Friday, November 8, 2013

Chestnut Hill College

Chestnut Hill College Entrance
Chestnut Hill College entrance: Image by Kiran from Wikipedia Commons

Philly's Chestnut Hill College is located on the northwestern edge of town on 75 acres overlooking the Wissahickon Creek. The College opened in 1924 as a Catholic school for women, then became Mount Saint Joseph College. The College was renamed in 1938 as Chestnut Hill College.

And that's given the school plenty of time to pick up an unexplained spirit or three to help expand the students' worldview...

Fontbonne Hall: The ghost of a girl who is thought to have died during the 1793 flu epidemic haunts the third floor, along with a male spirit. She isn't just seen in the hall, but it's claimed that she even appears in roomies' dreams simultaneously. There are also tales of poltergeist type shenanigans involving doord, windows and electronics. The hall has catacombs and tunnels underneath it that lead to the mother house and are allegedly haunted by a crying woman.

Fournier Hall: The "Red Eye Room" is located on the second floor, so named because at night, it's said that two red eyes appear floating throughout the room. One suite across the hall features paranormal phenomena like slamming doors, window shades that fly up and radios that turn on and off. The third floor is reported to be haunted by the ghost of a young boy, dressed in 1920's clothing.

Logue Library: Books move on their own, as do their carts. The library was allegedly built on top of a cemetery, which according to lore had to be relocated twice. If you're in the building after 11, it's said that you may share the stacks with some disgruntled spirits who were disturbed during the construction.

Lower Parking Lot: Located by the sports field, it's said to be haunted by the spirit of a girl that was raped and murdered at the site, near a marker erected in her memory.

St. Josephs Hall: On the fifth floor, you can sometimes spot the spook of a young sister in a long robe floating by, taking her suicide leap from the Bishop's Steps as she did many years ago when she found out she was bearing a priest's child. There are a set of locked doors with a crucifix above them that some say was where the sister put her newborn before her jump. The lore is that if you knock three times on the doors, you'll get three raps back in return. The basement is also haunted, and the fifth floor is supposed to be the realm of a departed art teacher.

And we're only tapping the surface. Other sightings have included visions of a young lady, a kindly old man in robes, little girls playing, and a boy with a hair of fire and emerald eyes. The mausoleum, the Chapel basement and the old gym in the basement of Fournier Hall are all supposed to have tales to tell, too.

And every year, CHC Student Activities hosts a lecture on ghosts and the paranormal, followed by a ghost hunt around the campus led by paranormal investigators.