Scary Schools

One downside of being a college student is that you're finally at that age where you're too old to go trick or treating in your local neighborhood. Have no fear (actually, have some fear: it's a spooky time of year). Many campuses have some haunted, supernatural tales to entertain the students. Hug your pillow, grab some candy corn, and read on... If you dare...

One downside of being a college student is that you’re finally at that age where you’re too old to go trick or treating in your local neighborhood. Have no fear (actually, have some fear: it’s a spooky time of year). Many campuses have some haunted, supernatural tales to entertain the students. Hug your pillow, grab some candy corn, and read on—if you dare...

At Birmingham–Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama, it's believed by some that Charlie, a retired theater department director, now haunts the theater on campus. Some theater users claimed to have heard footsteps, voices on stage, and even to have seen a stage light turn on and off. What makes this even stranger is that these ghostly visits only happen when music is being played or if someone is singing!

In Mansfield, Pennsylvania, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania’s North Hall is reportedly haunted by a spirit they call Sarah, who fell to her death from the sixth floor. Students claimed to see her roaming the halls, and even when North Hall was closed in the 1980s, people would still see her image in the windows at dusk! The building was renovated in 1996, but that didn’t stop her from visiting: two students reported that books began popping off the shelves prior to the opening. Members of the Central Pennsylvania Paranormal Research Association took a photo that showed the head of a person peeping around a pillar. The team's audio technicians 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." Never what? Never enter? No problem, Sarah, I won’t be visiting any time soon!

Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia offers the class “Intellectual Inquiry: Ghosts and Human Perception,” where class members are given the opportunity to spend a night in the Monterey Guest House. Students who have camped out in the house for the class have witnessed dark shadows, fleeting shapes, small specks of light, and have even heard a baby babbling and crying. Here’s my question: if you get scared during the sleepover, do you fail the course?

Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania, has so many alleged haunted happenings on its campus that they have developed a walking ghost tour. The tour includes a stop at the Mary Green Residence Hall, reportedly haunted by the ghost of a freshman’s little sister who was hit by a train during move-in week. Since then, the spirit annually “adopts” a freshman girl new to the hall. In the past, these students claimed to experience all sorts of strange happenings, from posters being turned upside down to phones ringing with no one calling and alarm clocks going off without even being plugged in.

The University of Denver's Mary Reed Building, a former library in the center of campus, is supposedly haunted by the ghost of its namesake. Some say the old-fashioned elevator rattles between floors without being called! Others claim that lights turn on and off, windows open and shut, books move on their own, and locked doors mysteriously swing open. One story claims that a student wandered into a darkened room, turned on the light, and found an elderly woman in a black dress reading a book. Apparently the student ran away in fear! Hey, I’d do the same...

Special thanks to Julie Mastrine with Dick Jones Communications for these spooky stories!

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About Catherine Seraphin

Catherine Seraphin

Catherine Seraphin is a Multimedia Project Manager at Harvard University and a former Assistant Editor/Online Specialist for CollegeXpress. Catherine graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Journalism, a minor in English, and course concentrations in Business. She was previously an in-depth arts reporter for Penn State’s student-run newspaper, The Daily Collegian, and interned as a features reporter at a paper based in Southern Massachusetts. Catherine previously had a full-year internship with a well-known higher education PR firm. Her favorite experiences during college include her two years as a resident assistant and her involvement in THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. There, she was on the PR committee that helped THON become the third-most tweeted topic worldwide. When she isn’t working, you can find Catherine shopping, reading, or running.


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