Episode 71: School Spirits: College Ghost Stories

There are some locations that just inspire spooky lore: old, decrepit houses; imposing buildings and campgrounds. Somehow, colleges and universities manage to combine the feel of all these places. It’s no wonder that nearly every campus has its own ghost stories. This week we are bringing you a a variety of these tales straight from the urban legend hotline! Our listeners have sent us fantastic, strange and unique local legends from their college days, and we’ll be giving each one the Just A Story. We will examine the common themes and possible origins of some of these stories.  We’ll also be looking at a real life murder mystery that began in a university library, and the legends that have grown from its legacy. We’ll conclude by examining the possible origins of our own college ghost story, the legend of LSU’s haunted dormitory.

Stream Full Episode:

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Thanks to all our listeners who contributed stories to this episode!







Stories from all over North America are featured in this episode!


Newspaper Gallery

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Stories of Betsy Aardsma, Rachel Taylor, Michael Pfrang, and Ethel Rose Rogers


Baton Rouge urban legends: Examining 4 of the city’s most popular spooky stories

College Students and Love Relationships

Unplanned Pregnancy Among College Students And Strategies to Address It

How Fraternities and Sororities Impact Students (Or Do They?)

The Psychology Behind Why Girls Are So Willing To Join Sororities

Local man is fingered as mystery murderer – Lancaster Online

After 45 years, the unsolved murder of Betsy Aardsma in Penn State library remains a mystery

University support for pregnant students uncommon – USA Today

Campus Traditions: Folklore from the Old-Time College to the Modern Mega-University by Simon J. Bronner

Murder in the Stacks: Penn State, Betsy Aardsma, and the Killer Who Got Away by David Dekok

Cool: How the Brain’s Hidden Quest for Cool Drives Our Economy and Shapes Our World by Steven Quartz and Anette Asp

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Features the story of the Hall-Mills murder mentioned in this episode, check that out here:

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3 thoughts on “Episode 71: School Spirits: College Ghost Stories

  1. I listen this podcast via podbay but podbay is down now 😦 . I cannot use itunes. Is there any other way to download an mp3 file for this episode?


  2. Listening to this now, thought of my own ghost stories at university of Wisconsin Whitewater. The town was a hub for spiritualist, so there’s rumors of ghosts of witches all the time. There’s also a story of a girl falling out of her bunk bed through the window from the top floor of the towers and she haunts the top floor. There’s also a story of a young girl that died and was left in a box in the middle of campus and now she appears every now and then because no one ever figured out who she was. Finally there’s a story of a devil book left by the spiritualists and any one that reads it will commit suicide, but no one has ever found or confirmed this.

    Also, my father, most likely to scare me from doing drugs, told me the stories of two individuals that had taken drugs and gone crazy. The one girl dug out her twin’s eyeballs because she saw the devil in her eyes and her twin died because of this. The other individual took a knife and sliced his own throat. I’ve never bother to do research on either of these stories, but he told them very convincingly.


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