I’ve embarked on a project to comprehensively document haunted college and university sites throughout the South. When I first conceived of this project, I imagined I would only have about 200 or 300 locations, but after scouring my personal indices of locations, I ended up with over 500, so I’m breaking this up by state.
Please note that the references quoted at the end of each entry are only those sources that specifically note the hauntings. If you have experienced a haunting at any of these locations, know of other haunted college and university locations not included here, or have a correction, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear your story and include that information here.
Bethany College, Bethany
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL MANSION & GOD’S ACRE CEMETERY – This mansion and cemetery, the former home and burial site of religious leader and Bethany college founder Alexander Campbell, are now owned by Bethany College. Campbell’s spirit has supposedly been spotted within the small, hexagonal study building on this estate. The spirit of Campbell’s young son Wickliffe, who drowned nearby, may make appearances within the house. Legend holds that the low stone wall entirely surrounding the cemetery across the road may hold spirits within this historic family cemetery, thus the numerous stories involving encounters here between the living the dead. 6, 10, 16, 22
COCHRAN HALL – A spirit in this 1910 residence hall’s first floor guest apartment still makes its presence known, though it has yet to be identified. 25, 27
GRACE PHILLIPS JOHNSON MEMORIAL VISUAL ARTS CENTER – Originally constructed as Irvin Gymnasium in 1919, this structure is home to visual arts classes and possibly the spirit of the building’s namesake. Security guards have reported that they encountered the spirit of Ms. Johnson while others have reported that the eyes in her portrait follow people around the room. 25, 27
OLD MAIN CLOCK TOWER – A student’s suicide is reenacted at the iconic clock tower on Old Main. Lore states that a female may have committed suicide here by leaping from the clock tower to her death. 11
PHILLIPS HALL – This 1929 residence hall may be home to two ghosts: Sarah, a student who hung herself in the attic and a sailor who died as he was either visiting a student or sneaking out of the building when it served as navy housing during World War II. 8, 11, 27
Bluefield State College, Bluefield
MAHOOD HALL – One of the oldest buildings on the campus of this historically black college, Mahood Hall is believed to be the home of a little girl’s spirit. For years, students have awakened here to find themselves face to face with a little girl who quickly disappears. A 2010 investigation by Black Diamond Paranormal Society captured several EVPs and a brief video showing a figure passing by an open doorway in the supposedly empty building. 12
Concord University, Athens
SARVAY HALL – Comments on Theresa Racer’s blog post about Concord University note that this dormitory may be fairly active. 13
WILSON HALL – The third floor of this early-1960s era dormitory is supposed to be quite paranormally active. Blogger Theresa Racer’s post on Concord University notes that a student may have committed suicide in room 320, though comments on this post reveal that other rooms on the floor may also be active. 13
Davis & Elkins College, Elkins
GRACELAND INN AND CONFERENCE CENTER – One of two Victorian mansions (the other being Halliehurst, see below) constructed as summer homes for a pair of friends, businessmen and later senators, Henry Gassaway Davis and Stephen Benton Elkins. Their families later donated the grand estates to create a campus for the small, Presbyterian-affiliated college established by Henry Davis. Built by Henry Davis, Graceland may be haunted by the spirit of Grace Davis, one of his daughters. During a 2008 walkthrough of the house with paranormal investigator Chris Fleming, students were treated to some EVPs and the gas burners in the kitchen turning themselves on. 5, 24
HALLIEHURST – Like its Victorian sister, Graceland, students, staff members, and visitors have experienced the unexplained in Stephen Elkin’s former summer home, Halliehurst for many years. Stories at Halliehurst date to the home’s use as a women’s dormitory in the 1950s. Gavenda and Shoemaker note in their A Guide to Haunted West Virginia that nearly all of the encounters with the paranormal here are positive and helpful with students being saved by phantom hands from injury or death. 24, 26
Glenville State College, Glenville
