College can be scary. Freshmen dread choosing majors or making new friends much in the same way that seniors are frightened by graduation and impending adulthood. Meanwhile, sophomores and juniors live in fear of expensive tuition costs- very spooky. However, add a paranormal element to any institution of higher learning and college can become downright terrifying. Below is a list of the top 10 most haunted college campuses, featuring ghost stories that you won’t read inside any campus brochures. Is your college on the list?
1. Ohio University (Athens, Ohio)
The Ridges or Athens Lunatic Asylum was a mental hospital that operated from 1874 until 1993. Presently, it houses the university’s Kennedy Museum of Art. However, the most famous ghost story to come out of Ohio Univerity centers around Wilson Hall, which was built on an old Native American burial ground and sits at the center of a cemetery pentagram. In 1970, the female resident of room 428 began acting strangely and, as her friends went to get help, she plummeted out of the window to her death. The room remains sealed shut after reports of flying objects and slamming doors.
2. Gettysburg College (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
It should go without saying that a college on the grounds of the most infamous battle of the Civil War is a paranormal hotspot. Gettysburg College’s Pennsylvania Hall was used as a hospital by both Confederate and Union troops and now the basement is supposedly haunted by war doctors drenched in blood. Students at nearby Stevens Hall have also reported seeing the ghost of a little orphan boy, frozen and blue in the face.
3. Penn State University (State College, Pennsylvania)
In 1969 Betsy Aardsma, a Penn State graduate student, was stabbed to death in the Pattee library “Stacks” area. Her murder has remained unsolved for 48 years. Today, students report hearing a female scream and feeling like they are being grabbed and stabbed by a presence in the library. Less alarmingly, the campus is also home to the spirit of the school’s original mascot, a mule named Coaly.
4. Wells College
At one time, Wells College experienced a severe influenza outbreak that resulted in one of the rooms in the main building being designated as a temporary morgue. The doors to the room were painted red so as to warn others away from entering and catch ill themselves. The doors were repainted after the epidemic had ended, although the red color bled through no matter how many times that it was repainted.
5. University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
Greek life intersects regularly with the afterlife on University of Georgia’s campus as many sorority and fraternity houses are haunted. The Alpha Gamma Delta sorority house was once the home of Susie Carithers who hung herself in the attic after being stood up at the altar on her wedding day. Phi Mus is also said to be haunted by the ghost of Hanna Hamilton, who mourns her dead fiancé.
6. Centenary College ( Hackettstown, New Jersey)
In 1886, an 18-year-old kitchen maid named Tillie Smith was found murdered in a field behind the school after a janitor attempted to rape her and strangled her to death in the process. Her ghost is often sighted on campus and, despite her unfortunate end, she occasionally pulls pranks on people. She also appears in a sorority picture which is kept under lock and key.
7. Keyon College (Gambier, Ohio)
You know that your campus is haunted when its south grounds entrance, is also known as “The Gates of Hell.” According to legend, anyone unfortunate enough to pass through the gates at midnight as the nearby Church of the Holy Spirit bells begin to toll risks being sent straight to hell.
8. The University of Akron (Akron, Ohio)
The Hower House is so feared that some students even refuse to cross its threshold. Legend has it that Susan Hower became furious after discovering that her husband John had been unfaithful, that she held onto that anger for the rest of her life as well as throughout her afterlife. People have reported seeing Susan’s enraged spirit, which seemingly targets any male who dares to step inside her former home.
9. Transylvania University (Lexington, Kentucky)
As if bearing the same name as Dracula’s home country isn’t ominous enough, Transylvania University is plagued by a former professor’s dark curse. Constantine Rafinesque taught natural history and modern languages at the school from 1819 to 1826 but was not well-liked by his students or colleagues. Upon leaving the school, he uttered his now infamous curse, “Damn thee and thy school as I place a curse upon you.” A year later, the university lost its state funding and, a year after that, a devastating fire consumed the campus’ main building, destroying everything except some possessions Rafinesque left behind. Talk about making an exit.
10. University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana)
The ghost of George Gipp, a college football superstar who competed for Notre Dame from 1917 until his death in 1920 is said to haunt the university. “The Gipper,” as he was affectionately known, died from pneumonia at the age of 25. An affable spirit, Gipp continues to relive his university days by haunting Washington Hall, his old residence.