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Ghost Stories from Ohio’s Colleges

Ohio College Ghost Stories: The Legend of The Ridges

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The Athens Lunatic Asylum opened in 1874 and specialized in the treatment of criminally and mentally insane patients. The majority of the original patients were admitted by court order or by their own families. In the early years, “The Ridges,” as it came to be known, was recognized as a calm, peaceful place that benefitted the health of its patients. As the number of patients grew over the years, patient care declined and many new and more invasive therapies such as ice baths, electro-shock therapy and lobotomies began to be employed. Later, overcrowding further deteriorated care. During the mid-1900s the mix of patients changed as well, with many parents admitting rebellious teenagers and other more challenging patients.

The combination of overcrowding, employment of more invasive treatments, and change in the mix of patients led to a number of incidents including the unfortunate case of Margaret Schilling. On December 1, 1978 a patient named Margaret Schilling mysteriously disappeared. As the story goes, Margaret and several other patients were playing hide and seek with the nurses, who became distracted and forgot to look for her. The search began the next day when they realized she was missing, but was unsuccessful at first. Over a month later, a maintenance worker discovered her lifeless remains locked into a seldom used building. When they removed her body, a stain was left on the floor caused by her decomposition. That stain remains today, as do the stories of her paranormal activities.

In 1993 the Asylum closed with all land and buildings were donated to Ohio University. It was not long before renovation began and students began to attend classes at the Ridges. The Kennedy Museum of Art was established there and plans were developed to turn the property into a mixed-use university development. As students began to spend time at the Ridges there began reports of paranormal activity including disembodied screams in the middle of the night, electric anomalies, rattling door handles, and vanishing spectral images. Some of these events occurred in the area where Margaret Schilling’s remains were found and, were thus, attributed to her.

So, if you plan to visit Ohio University, you might take a few minutes to stop by The Ridges and tour the Kennedy Museum of Art or just walk the grounds. If you hear or see anything unusual or frightening, you should not fret. It’s probably only be Margaret Schilling hoping to finally be found in what has become, an endless game of hide and seek.

Well, that’s our final Ohio college ghost story for this year. Best wishes to you and a happy Halloween!

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA) – a Columbus, Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 18 “fit factors” and helping students clarify co-curricular and major options while exploring colleges that specialize in them.  College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas. Check us out at www.collegeboundadvantage.com or check out what we can do for you here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6SSjHp8n98

Ohio College Ghost Stories: The Legend of Tiberius

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If you find yourself east of Cleveland near the small town of Painesville, Ohio you should take some time to visit and tour the campus of Lake Erie College. Founded in 1856, you will enjoy exploring historic buildings and wandering around its beautiful park-like campus.  If you pay attention, you might notice the statue of a dog named Tiberius. Legend has it that Tiberius was a chocolate lab that belonged to Harriot Young, a Dean of the college in its early days when it was an all woman’s school. Each day, Tiberius would hang out on campus enjoying the students, wandering the buildings, and even attending classes. As the years passed, Tiberius became a central figure on campus – there wasn’t a student, staff, or faculty member who didn’t know and love Tiberius. Of course, all good things must come to an end.  Ultimately Tiberius became old and died. The entire campus mourned the loss of their guardian dog and honored him with a statue in 1910. It soon became tradition to pet the statue for good luck. You see, Tiberius had become in death, as in life, a campus protector and good luck charm. Students would pat Tiberius on the head for luck before exams, presentations, auditions, and athletic events.

While many students considered the Tiberius tradition to be nostalgically heartwarming, others wondered if Tiberius had ever really abandoned his watch over the students at Lake Erie College. And rightfully so! You see, one spring night in 1957, two woman woke up in their residence hall room to the sounds of a frantic barking dog. The women rose to investigate. They followed the sound out the front door of Memorial Hall only to discover that the building was on fire. They rushed back in, and woke up the seventeen other girls who lived in the dorm at the time. All nineteen of them then stood outside in only their night clothes and light coats, watching as Memorial Hall and all their possessions burned to the ground. Of course, that’s not the end of the story. You see, no one was able to determine the source of the barking. The next day, students gathered around the nearby statue of Tiberius wondering if their dog’s spirit had once again risen to protect his beloved students.

Today, Lake Erie College is on its fourth statue of Tiberius and students still seek protection and good luck by patting him on the head. So, if you happen to visit campus, stop by Tiberius’ statue and learn a bit more about his legend. Then, as night falls, if by chance you hear the sound of a frantic barking dog, don’t worry…it’s just an old friend trying to help his beloved students stay out of trouble.

