Ghost stories from a haunted college


This is a re-post of one of my spooky favorites from last year. As much as I'd love to have a ghost story of my own to tell, I've at least been lucky enough to live in places that are filled with ghost lore, most notably my undergrad college. Read on, and be afraid!

I went to a bucolic liberal arts college in Ohio, one of the oldest colleges in the midwest. One of the things Kenyon College is famous for -- besides being the alma mater of actor Paul Newman and Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson -- is the unsettling number of ghost stories which seem to have coalesced around it since being founded in 1826.

There are a few possible explanations for this. One is that at an isolated, rural school where the preponderance of students major in English and until the late 1960s were all male, telling stories around a campfire is an excellent way to distract one another. Another is the long-kept legend that a gateway to Hell exists on campus, which naturally would produce all sorts of angry spirits and other nasty supernatural beasties. Whatever the cause, the school is stuck with them, and it's become tradition for much-beloved professor of English Timothy Shutt to recount them every year around Halloween, as they have always been recounted: by a roaring fire.

Recently I was thrilled to discover that six or seven years ago, while a student at Kenyon, I had videotaped one of professor Shutt's evocative ghost story roundups. (He himself has been known to quip that he "doesn't believe in ghosts, but he believes that other people believe in them," a skepticism which does nothing to dull the humor and chills of his spectral storytelling abilities.) I'm sharing two of my favorite Kenyon ghost stories here with you, in the hopes that you'll share some of your favorites with us!

Caples Dormitory Haunting

Acland Apartments Haunting