The Best College Ghost Stories and Other Campus Legends

League loves Halloween, and it seems almost every institution of higher learning has its own ghostly legends. In honor of All Hallow’s Eve, we’d like to share a few with you.

Kutztown University: Mary Snyder, the Ghost of Old Main

In the spring of 1895, Mary Snyder was a 22-year-old student at Kutztown University who was preparing to graduate when she died unexpectedly while living in Old Main, the oldest building on campus. Her death may have been caused by heart failure, but most believe she killed herself by throwing herself down an elevator shaft or hanging herself in her room. Spooky! Since then, students and staff have reported a wide range of paranormal activity—from hearing unexplained sounds to being awakened in the night by an unseen force shaking their beds. The couple behind the paranormal investigations that sparked The Conjuring series and the Amityville Horror films, Ed and Lorraine Warren, even visited Kutztown in 1991 and confirmed not one, but two spirits remain in Old Main. Read more of their findings here!

University of Georgia: Susie Carithers, the ghost of Alpha Gamma Delta

Built in 1896 by local engineer William Winsted Thomas, the Georgia mansion was purchased in 1913 by James Yancey Carithers as a wedding gift to his daughter, Susan. But on the wedding day, the groom left Susie standing alone at the altar. Consumed by grief, she hanged herself in one of the upstairs rooms. In 1939 the building was sold to the University of Georgia, and has since served as home to Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. Students have reported an array of odd happenings in the house—faucets running by themselves, lights flickering, and closet doors opening and closing unaided. There have even been sightings of a sad, silent girl said to be the jilted bride. 

Wells College: The Red Door

An deadly influenza epidemic struck Wells College in the winter of 1918. To cope with the great number of ill students, a small medical office was established on the 4th floor of the school’s main building. Many students died during the outbreak, and their bodies were placed in the makeshift morgue on the same floor awaiting burial by family members. The door of the morgue was painted red as a warning to keep out. After the epidemic, the rooms were again used for their original purpose and the red door was repainted. Yet for years afterward, the red paint would bleed through the topcoat and have to be repainted. Creepy!

Washington State University: The Ghost of “Railroad Sam”

The twelfth floor of Orton Hall at Washington State University is home to a resident who doesn’t attend classes or try out for any teams. His favorite pastime seems to be watching the railroad trains that pass through the town of Pullman. Nicknamed “Railroad Sam,” the benign spirit has been sighted on many occasions standing by a window with a clear view of the tracks. Nobody is certain whether Sam actually worked for the railroad or perhaps once lived on the land now occupied by Orton Hall. Keep an eye out when trains pass through town, you might spot him watching.  

Kansas State University: The Ghost of “Nick the Football Player”

Established in 1863, Kansas State University is among the oldest higher education institutions in the state. When you’ve been around  that long, you’re bound to acquire some ghostly legends.  In this case, the ghost is “Nick”—a Wildcat football player who received a fatal injury during a game. Nick is said to haunt the Purple Masque Theater, where disembodied footsteps are often heard after hours. Nick is also known as a bit of mischievous spirit—rearranging furniture, setting off fire extinguishers, and spilling paint.

Utah State University: “Patty,” the Ghost of Kappa Delta Sorority

The young women of Kappa Delta have a spirit watching over them, or so the legend goes. How “Patty,” (as she’s called), died or how she came to haunt the sorority is unknown. But she seems to enjoy keeping the girls in line, and she does not like snarkiness. Gossip, eye-rolling, and rudeness are met with a stern warning from Patty, who is said to cause lights to flicker when she’s displeased. Sorority members frequently report dreaming of a woman dressed in white trying to enter the building, sometimes through a window. Though generally benevolent, Patty’s been known to cause her share of door-slamming and furniture arranging.

Happy Halloween from League!