Haunted Penn State

Welcome to the final blog posting! I was originally going to write about the most haunted universities in the world, until I realized that we’re at one of them! According to numerous rankings, Penn State is one of the most haunted universities in the United States, and on every website I could find that ranked haunted universities, Penn State ranged between #2 and #10 for most haunted! Once I realized just how haunted we are, I decided to dedicate this entire post to haunted Penn State. I suspect you’ll recognize most, if not all of these locations!


Schwab Auditorium: This building which seats nearly 1000 people, is said to be haunted by a couple spirits. According to the president of Penn State’s paranormal research society, the ghost of a janitor, and the ghost of Charles Schwab reside here. There have been many claims of paranormal activity over the years. In particular, students and faculty claim to have heard footsteps, felt scratching, and even seen objects mysteriously moving along the floor. As a result, this auditorium has earned the nickname, “Schwaboo”.


Old Coaly: In 1855, a mule named Old Coaly was born. After moving here from Kentucky, Old Coaly would pull loads of limestone blocks to help in the construction of Old Main. Penn State was originally called “Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania”, and the farmers grew very fond of Old Coaly to the point at which he almost became our mascot. When the mule died in 1893, his bones were preserved. At night time, students reported hearing hooves and mule-like noises near the bones of Old Coaly. As Old Coaly’s remains moved, stories like these would follow. As of today, his remains are in the HUB (which actually seems like one of the least creepy buildings on campus)…


Pattee Library: Stories of this haunting originated from the tragic murder of a Penn State graduate student in the stacks. The murder took place in 1969, but the case was never solved. Ever since, there have been several seemingly supernatural occurrences in the library. One woman was reading a book, and felt as though something was grabbing her. When she went to return home, she felt as though a presence was following her. Later that night, she woke up and felt as though something was strangling her, yet she was unable to call for help. Even though she was fine after the strange series of events, she never entered the library again. Many people have reported feeling an odd presence in the library, and some of the staff report objects moving around on their own.


Old Botany Building: We’ve all walked past the Old Botany Building. It’s near Old Main (and the Schwab Auditorium!), on Pollock road. Although the building is quaint and charming on the outside, it is said to be one of the most haunted locations on Penn State campus. Legend has it that Frances Atherton (the wife of George Atherton) resides on the top floor, keeping watch over her husband’s grave. There have also been a fair share of strange incidents here. When one of the staff, Snare, arrived to work in the building, the two doors to the building flew open, even though one of them is very difficult to open, and the other never opens! Snare noticed that one of the trash cans had been moved across the hall. She recalled hearing footsteps going up the stairs towards the spot where Frances Atherton’s ghost supposedly resides, along with the sound of a door opening. When the first faculty member arrived and joined Snare, they both heard books hitting the floor. When they went upstairs to an unused office, they found that the door was open, and the lights were on. Snare was shocked, as she previously didn’t believe in the stories. Aside from this incident, several other odd occurrences have happened, such as a fuse box suddenly turning off, and a staff picture where a strange man was seen in the window (and nobody knew who he was)!


I hope you’ve enjoyed all of these postings, especially since you can relate to the locations! Thanks for sticking with the blog for ten weeks!


Ferrell, Byran. “Haunted: Penn State Legends.” Daily Collegian. N.p., 30 Oct. 2003. Web. 18 Nov. 2015.

Swayne, Matt. “Haunted Penn State.” Penn State. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2015.


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