Saturday, December 6, 2008

East Stroudburg's Spooks

East Stroudsburg University from Waymarking

Hey, since we've taken a spin through a batch of Pennsylvania's haunted halls of higher ed, we thought we'd keep the stories coming with a visit to the Lehigh Valley and Monroe County's East Stroudburg University.

East Stroudsburg started out as a Normal School in 1893 and rose in the State College ranks. It became a Teacher's College in 1927, a College in 1960, and earned University status in 1983. It educates 2,200 students in 61 buildings spread out over a 213 acre campus.

There's a theory that many of local spooks here were victims of the 1955 floods when the remnants of two hurricanes roared over East Stroudsburg, killing over 70 people and creating a whole new generation of local spirits. Many of ghosts, both collegiate and townie, are mentioned in Charles Adams III and David Siebold's Pocono Ghosts, Legends And Lore.

The Fine And Performing Arts Center: There are a couple of interesting spooks in this building. One is an entity described as ice cold. It likes to deface or change name plaques and move objects in the auditorium. It's said the police have a log of all the mischief it's caused (in case they ever catch it in the act, we guess.) Many have reported hearing its' voice.

The other is Sarah, the Theatre Ghost. She hung herself from the light rigging in the Theatre sometime in the 1970s and generally is seen overhead in the grid. Of course, one of her favorite pranks is to unplug the spotlights, especially during shows. Sometimes she does the opposite. The student stagehands can't get lights to shut off, even when they unplug them. Sarah's been spotted on occasion, and will sometimes grab a student or cause technical glitches in shows or movies. She's considered harmless, if somewhat annoying.

Hawthorne Hall: The dorm has a variety of spooks to offer its' residents. One spook is that of a young child that fell to its' death down an elevator shaft. There's another ghost that haunts the fifth floor for reasons known only to it. We also have reports of an elevator spirit on the fourth floor that opens and closes the elevators every hour on the hour between midnight and 6AM. She may also be the white spook that visits the girls in their rooms on that floor. She likes to pop in when the girl's roomie is out and she's alone.

Kemp Library: The Library is haunted by a black cat's spook. How unlucky can you get? The ghostly gato likes to hang around the government documents section. There's also alleged to be the spirit of a nine year old boy in the 300 section (history, to non-librarians) of the library, though no one quite knows how or why he's there.

Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity House: This Analomink Street house is haunted by the ghost of a former owner who the frat guys call Mrs. Booth. Her ashes are supposedly buried under the fireplace where her apparition is often seen. She's most often described as a glowing figure in a dress. Mrs. Booth has also been spotted roaming the second and third floors.

Sigma Pi Fraternity House: There's two stories concerning the Sig Pi's spook, Margie. She was a maid at the turn of the century that was caught fooling around with her master. Her punishment wasn't all that terrible. Actually, it was kinda boring. She was banished to a small third floor room to live out her days. It was said she'd just rock the time away in her rocking chair. When she died, she was cremated and her ashes put in an urn and left in the room.

Construction workers later were in the house, and here's where the stories diverge a bit. One says they spilled the ashes and set off Margie. The other says they just sealed up the room. Either way, Margie was not pleased. She's been said to restlessly roam the house, and was even alleged to take possession of a frat brother's body one night. But she gave it back in the morning.

We'll take a look at the townie tales in a later post. For now, the ESU Warriors and weirdness are enough eerieness for one day.

1 comment:

Chris said...

WOW pretty crazy stuff great job on the article