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA) – a Columbus, Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 18 “fit factors” and helping students clarify co-curricular and major options while exploring colleges that specialize in them.  College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas. Check us out at www.collegeboundadvantage.com or check out what we can do for you here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6SSjHp8n98

This Years’ Ohio College Ghost Stories

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As the nights grow longer, shadows lengthen, and the leaves begin to change color and fall from the trees, we are reminded that it is about time to offer this year’s Ohio college ghost stories. This is the fourth season we have featured some of the most haunted colleges and chill-inducing stories for your your enjoyment and these stories have become our most popular posts of the year.

This year we offer two stories. The first is the story of the Athen’s Lunatic Asylum which is now referred to as “The Ridges.” This unique property is now owned by Ohio University. After a bit of history, we will look at the unfortunate demise of a patient, Margaret Schilling, and all that has followed since. Our second story is more heart warming but still somewhat eerie. Our story is of the dog Tiberius whose loving and dedicated commitment to the students of Lake Erie College continued after his life ended…as did their dedication to him.

So, as the wind whispers over the moor like a lost soul, we invite you to check back over the next 30 days as we publish these two seasonal tales.

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA) – a Columbus, Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 18 “fit factors” and helping students clarify co-curricular and major options while exploring colleges that specialize in them.  College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas. Check us out at www.collegeboundadvantage.com or check out what we can do for you here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6SSjHp8n98

Ghost Stories from Ohio’s Colleges: The Ghostly Confession

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The Old Motherhouse                                                      The Old Chapel that later became “Our Lady’s Dorm”

During each of the two prior Halloween seasons I have featured a ghost story from Ohio Dominican University. I have appreciated the many e-mail comments I have received regarding these stories and thought I would offer one final reprisal this year. If you have not read the two prior stories, I encourage you to peruse the archives and check them out.

ODU is a small Catholic (Dominican) comprehensive university located in Columbus. Today, they offer not only a top-notch education, but a rich history including a few stories of things that go bump in the night. According to legend the spirits at ODU are thought to have been prior Dominican Sisters and faculty at the college.

This story was described by a Dominican Sister Mary Michael and took place in the first “Motherhouse,” which was constructed in 1875. It was later attached to the west side of the college’s dining hall until it (the Motherhouse) was torn down in 1970 (see the picture above). The Motherhouse was the centerpiece of living and activity for the Sisters of Saint Many of the Springs at the time.

The story takes place in the summer of 1947 in “Our Lady’s Dorm,” as it was called then.
The room was a large dormitory, subdivided by curtains into individual spaces for each sister. Each space contained a bed, washstand, and a chair. The Sister’s space was west of a double door that provided entry into the dormitory area. On this particular evening there were only two sisters in the dormitory. All the sisters had heard rumors of ghosts in the building and while Sister Mary had heard these stories, she had never encountered anything herself.  At some time during the night Sister Mary awoke feeling very cold. She thought about getting a cloak as a cover, but then heard footsteps of someone walking the east-west corridor. This was unusual as rules prohibited walking around at night and enforced silence in the area. The pacing started at around 3:00 AM and continued until the corridor had been paced in its entire length a total of 20-30 times. Sister Mary was too scared to look out. Finally, the pacing stopped at the end of the interior hall away from the entry and near a closet. Finally, after waiting awhile and gaining courage, Sister Mary Michael rose and fled the room.

Upon reflection, Sister Mary recalled that our Lady’s Dorm had been the Motherhouse chapel before the new chapel had been built. The closet had originally been a confessional in the old chapel. Sister Mary Michael wondered if perhaps the footsteps belonged to the spirit of a Sister who felt the need for penitence and sought it in a familiar place.

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA) – a Columbus, Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 18 “fit factors” and helping students clarify co-curricular and major options while exploring colleges that specialize in them.  College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas. Check us out at www.collegeboundadvantage.com or check out what we can do for you here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6SSjHp8n98

Ghost Stories from Ohio’s Colleges: Kenyon’s Ghost Train

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Some college ghost stories emerge out of fictional accounts, but others are born out of real campus tragedies. This story is one of the latter.

