st-johns-university scary storyThey’re heeeere… again. As with inhumanly high levels of sugar intake on Halloween, so with ghost stories. This time of year, people just can’t get enough of scaring themselves. Why do we do it? Maybe to remind ourselves what it feels like. Maybe to tap into that primal terror the ancients felt in the presence of unexplainable forces. Maybe just for the adrenaline rush.

At any rate, I’m happy to oblige with three more tales of the restless dead, demonic forces, and shadowy apparitions that roam our nation’s colleges. Without further ado…

1. St. John’s University: Haunting Bells and Another Gateway to Hell

Just across the lake from this Collegeville, Minnesota campus, an abandoned chapel sits in the woods. As this chapel was being built in the early 1900s, the abbot of the monastery received repeated premonitions to cease work on the chapel. As people often do in spooky stories, the abbot disregarded these premonitions and finished the chapel, thus incurring, it seems, the wrath of universal ghost story justice.

Building materials for the chapel had to be transported across the lake. When the day came for placing the bell in the tower, two monks embarked across the lake in a canoe with the bell. Without warning, the canoe capsized in the center of the lake, one of the monks drowned, and the bell was lost to the murky depths.

Undeterred, the surviving monk with another brave soul attempted to take a replacement bell across the lake. Sure enough, the boat capsized, they say, in the same spot as its predecessor. The monks both survived and made it to shore. The monk who had survived the first capsizing was as pale as a sheet. While submerged, he said, the drowned monk had appeared in the gloom, grabbed his robes, and attempted to pull him to the lake bottom. Both monks looked at his robes to see GASP! A white, soaked, rotting, dismembered hand still clinging on.

To this day, on the quarter moon, the hollow ringing of two bells sounds ominously from the watery depths of the lake. But an undead monk and two missing bells are just the beginning…

You see, despite all the red flags, the chapel was finished and used by the monks for years as a place of worship until a new chapel was built. On the last day of services, a de-dedication ceremony was held. The sky outside was cloudless and sunny until, halfway through the ceremony, a tremendous storm arose. As the ceremony finished, a massive earthquake shook the chapel, and dark figure appeared in the chapel doorway. No sooner had they seen it then the floor from the doorway to the altar split like an overripe zombie head. Even the altar, formed of solid stone, cracked in two.

Today, the chapel is said to glow from within on Halloween and Christmas and ghoulish services can be heard carrying on inside its cursed walls. Strange burn marks appear from time to time on the chapel’s exterior. Most terrifying of all, the footprints of the dark demon can still be seen, seared into the chapel floor.

albertus magnus scary story2. Albertus Magnus College: A Sinister Shadow

It’s not uncommon to find unwelcome boys in a girls’ dormitory on any given campus. But what do you do when a visitor doesn’t have a body and is very hostile? At Sansbury Hall on this idyllic campus in New Haven, Connecticut, the girls had trouble sleeping at night, so much so that they would all huddle together in sleeping bags in one room. They reported things flying off their shelves and some unseen being poking and scratching them. Especially, the Sansbury girls told of a black shadow that would pace the halls outside the laundry room and sounds of water dripping in places where there were no pipes.

Two students, one of them a dabbler in the occult, decided to check it out. The duo soon found themselves in over their heads when the malevolent shadow appeared. The occultist was lifted off his feet and thrown up a set of stairs. A couple of co-eds saw this and began screaming and spreading general panic. Mass hysteria ensued with the dorm’s occupants emptying the building, cowering in the yard outside. The lights had all turned on inside, and, when they knocked jokingly on the door, it shook violently twice from the inside (and everyone was accounted for outside).

To the best of my knowledge, this phenomenon continues to manifest. Several other buildings on campus are allegedly haunted as well.

oglethorpe house savannah ghost3. Savannah College of Art and Design: Home of a Hundred Ghosts

You know, every campus has its odd story here and there about weird sounds, cold spots, or shadows. Maybe it’s a part of accreditation or something. But this school blows away any other school I’ve researched in terms of number of hauntings. Word has it that there is a ghost for every block in Savannah, Georgia, and this college certainly fits its locale.

In various houses on campus, dozens (maybe hundreds) of students have reported hearing the sound of marbles dropping on the floors above them at all hours of the day. One student tells of getting chills, then hearing the distinct sound of someone smacking their lips, and finally hearing a voice calling to him. Another student told of waking in the middle of the night having trouble breathing, feeling like something was pressing down on his chest. They’ve heard hammering, furniture being moved, and the sound of high heels clicking on tile; and that’s just a sample.

None of this is surprising, considering the campus’ background. Habersham Hall, for instance, to be a prison and still sports dungeon-like storage rooms in the basement. Pulaski House used to be a homeless shelter for women and children and, surprise, it is purported to be haunted by a female spirit. According to rumor, Preston/Poetter Hall’s basement once housed slaves; the building was built on the former site of the Savannah Female Orphan Asylum. No wonder the building still echoes with disembodied voices and sounds of heavy footsteps. Henry Hall, a former elementary school where a little girl fell down the stairs and broke her neck, is still haunted by the little girl who continues to tumble down the stairs, reliving her death.

By far, however, Oglethorpe House, which used to be an apartment complex, boasts the most significant ghostly activity. In the ballroom, a ghoulish groundskeeper is said to appear from time to time. Room 310 is haunted by Harry, a WWII-era sailor who moves objects and communicates via Ouija board. Heels, believed to be the spirit of a prostitute, follows people around the halls, her high heels clicking rhythmically on the tile floor.

Room 634 at Ogelthorpe, however, is known to be the most haunted of all. Two female students in particular share the most compelling story. They moved into the room and immediately began experiencing the normal- or, rather, paranormal- phenomena: an uneasy feeling of being watched, objects flying off shelves, phantom voices calling to them, moving shadows, objects going missing, invisible beings sitting on their beds while they were sleeping, and the incessant noise of marbles dropping and someone hammering on the walls.

One Halloween night, one of the girls used a Ouija board to contact Harry, the sailor ghost, who introduced them to Laura, the spirit who had been in their room. Laura told the girls she had been killed by a jilted lover named Max and buried across the street. She thought the year was 1825. Then, much to the student’s surprise, the ghost then told her numerous details about her room, the letters on her desk, and the fact that her roommate was in the room laying down (her roommate had gone to a Halloween party). The ghost also warned her of a malevolent being haunting Ogelthorpe and told her that she was trying to protect them.

Spooked, the student returned to her room where she found her roommate laying on her bed. Her roommate had been hearing voices in the room for the last hour. After that, on numerous occasions, the girls managed to record female voices in the room and had many other freaky experiences. To this day, Room 634 continues to experience the same phenomena.

Why people stay in these rooms is beyond me. I know these students tried to get transferred to another room but the administrators wouldn’t allow it and dismissed their stories as coincidence. That’s encouraging!

Anyway, just thought I’d help you out anyone who is in the middle of their college search. AVOID THESE SCHOOLS! Halloween is getting closer, and I’m yet to get freaked out by anyone out there. I’m daring you. Post your scary stuff below in the comments…

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4 comments on “It Came From College Ghost Stories: Another Triumvirate of Terror

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  • These are way worse than the ghost stories at my college. Forever wandering freshman’s ghost on floor 13? Lame. Damned chapel complete with ghost monks and earthquakes? Much scarier.

  • Regarding your story on Albertus Magnus and what happened at Sansbury – I was a first-hand witness and participant in that particular event. If you’d like a true account of what happened, I’d be glad to speak about it. It was ten years ago now, but I’ll never forget.

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