CLARK HALL– An October 2011 edition of The Barr Bulletin a college newsletter written by Betsy Barr, wife of GSC’s president Peter Barr, makes note of the college’s most famous ghost, “Sis Linn.” Sarah Louisa Linn, known familiarly as “Sis” Linn, was an 1877 graduate of the Glenville Normal School that preceded the state college. She later owned a boarding house where she was bludgeoned to death in 1919. The boarding house was later torn down to construct a women’s dormitory Verona Maple Hall. Sis Linn’s spirit was observed here in the years before the building was replaced with Clark Hall. Linn’s spirit may still be present here as well as in other places on campus. Here, Linn’s spirit seems to cause much noise. 1, 14
HARRY B. HEFLIN ADMINISTRATION BUILDING – According to legend, a bell that hung in this building would often chime thirteen times until it was recently removed. Within this building lights flicker, keys left in doorknobs jingle on their own accord and disembodied whispering is heard. 28
LOUIS BENNETT HALL – When it served as a men’s dormitory students in Bennett Hall were sometimes awakened by a Lady in White. After the building’s conversion into offices, odd phenomena is still observed here. 28
OLD GLENVILLE CEMETERY – Sis Linn, the college’s resident spirit was buried here after she was bludgeoned to death in 1919. Her spirit is said to be observed walking through the cemetery. 14
PICKENS HALL – According to author Tom Ogden, students in this residence hall have reported hearing furniture being moved on the floor above them and the sound of marbles rolling across the floor. 28
Marshall University, Huntington
ALPHA CHI OMEGA HOUSE (Fifth Avenue) – Legend holds that a little boy killed here in a fire now haunts this sorority house. Sisters in the house have reportedly experienced flickering lights, unexpected cool breezes, and objects being moved. 2, 27
ERMA ORA BOYD CLINICAL CENTER– Built on the site of Fairfield Stadium, this 2007 building is reportedly filled with activity after hours. Elevators operate on their own accord, televisions turn on by themselves, and the sound of two men chanting has been heard in the commons area. 2, 27
MORROW LIBRARY – Library patrons are sometimes interrupted in this 1930 library by the sounds of arguing, though the source is never found. Originally the main university library building, this building now houses special collections. 2, 27
OLD MAIN – The oldest and most iconic building on campus, Old Main also harbors ghosts. One of the more recognizable spirits haunts the old auditorium within this building. Believed to be the spirit of a former theatre director, the spirit has been seen backstage and walking the catwalks. A 1996 article notes that in addition to the auditorium, the attic and Yeager Suite are also the domain of spirits. For further information see my blog post, “Phantoms of the Opera, Y’all.”2, 27
SIGMA PHI EPSILON HOUSE (1401 5th Avenue) – Like the Alpha Chi Omega House nearby, this fraternity house is purported to be haunted by the victims of a fire, though in this case the victims were a mother and her two children. The lore states that this fire took place in the late 1960s or early 1970s and residents still hear the sounds of sobbing. 2, 27
TWIN TOWERS EAST – The spirit of a student who committed suicide is said to remain in his room, 1218, of this 1969 residence hall. A student reported in a 1996 article in The Parthenon that he awakened to see the image of a young man sitting in his room. The apparition disappeared after the student pulled his covers over his head. 2, 27
Mountwest Community & Technical College, Huntington
ACADEMIC BUILDING – Mountwest Community & Technical College took up residence in its main academic building in 2012. Built in 1980 as an office building for the Ashland Coal Company, the building may be occupied by the spirit of an employee of one of the companies that occupied this modern office building previous to the college’s occupation. Theresa Racer notes in her blog that after the death of an employee here from a heart attack in 2002, people on the fourth floor began to experience doors opening and closing by themselves, a feeling of being watched and the smell of pipe tobacco. 17
Shepherd University, Shepherdstown
GARDINER HALL – The spirit of a former homecoming queen named Patty still stirs in this residence hall. She supposedly died here after falling in the shower and hitting her head sometime in the late 1980s. A portrait of Mabel Gardiner, the building’s namesake, is supposedly hung upside down to appease Patty’s restless spirit. 4, 27
KENNEMOND HALL – Residents of this residence hall regularly encounter the spirit of a young boy wearing knickers and a driving cap. His story says that he was killed in a fall at a local construction site. He is known to play with student’s electronic devices. Author Rosemary Ellen Guiley reports that there is also a spirit encountered in the building’s basement. 4, 27