Around 9:41 pm on October 28, 1905, a freshman, Stuart Lathrop Pierson, was struck by an unannounced train traveling next to the Kokosing River adjacent to the Kenyon College campus. He was killed instantly. Pierson, a Delta Kappa Epsilon pledge, was participating in a fraternity initiation at the time. Some contend that he had been bound to the tracks and blindfolded, however authorities later concluded that he had been directed to the railroad bridge by his fraternity brothers and asked to stay there until retrieved. Members claimed that the experience was intended as an opportunity for him to contemplate his impending membership. Unfortunately, the surprise of an unexpected oncoming train in the darkness caused Pearson to stumble into harm’s way. Pierson’s death launched a dark and challenging chapter in the history of Kenyon College. Administrators point out that over time the college recovered and was able to put this tragedy behind them, however many students believe Pierson is still hoping to complete his initiation.

If you visit Kenyon College today, you will find that the railroad bridge where Pierson was struck and killed has been transformed into a bike trail. The tracks were long ago covered over with asphalt. Each year the DKEs mark the anniversary of Pierson’s death with a ceremony. Reportedly, they carry a coffin filled with stones down Middle Path and gather at the fateful trestle bridge where fraternity officers read the coroner’s report by torchlight. In recent years they also read passages aloud from Fred Kluge’s Alma Mater. The ceremony ends with the burning of a wooden DKE sign, which they extinguish in the river, leaving its ashes behind on the bike trail covering the old train tracks.

Some say that on those evenings, as they hike back to campus, they still hear the whistle of a train in the distance. But that’s not all – residents of Old Kenyon residence hall claim Pierson can still be seen staring out the window on the fourth floor. Doors open and close and footsteps are heard coming from empty rooms.

So, if you ever visit Kenyon college around Halloween, be sure to enjoy the changing leaves and beautiful campus. As the sun sets listen carefully and you might hear the sound of a mournful train whistle passing over a nearby bridge. Then, as you walk by Old Kenyon, the oldest residence hall in Ohio, glance over your shoulder and check out the fourth-floor window. The spirit of a former Kenyon student may grace you with his presence.

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA) – a Columbus, Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 18 “fit factors” and helping students clarify co-curricular and major options while exploring colleges that specialize in them.  College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas. Check us out at www.collegeboundadvantage.com or check out what we can do for you here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6SSjHp8n98

Ghost Stories from Ohio’s Colleges: The Oxford Light

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The Oxford Light

If you ask students at Miami University about the “Oxford Light” or the “Phantom Motorcyclist” expect to get an earful. The legend has been around since the 40’s and continues to enthrall students to this day.

The story involves a farmer, his daughter, and her boyfriend. While there are several versions of the story, all have a bit of a “Romeo and Juliet” feel to them. You see, the farmer’s daughter was in love with her boyfriend, who was considered a bit of a rebel. He rode a loud motorcycle, was not fond of authority, and generally didn’t engender affection from any in the community save his girlfriend. In fact, the farmer did what he could to discourage the romance. The result was that the boyfriend was forced to visit his girlfriend late at night and early in the morning while others slept. Legend has it that the father discovered the late-night romance and tried to put a stop to it. The couple, determined to continue to see each other, set up a secret signal. She was to flash the porch light three times to signal her boyfriend that it is safe for him to come by and pick her up.

Finally one evening the boyfriend, determined to finally propose, awaited her signal. Upon seeing the porchlight flash three times, he got on his motorcycle and sped down the road toward her house. Unfortunately, on the way, he lost control of his bike, careened into a barbwire fence and was decapitated.

I’m sure you guessed it – that’s not the end of the story. It seems that death did not deter the cyclist and that today, he is still trying to reach his girlfriend’s house and pop the question. So, if you are visiting Oxford this time of year consider travelling past Millet Hall and Yager Stadium, out past the University property, past Beta Headquarters on the left, and up to the first four-way stop. The girlfriend’s old Earhart Road home is just around the corner. Park your car, flash your lights three times, and wait to see the Oxford Light in the distance. Happy Halloween.

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA) – a Columbus, Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 18 “fit factors” and helping students clarify co-curricular and major options while exploring colleges that specialize in them.  College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas. Check us out at www.collegeboundadvantage.com or check out what we can do for you here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6SSjHp8n98

They’re Back……Ghost Stories from Ohio’s Colleges

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Well, it is once again time for us to put on a sweater and gather around the campfire for a few of the many ghost stories from Ohio’s great colleges. This will be the third year in our series, “Ohio’s Haunted Colleges,” and is our most popular blog series! If you want to catch up, check out our prior year’s offerings archived in our blog.

