Kathleen Escarcha, staff writer
Colleges and universities across North America have their share of ghost stories.
Why? A young population, the desire to create a community, and need for warnings all cultivate the perfect atmosphere for paranormal tales on campus, argues Matt Swayne, author of America's Haunted Universities: Ghosts that Roam Hallowed Halls and Pennsylvania State University lecturer.
Often, campus lore takes on mythic proportions, Natalie Shutler writes for the New York Times. And while these tales may seem especially tall to those outside of campus, the stories can unite students, faculty, and alums around a special, shared language, she notes.
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We scoured the DB archives and the web to round up some of the more notable rumors of paranormal activities around campus:
University of Manitoba: The Health Sciences Centre is said to host the ghosts of former staff and patients. Witnesses report hearing footsteps in empty hallways and mysterious loud crashes, Linda Galeazzi writes for Study Magazine.
University of Prince Edward Island: Dalton Hall is allegedly haunted by a student who froze to death during a storm, Galeazzi notes. Apparently, the spirit leaves a trail of water leading back to where his room once was.
Duchess Community College: Bowne Hal's basement once served as a morgue for a tuberculosis hospital. Unsurprisingly, people have reported sensing a strange presence in the basement, Kay Broughton reports for the State University of New York (SUNY)'s blog.
Sinclair Community College: The cafeteria is built over the town's old gallows, says a local historian. According to Chris Woodyard, author of Haunted Ohio, people have heard heavy fire doors banging closed and seen elevators open with no one inside.
Kenyon College: Rumor has it that the campus is built above the "Gates of Hell," so naturally it has many sprits roaming around. The most widely known story is that of nine students killed in a 1949 fire that destroyed a dorm. Now, their ghosts yell "Get me out of here," in addition to flushing toilets and turning on the lights.
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Apparently, a spurned lover's ghost roams the halls of the English Building, slamming doors and flickering lights. Across the way, a spirit stares out of a third floor window.
University of Toronto: In the late 1800s, Christie Mansion was owned by a wealthy cookie baron. Legend has it that the baron hid a mistress in a secret room behind the library, where she eventually hung herself from the rafters, Adam Bunch reports for Spacing Toronto.
University of Northern Colorado: A bullied resident assistant supposedly hung herself in the attic of either the Wiebking or Wilson Hall dorms—and now changes the television channels and rearranges furniture in the buildings.
Pennsylvania State University: Schwab Auditorium boasts two ghosts who enjoy scratching people and moving objects about. Additionally, Coaly the Mule is said to haunt the halls of any building that displays his bones.
California State University at Channel Islands: The campus includes not only burial grounds, but also the old Camarillo State Mental Hospital. Witnesses report flickering lights and scratching on the walls (Bunch, Spacing Toronto, 10/17; Broughton, SUNY's blog, 10/17; Galeazzi, Study Magazine, 10/17; Shutler, New York Times, 10/17; The Clarion, 10/17).
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