Saturday, August 29, 2009

St. Rose's Haunted Houses

Image from michaelejahn's Picasa Web Gallery

The College of Saint Rose was established in 1920 in Albany, NY, by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, and named after Saint Rose of Lima, the patron saint of founder Mother Rosina. Does it have ghosts? Is the Pope Italian...ummm, Polish...errr, German?

Anyway, yes, it does. And just to make things easier on spook hunters, three are on the same street.

Carey Hall: Actually, calling Carey a hall is a misnomer. It's a small house on 944 Madison Avenue that's a home away from home for twelve female students.

There are a lot of stories connected to Carey. One is that a mother’s spirit is still here because her baby died in the house. The apparition of a man who went off to war is said to remain in Carey, his childhood home. This is also where the spook of a gardener hangs out.

Besides the odd sighting, there have been reports of playful antics, like tossing clothes from student suitcases all over the room after they pack up to leave the hall.

Though pranksters, the spirits in Carey are considered guardian angels of sorts. It has been reported that people would feel a warm, calming breeze in their rooms, even with the windows shut tight. It's supposedly the tranquil essence of the hall's watchful spirits.

One tale that may or may not be spirit related is that of Sister Dorothy Flood. She was home alone in Carey one day, and was headed down the steps. Suddenly she saw a ball of fire coming up the stairs toward her. She turned tail and went back up the stairs, and the mini-comet followed her. The good sister fled to her room and locked the door.

The college padre explained to her that she just ran across an example of St. Elmo's fire (though we've never heard of it taking place indoors, but hey...) and it was a good omen for Sister Flood. It's never happened again, so maybe the Father was right.

Charter Hall: Located at 923 Madison Avenue, this is a house, too, but a bit bigger than Carey. It holds sixteen co-eds.

Supposedly, the flute playing of a musician who committed suicide in Chicago can be heard here, a similar phenomena as experienced in Quillinan Hall. And no, no one's quite sure why the flutist is there.

Morris Hall: Still a house, but a big honkin' one on 568 Morris Street that was once a convent. It holds 40 co-eds.

Students there reported spotting the image of a priest in the common room, which was once a chapel for the sisters. The priest would be seen at the altar, back turned. The paranormal padre has also been seen in mirrors in the building and in windows. He was even spotting strolling down a hallway.

A renovation that divided the room with a wall between the common area and the altar space seems to have put an end to his sightings, though. But there are more spooky happenings, even with the spirit priest behind walls.

Students have reported hearing flute music, just like in Charter Hall.

The most common occurrences are in the rooms on the first floor of Morris. Things would be disturbed and moved. Music and lights would go off and on. Odds and ends placed on the window sill would fly off and crash in the middle of the room. Ghosts hate being ignored.

Quillinan Hall: The hall was named after Mother Rosina, who founded the college and was baptized Ellen Quillinan (thanks Reo!) The house is on 953 Madison Avenue, and used to be the home of a family with a little girl. Starting in the 1970s, it was reported that a young girl would show up in the house, asking the residents if they'd like to play with her.

The identity of the child's apparition was identified, according to St. Rose lore, by students who brought in an Ouija board to communicate with her. The spirit told the students that she was seven years old and died in a fire.

The only problem was there was no known blaze at the building. But shortly after, the underside of the stairs going from the first to the second floor were found to be charred during renovations to the house, confirming the girl's tale.

The moppet has been known to play tricks on the residents. She particularly likes to lock students out of their rooms and play jacks while people try to sleep.

Don't believe us? Well, the Dean of Students delivers an orientation speech every year to the incoming frosh. And he always mentions the spooks of St. Rose's. Would he fib to those dewy-eyed freshmen? We say never!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dark And Stormy Drew

Mead Hall - 1885

Drew University was established in 1867 as a Methodist seminary in Madison, part of Morris County, New Jersey, and 15 miles as the crow flies from Times Square. Now it's a university with three clusters: a liberal arts college, a humanities-centered graduate school, and a theology school. And if that sounds like a good mix for a few spooks to you, well, you're right.

The Arboretum: The Zuck Arboretum is a collection of on-campus fresh water ponds used by the University for Environmental and biological studies. The arboretum is said to be haunted by a “lady in blue” who appears near a lake in the back of the woods and trips students and staffers. Mischievous little spook, hey?

She shows up most often at sunset, but there have been daylight sightings, too. She's opaque, and no one has ever seen her face or body, just her blue dress as it wafts by.

