Haunts of Penn State Dec 10, 2015 6:38:35 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Dec 10, 2015 6:38:35 GMT -5
Footsteps in the night, a face in the window – it’s not uncommon to hear urban legends, ghost stories and even personal experiences related to haunted Penn State. But who exactly is supposedly haunting the halls of Penn State?
Schwab Auditorium. One of the most well-known reportedly haunted spots is Schwab Auditorium (above), which perhaps not-so-coincidentally is the only building on campus that has a grave in front of it. President George Atherton, who Penn State’s sports archivist Paul Dzyak said is credited with bringing the once-floundering university “back almost from the dead” during his tenure, was so revered that the Board of Trustees chose to have him buried on campus. While the board wanted Atherton buried at Old Main, the president's wife, Frances, wanted a more intimate location for the family to visit. Thus Atherton ended up beside Schwab, and according to popular myths, his wife’s ghost ended up haunting the auditorium, as well as the Old Botany Building directly across the street, from which she can watch over his grave.
In the opinion of Penn State’s Paranormal Research Society, Schwab is the most haunted location on campus, Jenny Orth said. The club has investigated the auditorium a few times, and every time members experienced a supernatural occurrence, including unexplainable footsteps and sights. The night Orth investigated the building, she said she and the other investigators split up into groups. Her team was on the upper balcony when she said they heard someone screaming. When they reconvened with the other group and told them to stop yelling, they were told that no one had been screaming and that the other group hadn’t heard any noises. They also believe the spirit of a depressed woman is in one of the downstairs rooms, where multiple people have experienced such an overwhelming sense of dread upon entering the room that they burst out crying for no reason, Orth related.
The Paranormal Research Society theorizes other possible culprits of the unexplained phenomena could be the spirits of Mr. and Mrs. Atherton and a former janitor who Orth said once named himself “Steve” to the investigators via radio frequencies. Orth said Mrs. Atherton is much more related to the Old Botany Building, however, and although the society has not been able to investigate the building, its members have been told her spirit will begin unplugging appliances in the building if the rooms become too messy.
Dorms. Other ghostly rumors floating around campus include the spirit of a Spanish-speaking ghost in the North Hall dorms that frequently turns television channels to Telemundo, and a tower in the East Hall dorms whose occupants frequently complain about feeling terrified while walking about, Orth said.
‘Ghost Walk.’ And then there are the rumors of a student who became lost while walking on a campus pathway during a blizzard and died, although Dzyak indicated there is no proof when, or if, this happened. Regardless of whether it is haunted, the pathway was known as the Ghost Walk, having been created by former Penn State agricultural professor William A. Buckhout as a tree-lined walkway for students who wanted to take a break from campus. The walkway no longer exists because increased expansion of the campus slowly replaced more and more of the trees with new classroom buildings and the library. All that remains of the Ghost Walk, and really the only proof of “spirits” on campus, is a circa 1890 photograph (above) of several ghosts walking ominously down the pathway ... but don’t worry, the spirits are only Buckhout’s daughters with sheets over their heads, a picture staged by the professor to ensure the rumors of a haunted campus would remain for many decades to come.
Source: Morganne Mallon, PennLive, December 9, 2015.