This year we will offer three new stories including the story of Kenyon College’s Pierson’s Ghost: the spirit of a student killed on a nearby train trestle under mysterious circumstances.  We will also visit Oxford, Ohio, the home of Miami University, and discuss the Ghostly Cyclist who returns to the road he died on and responds to students who know the secret code. Finally, we will learn about the penitent ghost on Ohio Dominican University’s campus.

So, pull up next to the fire and prepare for this season’s offerings from Ohio’s haunted colleges.

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA) – a Columbus, Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 18 “fit factors” and helping students clarify co-curricular and major options while exploring colleges that specialize in them.  College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas. Check us out at www.collegeboundadvantage.com or check out what we can do for you here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6SSjHp8n98

Ghost Stories from Ohio’s Colleges: Lake Erie’s Ghost of College Hall

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College Hall

Lake Erie College’s historic campus is located in Painesville, Ohio. If you are interested in things that go bump in the night, this campus is for you! A center for paranormal activity, Lake Erie College claims to host apparitions in various locations across their beautiful campus. As much as we would like to share all the stories, this post will explore only one.

Legend has it that sometime in the mid-1800s when Lake Erie College was an all girls school, a student named Stephanie had begun her studies. Somewhere along the way, she had an affair with a professor and became pregnant. When he refused to marry her she became depressed and, on one fateful evening, hung herself on the fourth-floor bell tower of College Hall, the oldest building on campus.

After her death, students began to report seeing her glowing white figure in a fourth floor window of College Hall. They claim she peers out the window, perhaps in search of her lost lover. The floor was often seen illuminated by dim, flickering lights late at night and students below spoke of hearing footsteps and occasional wailing from the floor above even though it had been closed and locked tight. Service workers entering the floor were occasionally frightened enough to refuse to ever return. Even TV paranormal ghost hunters investigated the fourth floor. One took an interesting photograph – check out the circled fourth floor window in the picture above.

As if that wasn’t enough, students claim that Stephanie occasionally leaves College Hall in search of entertainment. There is a cracked mirror in the Social Parlor in the nearby Morley Music Building. Stephanie has occasionally been seen walking out of the mirror, dressed in eveningwear, on her way to an evening performance. After curtain calls, she returns through the mirror from whence she came.

So, if you ever visit Lake Erie College, plan to take in a performance in Morley Music Building. Perhaps order a beverage and wander into the Social Parlor. Check out your eveningwear in the standing mirror on the far side of the room. Just don’t be disturbed if someone else is looking back at you. On your way to your car after the show, glance over your shoulder at the 4th floor of College Hall and bid Stephanie a good night.

This is our last Ohio college ghost story for this Halloween season. We hope you have enjoyed the ride. Next year there will be more thrills and chills as we feature four more tales of the paranormal from our Ohio colleges. Happy Halloween!

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA) – a Columbus, Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 18 “fit factors” and helping students clarify co-curricular and major options while exploring colleges that specialize in them.  College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas. Check us out at www.collegeboundadvantage.com .

Ghost Stories from Ohio’s Colleges: Kenyon’s Greenhouse Ghost

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“The Greenhouse”

Kenyon College, located in the quaint village of Gambier, Ohio, has long been known for its excellent swimming and diving programs. In 1935, Charles Shaffer donated funds to construct a state-of-the-art aquatic building on Kenyon’s campus. “Shaffer Pool” opened in January of 1936 and contributed to Kenyon winning a number of Ohio Conference swimming and diving championships in the years to follow. The building had a conservatory style roof, which earned it the nickname of “The Greenhouse.”

Legend has it that some students became a bit preoccupied with seeing how high they could launch themselves from the highest diving board in The Greenhouse. On one fateful evening, one student apparently launched himself high enough that he smashed through a glass pane in the roof and, after nearly decapitating himself, fell into the pool below.

While administrators at Kenyon can find no record of such a student or incident, other students, faculty, and staff argue differently as they believe this student really never left. Over the years, most of the reports of what later became know as the “Greenhouse Ghost,” were told by custodians and safety officers. Their encounters typically occurred well after normal working hours. For example, the sound of a body impacting the water followed by thrashing sounds was commonly reported. When officers investigated or turned to face the pool, they would see disturbed water, but no one in the pool. Then, upon turning around again, they would see a set of wet footprints along the walkway leading away from the pool. Others would report that they would hear the sound of a diving board bouncing not once, but three times. Upon turning toward the board, they could see the board vibrating, but no one near it.