Asbury Hall: Built by in 1834, the building originally was a carriage house. In 1867, Asbury Hall became home to its seminary students. Now it's a residence hall. People report seeing mists rolling along Asbury's halls, along with cold spots and unexplained nosies. According to college lore, a seminary student hung himself from the attic rafters, and the mist is his spirit still roaming the dorm.

Craig Chapel: Built in 1899 on the second floor of Seminary Hall, the Chapel is gently haunted. People have felt a sense of presence in the otherwise empty chapel, accompanied by heavy breathing.

The Great Hall: The Samuel W. Bowne Hall, built in 1912, is where The Great Hall is located. It was once a dining room; now it hosts many Drew events. Bowne is a medieval structure in the middle of campus, where the teachers have their offices. The Great Hall is modeled after the hall of Christ Church at Oxford University. The upper floor is a long, red-carpeted room, with wood paneling featuring carvings along the beams, a large fireplace, paneled doors, and lead glass windows.

Sometimes there are uninvited guests to the college events held at The Great Hall. People have reported seeing faces in the ceiling carvings, the chandeliers swing for no reason, and visitors have seen reflections of a man with round, gold spectacles in a mirror. TGH spooks aren't any more friendly than the Lady In Blue; people report being pushed towards the door, as if being rudely asked to leave.

Hoyt-Bowne Hall: Opened in 1894, the hall is a popular upperclassmen residence. There's a sad tale connected to it, and with several versions. The legend goes that a girl from room #412/#403 discovered she was pregnant/messily broke up with her boyfriend, and then hung herself/was thrown out the window to her death. Mix and match the story to your satisfaction; the next part everyone seems to agree on.

Weird stuff happens on the fourth floor. Witnesses have seen doors open and window shades fly up. And woe to you if you happen to be of the male persuasion; the spook at Hoyt is definitely hostile to the guys. She knocks them down, pushes them, and has even been blamed for a broken limb or two. Drew has wisely used the top floor as an all-female residence.

The floor is so famously haunted that it's mentioned on Drew's official site.

It's also been reported that a colonial soldier will occasionally pop up on Hoyt's front lawn, scaring the bejabbers out of strollers and then disappearing. It's said that Hoyt was built partially over an old graveyard, and he was one of the disturbed bodies.

A part of the underground railroad stretches underneath the campus, and the tunnels start at Hoyt. A visit will fill one with appropriate spooky sensations, though no real tale has sprung from the tunnels.

Kirby Theater:
The FM Kirby Shakespeare Theater is relatively new on campus, but built on the bones of an old gym. It's haunted by one of its gym rats, Reggie. He's usually seen on premise in shorts or sweatpants. In one well known story, a couple of stagehands, leaving the building, said "Goodnight, Reggie." The lights flicked on and off in reply.

The Library: Founded in 1867 with the school, it's supposed to sport a spook in the A-deck stacks.

Mead Hall: Mead was built in 1837. Daniel Drew, the college founder, bought it in 1867 and renamed it after his wife, Roxanna Mead. It's said that her spirit has been spotted roaming the halls.

Her most famous sighting was during a fire, when two Madison firefighters saw a woman dressed in period clothes walking calmly through the flames. They called out to her, to lead her to safety. She vanished before their eyes.

Its final spooky memento - it's said that the eyes of the first floor paintings in the building follow you around as you walk the floor.

Hey, it sounds like Drew is trying to elbow in on the Catholic school ghost monopoly. The more the merrier, we say. Keep it ecumenical.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Spooky Seton Hill

Sisters' Cemetery from Historic Campus Architecture

Founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1918, Greensburg's Seton Hill University started out as a small liberal arts college for women. It has since grown into a 2000-student coeducational university. Some of its buildings date back a century or more, and like any Catholic college worth its salt, it has its campus ghosts.

Administration Building: In the early 1900's, an elderly sister fell asleep in the basement of the Motherhouse, now used as the administration building. A custodian saw her laying there and assumed she was dead, and she was buried alive (the good sister must have been quite a heavy sleeper!) When she woke up in a pine box, she beat on the lid of the casket until she finally passed away for real. It's said that you can hear the spirit of the nun pounding away in the Administration building late at night.

Brownlee Hall: It's alleged that footsteps can be heard running up and down the hall of the first floor of the freshman woman's dorm at night. However, whenever a student opens their door to investigate, no one can be seen, even as the noise goes on.