McMURRAN HALL – Construction began on this building on the eve of the Civil War and it remained unfinished for a few years following the war. After the bloody Battle of Antietam was fought nearby in Maryland, this was among local buildings commandeered for use treating the wounded. The spirit of a soldier is often seen peering from the bell tower. For further information see my article on Shepherdstown, “None of the town is spared a ghost story—Shepherdstown, WV.”3, 9
MILLER HALL– A young girl who died in a fall from a hayloft on this property prior to the construction of Miller Hall has been seen roaming the halls of this building. Local lore also notes the death of a nursing student by her own hand here, but her spirit has not been spotted. Lore also mentions that an exorcism was performed in room 201, though a residence life staff member told the student newspaper in 2014 that this was likely just a blessing of the room to put paranormal activity at rest. 4, 27
SHAW HALL – The apparition of a woman has been seen at some of the windows of this building. 27
THATCHER HALL – The spirits of those of those interred in the nearby cemetery haunt the B Wing of this residence hall. 4, 27
TURNER HALL – The Victorian girl who haunts Miller Hall has also been seen here while the spirit of a construction worker also roams the halls. During the construction of Turner Hall a construction worker fell to his death on the rocks that are now a part of the building’s basement. 4, 27
YELLOW HOUSE (ENTLER-WELTZHEIMER HOUSE) – One of the oldest houses in Shepherdstown and the oldest on campus, the Yellow House is purported to still be the residence of a cobbler who was killed here in 1910. The tapping of his cobbler’s tools are still heard. For further information see my article on Shepherdstown, “None of the town is spared a ghost story—Shepherdstown, WV.”3, 21
University of Charleston, Charleston
EAST APARTMENTS – Built on the former site of haunted Dickinson Hall, this dormitory may have inherited the paranormal activity from that building. 27
GEARY STUDENT UNION – This student union building is apparently haunted, though little information is available as to the exact nature of the paranormal activity. 18, 27
RIGGLEMAN HALL – Built in 1950, Riggleman Hall may have a few spectral residents including a female suicide victim and Leonard Riggleman, former president of Morris Harvey College, predecessor to the University of Charleston. The activity blamed on these spirits includes odd noises and shadows. 18, 27
West Virginia University, Morgantown
BETA THETA PI HOUSE – Two spirits may haunt this fraternity house: the spirit of a butler who served the brothers in the 1940s and the spirit of a homeless man who committed suicide in the basement in the 1980s. 24
BOREMAN HALL – Odd sounds and other paranormal activity has been encountered throughout the north section of this residence hall. 24
DOWNTOWN CAMPUS LIBRARY – Studious spirits inhabit this 1931 library. One staff member was studying here when he heard the elevator doors open and someone walk to the desk on the other side of the partition and pull the chair out. When he looked shortly after that, no one was there. Legend blames this activity on a staff member who died after falling down an open elevator shaft. 7, 19
ELIZABETH MOORE HALL – Built in the late 1920s, this historic building may be haunted by the spirit of its namesake, Elizabeth Moore. 19, 24
WV ROUTE 857 – While not on the campus of WVU, this haunting involves two students who were abducted from the campus January 18, 1970. A few months later, the headless bodies of the two females were discovered near Cheat Lake. The heads have never been recovered. An arrest and conviction was garnered in this case. Drivers at night near the site where the coeds’ bodies were discovered have spotted the apparitions of two females in the woods. 24, 27
THE MOUNTAINLAIR – A spectral girl dancing in a yellow party dress has been observed here. 27
WOODBURN HALL – Perhaps one of the more unique ghost stories in West Virginia involve the spectral bovine mooing that is heard here. Legend speaks of a student prank gone awry when students lead a cow up the stairs to the clock tower of this building. When the students could not get the cow back down the stairs the cow apparently had to be killed and butchered. 19
West Virginia University Institute of Technology, Montgomery
RATLIFF HALL – Besides very typical paranormal activity including footsteps and slamming doors, one female student claimed to have seen the specter of a firefighter in this dormitory building. 20
West Virginia Wesleyan University, Buckhannon
AGNES HOWARD HALL – Named for a student who was stricken with a sudden illness while at school here and passed away, Agnes Howard Hall may have paranormal activity including shaking beds and a student hearing her name whispered three times. 15, 23
- Barr, Betsy. The Barr Bulletin. October 2011
- Donohue, Kelly. Unnamed article. The Parthenon. 29 October 1996.