In the 1980s the building was converted to a dance studio. During construction the pool was drained and covered over by a false floor and the conservatory roof was replaced with a wooden, beamed roof more appropriate to its new use. Unfortunately, the Greenhouse Ghost never got the memo as the activity continued.

Staff members continued to tell stories of late night encounters when they would become sensitized to the presence of the spirit. Some nights they would hear footsteps behind them as if they were being followed. On occasion they would, once again, hear the sounds of splashes and bouncing diving boards. Even more unnerving was the periodic appearance of wet footprints across the dance studio floor.

Paranormal experiences in “The Greenhouse” are still reported to this day. So, if you ever visit Kenton College, you might stop by Shaffer Dance Studio, stroll across the dance floor, close your eyes, and listen. Then, just before you leave, look back over your shoulder for any wet footprints on the floor. You never know!

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA) – a Columbus, Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 18 “fit factors” and helping students clarify co-curricular and major options while exploring colleges that specialize in them.  College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas. Check us out at www.collegeboundadvantage.com .

Ghost Stories from Ohio’s Colleges: Ohio Dominican’s Mysterious Visitors

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In 1868 the Sisters of Saint Mary of the Springs, a Dominican Order of Catholic Sisters, moved from Sommerset to Columbus, Ohio. A benefactor had donated land to the sisters in the hope that they would build a Catholic School in Columbus and educate his five daughters. Work was immediately begun on the new school, which opened in 1871. While donations and other funds had been sufficient to pay for the building, the sisters had to borrow $10,000 at 8% interest to furnish the new academy.

Almost immediately upon opening, the new academy faced an income shortfall and was unable to make loan payments. As the bank prepared to foreclose, the sisters prayed to St. Dominic, for help in the form of “hard money.”

The winter of 1871 was brutal and central Ohio lay under a blanket of snow. One evening a terrible blizzard pushed into the area making travel difficult. It was on the worst night of the blizzard that a dark, horse-drawn sleigh made its way up the gravel road leading into Saint Mary of the Springs Academy and stopped at the front door. A well-dressed man and woman stepped out of the coach, walked up the snow-covered steps, and pounded on the two large wooden doors demarking the entrance to the Academy. Two sisters responded and invited the strangers inside. The visitors explained that they had come to inquire about enrolling their two daughters in the Academy. Since they expected to travel abroad, they offered to make cash payment for a year’s board, tuition, and other expenses. The sisters accepted the daughters on the spot, knowing that these funds would be sufficient to cover past due bank payments and prevent foreclosure on the Academy. Documents were completed and the sisters were paid. This was happy ending to a dire situation. The academy became current with the bank, enrollment increased shortly thereafter, and the Academy was safely on its way.

However, as you might have guessed, there is more to the story. The two daughters who were to arrive at the school in January never materialized. Furthermore, all attempts to contact the parents proved futile. It seems that their address did not exist and no one in their hometown knew them. Even more interesting; on that fateful snowy night; the one that saved the Academy from financial ruin, none of the local livery stables recall providing services to the coach or its occupants. It was as if they had come from nowhere and departed to the same.

Saint Mary’s Academy has evolved over time and is now known as Ohio Dominican University. The institution has endured a number of financial crises during its life, but has always found a way to thrive. It seems ODU enjoys its own set of…. Guardian Angels.

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA) – a Columbus, Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 18 “fit factors” and helping students clarify co-curricular and major options while exploring colleges that specialize in them.  College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas. Check us out at www.collegeboundadvantage.com .

Ghost Stories from Ohio’s Colleges: The Haunting of Otterbein’s Theatre

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Otterbein University’s nationally recognized Theatre Program has offered countless actors and actresses their professional beginnings, however some believe that it also offered one student a final curtain call. As the story goes, a young aspiring actress and student named Twyla became despondent after learning that she had been passed over for a part that she had hoped to earn. Following a period of depression, she decided to end her life as theatrically as she had lived it. One evening, upon returning to the theatre, she climbed to the light fixtures above the stage and jumped 30 feet to her death.