More lore is that you can see the shadow of a girl that hung herself in her dorm room, cast on the wall. There's also the story of a mysterious purple light that comes out of the corner of a first floor room.

Maura Hall:
Built in 1908, this is where the Media Center is located and the upper-class women are dormed at SHU. The spirits of the old teaching nuns have been reported roaming its corridors.

Main Parking Lot: The ghost of a priest has been seen crossing the main lot during the evening.

St. Joseph's Chapel: It's located on the third floor of the Administration building, and was built in 1896 as part of the original Motherhouse. It features the apparition of a nun in the right hand room next to the organ. The organ door will open and close on its own, and a chorus of ghostly voices singing and music coming from the otherwise empty room is often heard.

Also, there's the legend of a student who became so depressed that she went to the bell tower (the entrance is in the chapel), and threw herself off, committing suicide. Her ghost is also said to be seen around campus.

Sisters' Cemetery: The graveyard was planned and laid out in 1889 when the Seton Hill Motherhouse was completed. It's the final resting place of the Seton Hill Sisters of Charity, the founders of the university, all the past presidents, and several other notable priests, laymen, and laywomen.

A little boy is one spook, playing with a ball and occasionally running like someone is chasing him, screaming all the while.

Another tale is of a woman who stops traffic on the road so she can cross (or hitch a ride), but when the driver brakes and looks for her, she has already disappeared into the fog.

Also reportedly spotted in the college boneyard are the spirits of sisters gone and buried who once lived at Seton Hill. One story regarding demonic grave circles can be discounted, though. The original layout of the sisters' burial plots was circular, but that configuration proved to be too space consuming, and was replaced by the traditional rows of graves.

Wooo, busy campus - no wonder it's the one of the sites where the horror film On Sabbath Hill was shot!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ohio University of Haunts

Wilson Hall

Hey, my kids think that this blog is a sure sign of their old man's fast-approaching senility (where did I go wrong?) But every so often they have a useful suggestion.

They both went to Dayton for their degrees, and said that if I had to post about spooky campuses, look no further than Ohio University in Athens; every Buckeye state college kid knows it's the most ghostly spot in higher education.

So I checked out Wikipedia (I trust my kids as much as they trust me, hehe), and it said "Ohio University is also considered by some to be the most haunted campus in the United States." So here it is, in its full paranormal glory - and the southeastern Ohio campus has a million tales:

Brown House - It was donated to OU by Millie Brown, who was its life-long resident. It now houses the Contemporary History Institute. Legend has it that she can still be seen sitting by the window, and even took a child on a tour of her home. It was said that the actor Paul Newman saw Millie waving at him from the house - after, unknownst to him, she had died.

Bush Hall
- The girls' dorm is the site of poltergeist-type phenomena, like running water and lights going off and on. It also includes the "marbles" sound heard in Jefferson Hall, a noise like someone dumped a bag marbles on the floor and let them roll down the hall.

Bryan Hall
- Students living on the fourth floor have claimed to hear someone upstairs in the bell tower, even though it is used solely for storage, and kept locked. On other floors of the dorm, students have heard scratching on the doors and walls, odd noises, and seen strange lights.

Convocation Center
- The Convo holds the school gym, where the basketball team plays, and has dorms built around its outside frame. Its most famous legend involves an RA that was killed there by her former boyfriend who still walks the halls, making sure doors are locked.

It's also said to be spooked by the spirit of a girl that died in her sleep there.

Crawford Hall - This dorm is where Laura, an RA, fell to her death in 1993 from a fourth floor window over Easter break. Her misty apparition has been seen on the first floor, near where she landed.

Laura was a fan of Bob Marley music, and many say when you pass by Crawford, any Marley reggae will quit playing, although others say it only happens when they try to play the Marley song "Laura"

Cutler Hall - Some claim that there's a ghost inside the bell tower, setting the time wrong even when its recently been changed. The administration says it's just a clock that doesn't keep time too well. Both sound like fine explanations to us.

Delta Tau Delta fraternity - The brothers liberated a tombstone from the haunted Simms Cemetery and immediately began to experience weird poltergeist activity at their house. Doors slammed shut on their own, things flew through the air, and a window shattered completely. They quickly returned the stone to Simms, and the activity stopped. Another initiation prank scratched off the hell-week list!

The Drum - One Athens home sports a large drum in its front yard that is pierced with holes and is used as a flower pot. But in spite of the holes, this drum never leaks, no matter how much water is poured into it.

