My own story:
IS NEW HAMPSHIRE’S COLBY-SAWYER COLLEGE HAUNTED?
In my opinion, yes. I have seen the ghost at Colgate Hall, in the middle of the New London campus.
My experiences are from autumn 1969. I was a freshman at Colby Junior College, as it was then called. Today, it’s renamed Colby-Sawyer and has earned an even better academic reputation.
Colby-Sawyer started as a small college in the 19th century. Its ivy-laced brick buildings with white trim look like nearby Dartmouth College. The tidy campus is the jewel of a classic New England town, about two hours north of downtown Boston. The college sits on a hilltop, and sparkles in the sunlight.
When I attended Colby Junior College (we just called it “Colby”), it was primarily a girls’ college with a few hundred students.
Although there were a few local boys among the students — perhaps ten young men, total — it was rare to see men on campus.
Everyone knew each of the men who taught there, and we were always on the lookout for prospective dates, if men from Dartmouth or another college “just dropped by.”
They often did. In those days it was widely speculated that one of Colby Junior College’s roles was to provide suitable dates for Dartmouth men.
That’s why I remember the man in the hat, at Colgate Hall. He didn’t look like the usual Dartmouth student.
Colgate Hall is the main building at Colby-Sawyer. It is a large brick building, the one featured in Colby-Sawyer photos, and it is the building you’ll start at to visit the school.
I saw the ghost twice, though I didn’t realize it was a ghost at the time:
Both times, I saw the ghost in the afternoon; once in broad daylight, and the second time at dusk.
I had a clear view of the back of Colgate Hall from my dorm room. All of the dorms encircle a central grassy area called “the Quad,” and Colgate’s back door (shown above) also faces the Quad.
The first time, I saw the man from my dorm room at about one in the afternoon. I recall his rather large-brimmed hat and stylish coat which seemed theatrical and unnaturally dark on a sunny day, even in the shadows of Colgate Hall.
Because Colby offered respected theatrical productions, the college often had colorful visitors. Many were actors from professional theatres, “imported” by to fill male roles in an otherwise all-girl cast. Some were short-term instructors in subjects such as mime.
I recall hastily grabbing my shoes and a notebook (so I’d look like I was going somewhere with a purpose), and dashing downstairs to the Quad.
My plan was to saunter into Colgate and take a closer look at the visitor.
When I reached the Quad, he was still leaning over the railing by the back central door to Colgate. I could not see his face; the brim of his hat covered his features as he continued looking down.
I paused to put on my shoes, but when I looked back up, he was gone.
I wandered over to Colgate anyway, hoping to find him inside the building.
After twenty minutes of cruising the corridors of Colgate, I gave up my search. I didn’t think anything of it; he’d probably stepped into an office or even left campus.
The ghost appeared again.
Read about this and other Colby-Sawyer ghosts at: Ghosts of Colby-Sawyer College, Part Two
Also see my list of New London, NH ghosts.