Administrators claim there never was a Twyla at Otterbein, but some students and faculty aren’t quite so sure. In fact, over the years, many have blamed Twyla’s spirit for everything from power outages and cold blasts of air to missing lighting cues and disappearing stage props. Others have reported hearing Twyla crying on quiet nights in the theatre. Some just claim to “feel her presence.” In past years, students repeatedly reported slipping on the very spot where Twyla was reported to have hit the stage when she fell. One evening a noose was said to have suddenly appeared hanging from the lights above the stage. Of course Twyla received the credits that night!

So, is Otterbein’s Fritsche Theatre really haunted? We can’t say for sure, but if you ever attend a performance, you might consider remaining in your seat for just a few moments after the room empties and the lights dim. If the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and a rush of cold air passes, perhaps it’s just Twyla nodding to you as she exits stage right!

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA) – a Columbus, Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 18 “fit factors” and helping students clarify co-curricular and major options while exploring colleges that specialize in them.  College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas. Check us out at www.collegeboundadvantage.com .

Ghost Stories from Ohio’s Colleges – This year’s journey begins!

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Morley Music Building at Lake Erie College

Now that we are past our bout with Indian summer, the road ahead reveals a landscape more vibrantly colorful and distinctly brisk. It is during these beautiful fall days leading up to Halloween that we fondly recall all the campus ghost stories we heard as we toured Ohio colleges. Some campuses boasted multiple spirits; others had formed paranormal investigative student organizations; and still others defended their campus as “the most haunted campus in Ohio.” We took notes.

Before it was over, we realized that these stories were more than simple frightful tales – they told us about the college’s history; its values; its best academic programs and athletic teams; its most historic buildings; and even its core values. We hope you will be scared and inspired!

In each of the next four blog entries we will offer one of our favorite stories. We begin with the story of “Twyla,” the ghost that haunts the theatre at Otterbein University. Next up are the benevolent ghosts that arrived just in the nick of time to save Ohio Dominican University from financial ruin. Then, on to Kenyon College where we meet the “Greenhouse Ghost” that haunts the old Kenyon pool. We will conclude at Lake Erie College where “Stephanie” haunts College Hall, but occasionally attends a performance at nearby Morley Music Building using a broken mirror as a portal to get there (I wish I had one of those!).

Buckle up – let’s get started!

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA) – a Columbus, Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 18 “fit factors” and helping students clarify co-curricular and major options while exploring colleges that specialize in them.  College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas. Check us out at www.collegeboundadvantage.com .

What is the Most Haunted College or University in Ohio?

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ridges2

So, in this season of long shadows and dark hallways, have you wondered what is the most haunted college or university in Ohio?

Before answering this compelling question, let me first say that ghosts and ghost stories do a lot for a college. First, it is impossible to tell a ghost story, without also discussing the history of the institution. Ghost story tellers are both storytellers and historians. So ghost tours and books about campus ghosts help pass on a college’s history. Second, the ghost stories often reflect the values of the institution or offer lessons based on the calamities of the past. Third, they build community. There is nothing like sharing ghost stories in the dark with friends while knowing that generations of students have shared the same stories.

So, what is the most haunted campus in Ohio? Here are a few contenders:

  • Ohio University – Often considered the most haunted campus in the United States, this historic University sports ghost tours and a variety of haunted buildings, not the least of which is the Ridges Mental Health Institution (see picture above).
  • Ohio Wesleyan University – OWU is home to the Paranormal Research Society, a student organization that believes that many of their buildings are haunted. The OWU bookstore even sells the book, The Ghosts of Stuyvesant Hall and Beyond” as documented by John Ciochetty.
  • Kenyon College – Kenyon ghost tours are famous and their tales are linked to real tragedies of the past including a tragic dormitory fire and the death of a student as part of a fraternity initiation process.

Runners up: Miami University where stories abound, OSU with its new “Ghost Hunters in Ohio by Student Technicians – GHOST” student organization, and John Carroll University which sports its own “Paranormal Research Group,” an active student organization that investigates paranormal phenomenon.

Next Halloween season, we will offer one ghost story from each of our three winners, so keep hiking with us. There’s lots of trail ahead.

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA); a Columbus Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 15 “fit factors.” College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas.

In order to purchase a more extensive proprietary “Campus Field Report” on any Ohio college discussed, click here: https://collegeboundadvantage.com/campus-field-report-access/

Ghost Stories from Ohio’s Haunted Colleges: The Phantom Horse of Myers Hall

By | Ghost Stories from Ohio's Colleges, Haunted Colleges in Ohio | No Comments

myers

Located at the highest point on Wittenberg University’s campus, stately Myers Hall, today serves as honors housing for over 150 students. Originally built in 1845, Myers is the oldest building on campus. While the building provided classes, offices and residence rooms for most of its history, during the Civil War it served as a hospital for wounded soldiers.