The stories say that it was used by a local college professor to dispose of his wife's body in the lake after he murdered her. Her ghost is still said to be clinging to the drum. Supposedly, she is still seen today peering out the second-story window of her house.

Jefferson Hall - It's said that students, exploring the upper halls of the building a decade ago, saw a teacher behind a desk, dressed in 1950's clothing, in an attic room. The only problem, besides the square outfit, was that she was transparent and floated. They ran for help, and when they returned, the door was locked, and the desk was covered with dust.

The building also boasts of poltergeist trickery, the best known being the sound of rolling marbles from the top floor, a phenomena shared with Bush Hall.

Lin Hall - Once known as "The Ridges," it was formerly part of the old State Mental Hospital. As with many state mental institutions, the Athens center was shuttered during federal budget cuts in the 1980's. Lin now houses the Kennedy Museum of Art. And Margaret Schilling is reported to still be in building.

She was a patient in the hospital when she disappeared in December of 1978. A maintenance man discovered her body a month later in the attic of a ward that had been closed off for several years. Schilling had starved to death. There's still a stain in the floor that forms an outline of her body. It's been reported that Marge roams the floors of the old ward at night.

Main Green - Here, you can allegedly spot Stroud, a headless buffalo who was killed by Confederate soldiers hunting in Ohio during the Civil War. Stroud was supposed to be the last buffalo remaining in Ohio.

Perkins Hall - Residents have claimed to hear laughter and a woman speaking. Others have watched electrical appliances turn on and off on their own. How ghosts love electronica!

Sigma Phi Epsilon sorority house - This East Street home was once a stop in the Underground Railroad. Confederate soldiers raided the house, and killed an runaway slave named Nicodemus, who was hiding in the basement. The rebs shot him in the back as he tried to escape.

Other versions say that some locals stoned him, either afraid of the retribution a slave station would bring on the town, or just as a mob of southern sympathizers.

The place has been reported to be haunted by his ghost ever since. Residents of the house have reported hearing scratching and whining sounds behind the wall where the slaves once hid, creaking noises and footsteps, the unlocking of doors and even the apparition of a man in tattered clothing.

The house has been home to a number of sororities, and they all have their Nicodemus stories.

Washington Hall - Talk about your basketball jones! This place is haunted by an entire b-ball team, although its make-up is up for debate.

One story says a girls' high school team stayed there, and had the time of their lives there attending basketball camp. The girls, unfortunately, were soon killed in a bus accident, and their spirits returned to the place they all enjoyed the most to spend eternity - Washington Hall. Reportedly, you can hear the bouncing of basketballs and the laughter of the girls.

A likelier version of the ghostly five is focused on the top floor of Washington Hall, in the attic, which used to be a recreation room when it was a men's dorm. This time the team is all male, and keep their haunting limited to the attic.

Either way, it's a great tribute to team chemistry, even in the afterlife. Coach K would be proud.

West Green - Legend has it that the West Green is built on an Indian burial ground. The Hocking River, which ran through campus, can still be heard rushing by, along with the chants of the disturbed native Americans.

Wilson Hall - This place is meant to be spooked out. It's allegedly the center of a pentagram formed with the five haunted cemeteries (Simms, Hanning, Cuckler, Higgins, and Zion) in Athens. But there are 270 graveyards in Athens County, which means you could connect the dots and draw a star or a pentagram just about anywhere in Athens.

Others say that it's built on one of the old State hospital's cemeteries. Neither is very promising if you're looking for an occult-free existence, though neither is proven.

The most famous Wilson Hall story is that of room 428. It is told that a girl who practiced the occult died violently in the room. In fact, in some places it's thought that she visited the old Asylum, and something frightened her so badly - perhaps she ran across Marge, or another former inmate - that she returned to Wilson and committed suicide.

Since then, students have reported items coming of walls and smashing into walls, footsteps and strange sounds in the rooms, furniture being rearranged and reports of an apparition of the girl. It's also rumored to have a face hidden in the wood grain of the door.

Misty spirits have been reported roaming in its halls, too, adding to its reputation as the most haunted building of Ohio University.

The University has closed the room and doesn't issue it to students any longer; they use it for a storage area.

And one final note - it's also claimed that Ohio U's Halloween party is the best in all of collegedom.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

West Virginia Wraiths

e moore hall wvu
E Moore Hall

When it comes to intercollegiate rivalries, few can top the Tri-State triumvirate of Pitt, Penn State, and West Virginia. It's true of academics, parties, sports - and spooks.

