Friday, November 28, 2008

Eerie Edinboro

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Edinboro's Diebold Center

Erie County's Edinboro University was founded in 1857 as the Edinboro Academy for Teachers, and remained a teacher's institute until 1982 when it attained university status. They have nearly 8,000 students spread out over 585 acres, and it's a little slice of Scotland in the new land. Their teams are the Fighting Scots, they have a pipe band (bagpipes and drums) and host a three day Scottish games contest. Watch out for those flying tabors and burly bearded men in skirts! They're scarier than the school's many spooks.

Diebold Center For The Performing Arts: One of the older buildings on campus, the structure was erected in 1906. It's served many purposes, from gymnasium to student union, and now hosts local and university stage productions and programs. It's spook is supposed to be Dr. Dorothy Clifford, a former professor that ran the drama department.

Her story, according to one of our readers is: "Her badly decomposed body was found in her home, and the cause of her death was never determined. Some students were convinced that she was reincarnated as a particularly hideous stray cat that appeared on campus right after her death. Some of us called the cat, 'D.C' after Dr. Clifford's nickname; others called the cat 'Thing of Evil.'"

Her spook liked to fiddle with the stage volume, until some one hung a rosary on the control button. Her footsteps can be heard on the back stairs and around the stage area. Actors have reported seeing a face floating through the audience during sold out performances, as if looking for a seat. They haven't had any more trouble from Dorothy ever since the cast put out an extra chair with a program on it for her before the show.

Diebold’s namesake building today serves as a classroom, lecture, and conference facility, and houses the Intergenerational Center. There's no word on how Dorothy amuses herself now as she tries to while away eternity.

Evergreen Tavern: The tavern was over a century old, and we included it because it was a popular student hangout. Its latest incarnation was as the Hotel Evergreen. There were allegedly several spooks there, the most famous being the playful Worthington, a former employee from the turn of the century who haunted the upstairs rooms.

There were also supposed to be other unnamed ghosties that roamed the halls of the old tavern. The spooks were written up by the Edinboro student newspaper The Spectator in the 1990s, but it's not archived on-line. And sadly, we'll never be able to check it out personally - it burned down in April, 2008. Another haunt gone.

Lawrence Towers: One of the more recent dorms put up at Edinboro, the twin towers were built in 1974. The story goes that a music major committed suicide in Room 517 of Tower A. You can feel her presence in the halls, and on some nights, you can still hear her softly singing.

One of readers adds that "The elevators in the building will stop at floor five no matter what floor you want to go to before taking you to the proper floor." So take the steps if you wanna get upstairs in a hurry. (Emily wrote in and said she was told the elevator has a mechanical flaw that causes it to stop at five. So take your pick, wiring or weirdness.)

Reeder Hall: Reeder Hall was built as a dorm in 1908 until it was closed in 1972. It sat empty until 1986, when it was renovated as an administrative building. During that time, it's said that the cellar was used to hold seances and was also co-opted by a coven to celebrate occult rites. The basement is supposed to very cold, and the lights will turn themselves off. It sounds like every old cellar we've ever been in (except for the seances & witches part.)

Rose Hall: In the early 1980's a RA was reputed to have committed suicide by lighting a gas grill and sealing his room, turning it, in effect, into a gas chamber. It's said to that the victim's spirit remains behind as a poltergeist prankster, creating eerie noises and rearranging objects. Doesn't sound all that threatening, but at least one RA moved out of his Rose Hall room because he couldn't take the disturbances any longer.

The Tower Woods: A reader added this bit of woodsy lore after a visit: "If you go into the stand of trees between towers and the health center at night, you can catch some unusual goings on. We captured EVPs and orbs after disturbing whatever it is that resides there. Also, it's beyond creepy if you go into the woods behind towers. There are three trees in a triangle with large boulders at the base; odd phenomenon occur there. And don't go into the ravine in the woods after dark, flashlights won't work there, and there wasn't even light by the full moon, in the middle of winter with snow and bare trees."