Legend has it that on one fateful evening, a Union General was badly wounded and taken to a bed on the fifth floor of Myers to recover. Unfortunately, his condition worsened and it became clear that he would not survive the night. His last wish was to see, for one last time, his loyal steed who had accompanied him for so many years. Men were sent to fetch his horse and after considerable effort and difficulty the horse reached the fifth floor. Many men shared the heartfelt scene of the horse and general together for one last time that night. After the general expired, multiple attempts to get the horse back down the stairs failed. Ultimately the horse had to be put down only a few feet from the lifeless general he refused to leave.

After the war, students began to report the sound of a horse’s hooves shuffling on the fifth floor of Myers hall late at night. Others reported being startled by the sounds of a galloping horse approaching them in the darkness as they walked along the hollow behind Myers. It seems the forever-loyal horse is still looking for his general.

Campus Video: Check out our video compilation of photos from our most recent visit to Wittenberg University: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMvzxheRS1U

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA); a Columbus Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 15 “fit factors.” College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas.

In order to purchase a more extensive proprietary “Campus Field Report” on any Ohio college discussed, click here: https://collegeboundadvantage.com/campus-field-report-access/

Ghost Stories from Ohio’s Haunted Colleges: A mysterious call for help

By | Ghost Stories from Ohio's Colleges, Haunted Colleges in Ohio | No Comments

wehrle-hall

Our first story dates back to 1993, but has its roots much earlier. It occurred one dark night on the campus of Ohio Dominican College (now Ohio Dominican University). Sister Ulela Wehrle, a member of the founding Dominican sister’s congregation, died in 1959. Her family had donated the funds for the construction of Wehrle Hall which was built well before Sister Wehrle’s death. Sister Wehrle spent a considerable amount of time in Wehrle Hall as many of her art classes were held there and her office was also in Wehrle Hall.

Following her death, students began reporting “strange goings on” in the basement of Wehrle Hall, raising the suspicion with some that Wehrle Hall was haunted by the spirit of Sister Wehrle herself.

On July 15, 1993, Wehrle caught fire. It was summer, and virtually no-one was on campus. A phone call was placed to the fire department notifying them and asking that they “come quickly.” The caller provided specific instructions on how to get to the location of the fire including the particular campus sidewalks to take.

Thankfully, the firefighters arrived in time and the building was saved.  Later investigation revealed that Wehrle Hall had been locked with no one inside at the time of the fire. Information provided to the police by the “elderly female” caller was inaccurate in some ways. For example, the sidewalks described by the caller did not exist. Sisters, however pointed out that they did exist at the time of Sister Wehrle’s death.  Finally, and most compelling….the call that was made in the middle of the night, just in time to save Wehrle Hall, was made….. from inside the building.

Campus Video: Check out our video compilation of photos (including Wehrle Hall) taken at our last campus visit to Ohio Dominican University: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfJsnrGcqJg

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA); a Columbus Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 15 “fit factors.” College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas.

In order to purchase a more extensive proprietary “Campus Field Report” on any Ohio college discussed, click here: https://collegeboundadvantage.com/campus-field-report-access/

Ghost Stories from Ohio’s Haunted Colleges

By | Ghost Stories from Ohio's Colleges, Haunted Colleges in Ohio | No Comments

house-with-gate

As Ohio skies darken earlier each night, temperatures drop, and the leaves turn orange and red, we naturally redirect our attention to things that go bump in the night. With Halloween rapidly approaching, we are reminded of all the campus ghost stories we heard this summer as we toured colleges. Some campuses boasted multiple spirits; others had formed paranormal investigative student organizations, and still others defended their campus as “the most haunted campus in Ohio.” We walked the halls of these gateways to the paranormal and kept our eyes peeled for anything….well, out of the ordinary. We discovered a few things.

There were stories that stood out as particularly compelling and we’ve decided to share them with you. As we commence tip toeing down the trail, our next three blog entries will each contain one standout story. Buckle your seat belts and enjoy.

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA); a Columbus Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 15 “fit factors.” College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas.

In order to purchase a more extensive proprietary “Campus Field Report” on any Ohio college discussed, click here: https://collegeboundadvantage.com/campus-field-report-access/

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