Every year as the nation suffers through the sweltering dog days of summer, high school graduates everywhere are packing their bags with a great deal of excitement and just a modicum of dread, in anticipation of heading off to college. Starting college heralds a whole new chapter in a young person’s life, exposing them to a cornucopia of new experiences, hopefully most good, some bad, and possibly even some paranormal!
In celebration of this time-honored fall ritual, Cutting Edge Haunted House presents a multi-part series of blogs on haunted colleges and universities around the country, starting with Ohio University.
Located on 1,850 acres in Athens, Ohio, this major U.S. public research university was chartered on February 18, 1804 and first opened for students in 1809. As of 2014, Ohio University boasted 39,201 enrollees, equivalent to 30,878 full time students.
According to the British Society for Psychical Research, the town of Athens, Ohio is rated as the 13th most haunted place on Earth, and its famous university is no slouch in the paranormal department either. In fact, there have been so many instances of spooky encounters that the college was featured in an episode of Fox’s “Scariest Places on Earth, hosted by Linda Blair in October of 2000.
One theory for all of the paranormal activity is that five ancient cemeteries form a pentagram around the town of Athens, Ohio.
And while there are a mind-boggling number of places on campus where students and faculty have claimed to see and hear spirits moving about, by far the most famous (or infamous) one is Wilson Hall, said to be located in the exact center of the pentagram.
Room 428 in Wilson Hall has been sealed off, and is no longer assigned out to students. Why? In 1981 a female student reportedly committed suicide in that room, dying in a violent and somewhat perplexing manner. Students who were subsequently assigned to that room claimed to hear footsteps and strange noises. Some purported to witness objects moving on their own, flying off of shelves and smashing into walls.
Campus legend has it that the student who died had spent a good deal of time practicing the occult in her dorm room, attempting to contact the dead and teaching herself astral projection. The circumstances surrounding her death were vague and mysterious, and the subject of much rumor and innuendo.
Deeming the room uninhabitable, University officials finally removed it from service and sealed it off from all access.
That’s just one of many spooky stories surrounding Ohio University; just one of many haunted schools and colleges where not every student has made it out alive…
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