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  • Writer's pictureBeth & Tim Manners

Boo! The 'Paranormal' College Experience

Inside Higher Ed: "Gettysburg College, which housed a battlefield hospital during the Civil War and is said to be haunted by spectral soldiers, gets mentioned in local ghost tours ... Bowdoin College is full of spooky sites, according to author and campus developer David Francis -- including Adams Hall, formerly Maine Medical School, where the old floorboards are said to have been made of coffins for the corpses. Smith College hosts a running log of strange encounters. And Pennsylvania State University even saw a multi-season A&E Network reality television show, Paranormal State, about its own student-led Paranormal Research Society."

Some say Colby-Sawyer College, in New Hampshire, is haunted by its first teacher, Susan Colby Colgate. She "has been spotted over the years, floating through the main Colgate Hall building. And a man in a tall, dark hat has been seen peering out of Colgate Hall's third-floor windows. He's suspected of sometimes ringing the bell in a restricted tower ... The back of Colby-Sawyer’s campus is referred to as Susan Swamp, not after Susan Colby Colgate but for a student who, according to legend, fell into the lake one night long ago and drowned ... Students walking by the Colby-Sawyer swamp still report seeing a woman walking in a flowing dress or feeling a cool breeze in otherwise balmy weather."

"Katherine Crowe, curator of special collections and archives at the University of Denver, said she’s 'on the fence about ghosts' and has never experienced one. But she’s noticed that when campuses are said to be haunted, libraries tend to be involved. The Watson Library at her alma mater, the University of Kansas, for example, is supposedly haunted by its namesake and first librarian, Carrie Watson. And Denver’s Mary Reed Hall, formerly the main library, is also visited by its namesake and donor, the late Mary Reed."

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