News Article

News Article

Ohio University in Athens: America's Most Haunted School?

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Of all the reportedly haunted college campuses we've covered on these pages lately, Ohio University's Athens campus may have the largest number of haunted buildings per acre... and that's saying a lot, considering the amount of paranormal buzz that's surrounded schools like the University of Georgia (also, by coincidence, in a city named Athens), or California State University Channel Islands.
 
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The spooky rep surrounding OU Athens goes all the way back to the dawn of the 19th century, when the school was established; some even claim it was buried on the site of a Native American burial ground (like the Overlook Hotel in The Shining), but this is unconfirmed. Still, the supernatural stories have grown over the generations to follow – enough to make the school a favorite destination for ghost hunters from around the world. It seems just about every building on the campus has its own terrifying tale to tell, and quite a few have several. 
 
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Once a safe house for the Underground Railroad, Alpha Omicron Pi sorority is believed to be haunted by a murdered slave named Nicodemus; in Jefferson Hall, a spectral schoolteacher has been sighted multiple times floating through the rooms, silencing noisemakers like the librarian in Ghostbusters. Washington Hall (pictured at top) is believed to be haunted by an entire basketball team, said to have been killed in a bus accident (there's no official confirmation of the deceased ballers' identities, but it's a movie-worthy idea); after a student fell to her death from the fourth floor of Crawford Hall, residents have reported seeing a shadowy female figure who occasionally speaks to them; the Convocation Center, which houses the school's sports arena, is said to be haunted by the ghost of a resident advisor murdered by her ex-boyfriend; and Lin Hall (pictured above, formerly known as "The Ridges") was once the site of a state mental hospital, now considered a hotbed of paranormal activity... and even a popular Halloween hangout.
 
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Along with Lin, arguably the most haunted building on campus is Wilson Hall (above), the focus of multiple investigations over the years (including an episode of the TV series Scariest Places on Earth). The eeriest aspect of the building is connected to an urban legend about a group of Athens cemeteries supposedly arranged in the shape of a pentagram; Wilson has been identified as the focal point of that figure. Again, only speculation, but a pretty creepy story.
 
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Photo: David DeWitt
 
Visit Forgotten Ohio and Ohio Haunted Places for many more Athens ghost tales and urban legends.
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