Pitt has its haunted Cathedral of Learning, Penn State has Old Coaly, and West Virginia...well, pick your favorite.

Beta Theta Pi House - Brothers living in the fraternity have reported clanging of chains in a lower room of the Belmar Avenue house. It was originally thought to be caused by the ghost of the late butler of the house from the 1940s, but now the blame has shifted the spirit of an old homeless person they let live in the basement of the house in the 80's. He hung himself in the area where the noises are heard.

Boreman Hall - Boreman is a hall steeped in tradition. Boreman South opened in 1935 as “Men’s Hall” and was later named Boreman after the first Governor of West Virginia, Arthur Ingram Boreman. Boreman North opened in 1963 and remains the last all female residence hall on campus, and is where our spook resides.

Every night around 1:30 AM, noises in the attic start up and occasionally things will be knocked off desks. Once a girl saw an apparition of an old lady in the bathroom who then exited the loo by walking through the wall.

One story claims that a member of Boreman Hall's cleaning staff saw odd shadows and heard noises around a corner. There was nothing there when she turned the corner, and the phemonena shook her nerves so badly that her scream woke up most of the floor; maybe even the dead, too.

East Moore Hall
- Most often referred to as “E. Moore Hall,” this historic structure has a dance studio, pool, small gym, and a main floor lounge area. Elizabeth Moore, dean of female educators in West Virginia who passed away in 1930, is the hall's namesake.

She's been spotted floating over the pool in the basement. Her portrait gets around, too - it disappears and then reappears in various places of the building without any human intervention. We suppose it's her way of keeping an eye on things at ol' E Moore.

Library - The library was redone in 2001, and is part of a downtown complex. But it's built over the bones of the original library and its additions, dating back to pre-depression days, and so has had lots of opportunity to host a ghost or three.

In the older section of the library, people have heard doors opening and closing by themselves. The side study areas also seem to be busy with the labors of studious spooks, as writing can be heard coming from empty desks. Apparitions have also been reported.

On the 10th floor of the old section, one gets a sense of presence and being watched. The elevator opens and people are heard entering and exiting without being seen. For some students, the library was a haven. It seems like it still is.

And hey, while you're there, WVU & Morgantown have a couple of haunts located off campus. They are:

Coeds' Ghosts - In 1970, two WVU coeds were hitchhiking a ride back to their Evansdale dorms. They never made it back. Their decapitated bodies were later discovered on an old mining road, but the heads were never found. (A reader had more exact information: The girls remains were found south of Morgantown off of Goshen Road near the old Weirton Mine site that is now known as Morgantown Machine.)

The murderer confessed years later, but the case was never fully put to rest. Some believe the guy that confessed was innocent; other believe he had accomplices he never disclosed. The murders never achieved closure.

Growling, screams, and whistling have been reported coming from the woods. It's been claimed that the two girls haunt the woods near the lake, still searching for their heads. Many car accidents have been reported on Route 857 North because of shadowy apparitions of two girls running back and forth through the woods.

Morgantown Public Library
- The library employees have reported a ghost, most often late in the evening. The library spirit is mostly heard, but there are claims that its been seen, too.

West Run Road - The cemetery, located in Morgantown, was once known as Potter's Field, the local pauper burial grounds. Now the property is maintained by the County and is known as Monongalia County Cemetery,

It and the woods are believed to be haunted. Local witches are reported to have their Sabbaths up on this hill on their holy (unholy?) days.

In truth, there are no stories of spooks associated with the cemetery, just a feeling of creepy presence common to all boneyards. But if the locals think it's haunted, who are we to disagree?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Look Out Harry - Hermione Really Is A Witch!

Hermione in "Chamber of Secrets"

H&H just spent a leisurely afternoon with the kids watching Harry Potter, and lo and behold, when he returns to the PC, what does he spy but this tidbit:

Harry Potter star Emma Watson is related to a real-life witch, according to People Magazine.

The actress, who plays schoolgirl witch Hermione Granger in the franchise, can reportedly trace her roots back to a 16th century woman who was convicted of witchcraft.

"It's not every day we're able to trace the branches of a family tree back to 16th century witch trials," said genealogist Anastasia Tyler from

"Combine that with a celebrity connection to Emma Watson and the fact that she plays a witch in Harry Potter - You couldn't script it any better."

Watson's relative was alleged to be Essex-born Joan Playle, an unmarried woman who was excommunicated from the Church of England in 1592 for witchcraft.

The leaf doesn't fall far from the tree, hey?