As college students across the country walk to their classes, they may not realize that they could be walking among the supernatural. Many campuses across the country have ghost stories or spooky campus stories.
Roanoke College in Salem, Va. offers students the chance to delve deeper into the otherworldly with the class “Intellectual Inquiry: Ghosts and Human Perception,” in which students are given the opportunity to spend a night in a supposedly haunted house on campus.
The house they spend the night in is the Monterey Guest House, which first housed the Chapman family. Their son, who dropped out of Roanoke College to fight in the Civil War, was shot and killed while fighting and is considered the first death associated with the house.
Students who have camped out in the house for the class have witnessed dark shadows, fleeting shapes and small specks of light. Some have also collected some interesting EVP (electronic voice phenomena). In one, the recorder is on in an upstairs bedroom.
“The students had left and I was in the house, alone, gathering up stuff,” says Tom Carter, professor of the course. “The recorder catches me coming up the stairs. You hear me walk into the room and identify myself, hear me pick up the recorder and then you hear a female voice that says, ‘Hey.’ There are other recordings that pick up background noises that often sound like an infant babbling or crying.”
At Birmingham Southern College in Alabama, it is believed by some that Charlie, a retired director who died after 30 years with theatre department, now haunts the theatre.
Accounts from singers and musicians using the theatre for practice have witnessed lock-less doors locked, footsteps, voices heard on stage and in the stairwells. Oddly enough, the ghostly visits only happen when music is being played or if someone is singing. A light on the main stage of the theatre, dubbed the ghost light, will turn off and on without a known logical explanation.
Farther north at Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pa., the stately six-story North Hall is reportedly haunted by the spirit they call Sarah.
On each floor of North Hall, 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, it was 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, 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.”
Another school in Pennsylvania, Lebanon Valley College in Annville, has so many alleged hauntings on its campus that it has developed a walking ghost tour. The tour includes a stop at the Mary Green Residence Hall, which is supposed to be 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 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 University of Denver‘s Mary Reed Building, a former library in the center of campus, 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.
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