Scots and spooks - our kinda school!

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're missing a piece of the Lawrence Towers haunting. The elevators in the building will stop at floor five no matter what floor you want to go to before taking you to the proper floor.

Ron Ieraci said...

Cool. Pitt has the same phenomena at Bruce Hall, in the Schenley Quad, where the elevator is supposed to take you to the spooked out 12th floor no matter what button you push.

Anonymous said...

The "Dorothy" haunting the Edinboro campus would be the ghost of Dorothy Clifford, who headed the drama department. Her badly decomposed body was found in her home, and the cause of her death was never determined. Some students were convinced that she was reincarnated as a particularly hideous stray cat that appeared on campus right after her death. Some of us called the cat, "D.C" after Dr. Clifford's nickname; others called the cat "Thing of Evil."

Ron Ieraci said...

Anon - thanks. Actually, I had dorothy's name; just missed putting it in the post. I'll add your stuff to it; I appreciate the info.

Anonymous said...

Yea, campus was a bit creepy, but if you go into the stand of trees between towers and the health center at night, you can catch some unusual goings on to. We had captured EVPs, orbs and disturbed whatever resides there. Also, beyond creepy if you go into the woods behind towers, there are 2 trees(maybe 3 in a triangle?) with large boulders at the base, odd phenomenon occured there. And don't go into the ravine in the woods after dark, flashlights don't work there, and there wasn't even light by the full moon, in the middle of winter with snow and no leaves on the trees.

Ron Ieraci said...

Thanks, anon - I added the bit about the woods in the story.

Emily said...

I've been told the real reason the elevator stops on the fifth floor is because it's actually a fire safety mechanism gone crazy. Like I think the elevator is programed to stop on the fifth floor if the emergency stop is pressed but the whole elevator is broken so now it always stops instead. Hat to demystify that for ya.

Ron Ieraci said...

Thanks, Emily. I added that to the post with the other reader's comment. Still, kinda coincidental, no?

Kelsey said...

Also theres another ghost believed to be in towers from an education major who killed himself after he got an dui. Just 5-4 years ago.

Anonymous said...

I was a freshman in 1977 in Tower A dorm on the 7th floor. I broke into Reeder Hall to investigate because of the turn or the century rumors of witchcraft (closed & boarded at that time). I found a large chalk pentagram with strange symbols, burnt candle stubs and dead pigeons. I picked up a small corked bottle of yellow powder which eventually proved to be sulfur. After taking this bottle back to the dorm, our room began having poltergeist or demonic activity. Such things included the dead bolted door opening and closing by itself, the sound of moving objects out of one's view, items disappearing then reappearing in full view, feelings of being inappropriately touched by someone invisible, and hanging plants swinging wildly in the window area with no draft present.
One night my electrical battery-less plug only clock-radio suddenly started broadcasting a program about death and repentance while unplugged. Simultaneously the time flipped to and fixed at 11:11 pm where it stayed. This was witnessed by five students. I can also confirm inexplicable happenings with orbs & strange lights,the feeling of presence in the stand of trees by the dorms/health center. I witnessed and felt bizarre happenings also at The Evergreen Tavern, upstairs in the Hotel Bar in the town center, and the Diebold building. The graveyard on the lake too is full of weirdness but supremely beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Good overview, but you are missing the ghost in the Memorial Audi. That one is a complete nightmare.

Ed Lada said...

A couple of things about the alleged ghost in the Old Union Theater. First of all were no back stairs, there were only three sets of stairs, one to the basement, one to the second floor and the third to the attic. There were a set of metal fire stairs at the rear of the building but they were outside and open As far as the volume control to the sound system, at least in the '70s and until the renovation there was no central sound system. As to her footsteps on the stage, the Old Union was an open space and the stage was constructed for each show in various places so there was no permanent stage there. Perhaps someone was combining their memories of the Old Union and the Memorial Auditorium, which was occasionally used for theater productions.

Anonymous said...

