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.