401 when it was a hotel. Students say lights in his former room sometimes flicker and the elevator stops unprovoked at that floor.
  • Not only do Merrimack College students smell smoke and hear fire alarms when no fire is in sight, the ghost of a firefighter is supposed to haunt this North Andover school. His clothes are charred and he may wield an axe.
  • Pine Manor College students report seeing strange lights around the school’s Main House administration building and feeling uneasy . . . as though they are being watched.
  • The Cutler Majestic Theater, owned and operated by Emerson College, is said to be haunted by former actors, stagehands, and other patrons of the arts. The third-floor balcony is particularly prone to hauntings; spring-loaded seats will stay open on their own. Those in the know say “excuse me” should they need to pass those seats—since they’re blocking the ghostly guest’s view!
  • In fall 2014 Towson University offered an undergraduate course titled "Blood Lust and the American Dream." Its content focuses on representations of vampires in popular media, from literary origins in the late 19th century through to recent incarnations on screen.
  • A rogue, anonymous group leaves pumpkins in fun and funny places all over the Tufts University campus each year around Halloween. The school calls it “pumpkining!”

Still not scared? Check out the Ultimate Guide to College Halloween and our list of Haunted Colleges.

Happy Halloween from CollegeXpress!

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