- Engle, Georgia Lee. “Restless spirit roams campus, haunts High Street Cottage.” Shepherd College Picket. 28 October 1954.
- “Ghouls & Ghosts: Legends and hauntings of Shepherd University.” The Picket. 28 October 2014.
- Higgins, Carra. “Paranormal says hauntings present at Graceland, Halliehurst.” The Inter-Mountain. 28 October 2008.
- Jackson, Mary Robb. “Paranormal activity spooking up some fun at Bethany College.” 30 October 2013.
- Kinney, Hilary. “Spooky stories surface throughout campus.” The Daily Athenaeum. 31 October 2013.
- McQuillan, Kayla. “The haunts of Bethany College.” The Tower. No Date.
- Molenda, Rachel. “Town serves as home to ghosts from past.” Shepherdstown Chronicle. 28 October 2011.
- Racer, Theresa. “Alexander Campbell Mansion.” Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. 20 April 2012.
- Racer, Theresa. “Bethany College.” Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. 22 January 2012.
- Racer, Theresa. “Bluefield State College.” Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. 5 September 2012.
- Racer, Theresa. “Concord College.” Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. 29 February 2012.
- Racer, Theresa. “Ghost of Glenville State.” Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. 12 September 2011.
- Racer, Theresa. “The Ghost of West Virginia Wesleyan.” Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. 2 March 2012.
- Racer, Theresa. “God’s Acre Cemetery.” Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. 23 May 2011.
- Racer, Theresa. “Mountwest Community & Technical College inherits a ghost!” Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. 21 September 2013.
- Racer, Theresa. “University of Charleston.” Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. 7 October 2012.
- Racer, Theresa. “WVU haunts around campus.” Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. 20 May 2012.
- Racer, Theresa. “WVU Tech’s Phantom Fire Fighter.” Theresa’s Haunted History of the Tri-State. 4 September 2012.
- Shepherd University. “The Legend of the Yellow House.” Accessed 2 October 2011.
- Shinn, Emma. “Stone wall said to keep spirits, stories in Bethany cemetery.” Observer-Reporter. 28 October 2013.
- Wagoner, Becky & John Wickline. “Bone chilling tales of ghostly wails.” The Inter-Mountain. 27 October 2007.
- Barefoot, Daniel. Haunted Halls of Ivy: Ghosts of Southern Colleges and Universities. Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair, 2004.
- Carney, Brent. Bethany College. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2004.
- Gavenda, Walter & Michael T. Shoemaker. A Guide to Haunted West Virginia. Glen Ferris, WV: Peter’s Creek Publishing, 2001.
- Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. The Big Book of West Virginia Ghost Stories. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole, 2014.
- Ogden, Tom. Haunted Colleges and Universities: Creepy Campuses, Scary Scholars, and Deadly Dorms. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 2014.