NY and PA – Haunted Colleges

Ghosts are almost “normal” in many eastern seaboard states.

At times, it seems as if the entire northeastern United States is profoundly haunted.

If that’s true, it may be due to the northeast’s history. The more dramatic an area’s history, the more opportunities for ghosts and ghost stories.

In a part of the country with over 300 years of documented history — much of it violent from colonial times through 1812, and later — the odds of hauntings increase.

In addition, some people speculate that the northeast’s huge quartz deposits act as ‘magnets’ for ghosts and hauntings.

Colleges are especially likely to have ghosts. (See my article, College Ghosts – Reality and Urban Legends.)

Here are some well-known schools, colleges and universities in NY and PA that report ghosts:

New York

  • Albany – Sage Colleges of Albany.  I’d closely examine the history of the Albany Home for Children at New Scotland, and how the dynamics changed when the site became the home of the Albany Division, educating soldiers returning from World War II.
  • Albany – The College of Saint Rose.  If you’re investigating there, study the history of William Keeler, as well as any paranormal patterns connected with buildings by Frank J. Morgan.  Consider a closer look at his history when building Albertus Hall and Science Center, and if anything odd happened among the building crew.
  • Albany – University of Albany – Mohican Hall and Pierce Hall have the most reports.
  • Alfred – State University of New York – Alfred Mackenzie Complex.
  • Allegany – St. Bonaventure – Francis Hall. Allegany is on a ley line that extends from Barne and Newmarket (Ontario, Canada) through Toronto and past St. Catharines, then into the U.S. through Buffalo and then to Allegany.
  • Annandale-on-Hudson – Bard College‘s Blithewood Mansion (the Levy Economics Institute) reports ghosts.  It’s unusual to have such dramatic reports at a building associated with the study of economics.  Students working with math are usually more left-brained and less prone to diagnose paranormal activity.
  • Aurora – Wells College. Most of the stories are about the main building.
  • Brockport – State University of New York.  Several reports, mostly about Hartwell Hall.  It’s one of the oldest buildings on campus, originally a training center for teachers, called Brockport Normal School.
  • Bronx – Fordham University. This university reports so many ghosts at so many locations, I’d be very interested in the history of the land beneath it, or the site’s earlier history.  This is in the category I describe as too many stories per square foot.  There’s a bigger story at this location, and it’s not just about the individual ghost reports.
  • Bronxville – Concordia College.  This is another college with a few too many ghost stories.  Look at the history of the site, perhaps as far back as Native American activity, and the first settlers.
  • Buffalo – Canisius College has ghost stories about Griffin Hall and the village townhouses.  However, nearby neighborhoods have an unusually high number of reported hauntings.  The major, ghostly ley line that goes through Buffalo may explain some — but not all — of what’s going on there.
  • Buffalo – D’Youville College. The increased ghost reports since 2004 may be attributed to the popularity of the Ghost Hunters TV series, but I’d also look at the impact of the Hungarian exchange program, and ghost story traditions integrated among American students.
  • Buffalo – Medaille College reports residual energy hauntings, with images from the early- to mid-20th century. Like Brockport’s State University of New York, this was originally the site of a teachers’ college for women.
  • Canton – St. Lawrence University‘s governors and administration are firm:  Despite reports, there are no ghosts at St. Lawrence University. If the site has paranormal activity, I’d look for its roots in the V-12 Navy College Training Program at the university, around World War II.  Many of those students became officers and went to war with honor.  There have been many reports of ghosts connected with officers who went to war with high expectations, and may have wished they were back at their previous locations.
  • Cazenovia – Cazenovia College.  If you’re investigating there, first study its history and the frequent changes of name (all of them seminaries) starting in 1824. I always look for “what’s odd?”  The series of seminaries… that’s odd.
  • West Point – U.S. Military Academy
    Several buildings have reported ghosts, including the Superintendent’s House and the area around the 47th Division/4th Regiment barracks.
  • [If you know of other profoundly haunted campuses in NY, let us know with the contact form, linked above.]


Because Pennsylvania has considerable Colonial and mining history, it’s a perfect place to find ghosts. These are just a few of many colleges in PA with great ghost stories:

  • Allentown – Muhlenberg College
    Bernheim House is reportedly haunted by its former owner.
  • Allentown – Cedar Crest College
  • Bethlehem – Lehigh University
    According to stories, Linderman Library is visited by an annoying male ghost.
  • Doylestown – Bucks County Community College
    Tyler Hall may be haunted by Stella Tyler, for whom the building was named.
  • Easton – Churchman’s Business College
    She hasn’t been seen for many years, but according to stories, a woman haunted the old First Presbyterian Church, which is now part of the college.
  • East Stroudsburg – University of Pennsylvania
    Several haunting are reported here. They include ghosts at the Fine Arts Center, at Hawthorne Residence Hall, at Phi Sigma Kappa, and at Sigma Pi.
  • Gettysburg – Gettysburg College
    This college has too many ghost stories to list here. Many are from the Civil War era, as you would expect in this famous town.
  • Kutztown – Kutztown State College
    A 19th-century student apparently haunts Old Main, the administration building. A woman who once lived in Whiteoak Street may have haunted that building, too.
  • University Park – PA State University
    A ghost of a mule, once a sort-of mascot for the school, is reported at Watts Hall. Runkle Hall experienced poltergeist phenomena in the mid-1990’s.

For more about haunted colleges, see my articles tagged “Colleges – US” or search for “colleges” in the Search form at the top of this page.

Also see my article, College ghosts – reality and urban legends.

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