I remember when I was a freshman and an art major in 2010 I was alone in the ceramics studio in Loveland and I was working on a project at of the pottery wheels at like 2 am. After I was in there for about 20 minutes, one of the electric wheels at the opposite end of the room randomly started spinning at full speed! I went over to it because I thought that maybe someone just forgot to turn it off earlier, but when I got closer, it stopped. and then I found out it wasn't even plugged in! Needless to say I didn't even finish that project and I just threw it into the slop bucket, grabbed my things, and literally sprinted out of there and I never worked in that room alone again!

Anonymous said...

Centenial Hall's basement was actually the basement of the seances... I have heard some interesting stuff about Reader though, but I have nothing to back that up with. I know for a fact that stuff went down in Centenial though. Moving along, Scott Hall's basement level is indeed "haunted". In 1992, a girl "Sheila" committed suicide in room 1027. Friends of mine back then said that several students had requested their room to be switched out due to rather dark occurrences. As far to my knowledge now... Scott Hall's basement level dorms are vacant since 2012 due to flood damage and electrical issues.

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting site. So, a friend of mine lived on the third floor of Manor Hall this year and that floor always weirded me out! She wasn't creeped out by it, but that whole building actually made me feel uneasy. I was wondering if anyone knew of Manor Hall's history. Something just ain't right about that building!!!

Robbie McKay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Torie Witherow said...

So I need to know if anybody has any more information on Reeder Hall, we just did a little investigation there and it went WONDERFULLY! But I need to learn more. Any and all information will be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I went to Edinboro in 1975-1976 and lived in Lawrence Towers. I never knew about the ghost in room 517. Good thing as my room was 518. However, we always partied in the woods between the tower and health center. One calm evening a group of 5 or 6 of us were sitting at a picnic table rolling a contraband substance. All of a sudden, a ferocious wind came out of nowhere and blew the stuff straight up into the air. I can still see the look on everyone's face.

HJW said...

Hi... I am an EUP Alumnus, & back in the early 90's, my buddy who used to live in the Towers called that copse of trees between the Towers & the Ghering Health Center "The Rape Woods". It acquired this name because he was aware that several female students passing through had been sexually assaulted there by fraternity boys.

He told me he had witnessed some metaphysical phenomena there, such as ethereal lights flashing in the trees (which are also quite visible in the old Edinboro Cemetery) & a dark, foreboding presence. I can personally vouch for its earthy creepiness, & I am not surprised that other phenomena occurs there as well.

Our theory was that the trauma of the assaults had opened a "portal" there, which has created a door letting in lower spiritual entities, whose presence in turn perpetuated more bad behavior on the part of students who were drawn in by it enough to be negatively influenced by those entities.

I had not heard the story of Dr. Dorothy Clifford, but had also sensed a very dark, negative vibe surrounding the theater building pictured here in the late '80s & '90s. It waxed & waned at times, but it never left.

I hope this is of interest to fellow EUP ghost hunters, & those interested in the paranormal ongoings of Edinboro, PA.

-HJW,
EUP Class Of '92

Anonymous said...

First, I would like to clarify a few details in the posting of Scott Hall. I attended Edinboro from 1998-2003 and remember hearing the story of who you referred to as "Sheila". I have never heard of a "Sheila", however... your story is correct, but the name... The name of the girl who committed suicide was Danielle. I am not sure when the doors were painted over, but the outlines of the once numbered doors could be seen faintly beneath the letters on the doors. For instance, a guy I knew lived in "G". Room "L" was once "1027". I actually do remember partying down there one night and helping a guy and a girl move out a small loveseat from "L" to room... (I honestly forget which room they were moving it to...) They were supposedly moving to another room because the electrical heating source against the wall was not in consistent working order, which caused their room to always be very cold; so they said.
I have no reliable sources on Centenial or the other buildings mentioned on this blog.

-Mike. P

Anonymous said...

If anyone is interested, there's a ghost tour that goes through all of these places and some others that aren't mentioned. It's October 22nd. They did it last year too.