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Smith College, Ma – the Most Haunted Campus in America?

Many of America’s universities and colleges have histories dating back to the 1800s or earlier, so it is no surprise that they often make intriguing sites for paranormal investigations. From Civil War soldiers roaming the campus at Gettysburg College to poltergeist activity at Ohio University, there have been incidents reported across the entire US. Yet one campus outdoes all the rest. Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts is haunted by at least 10 ghosts, and possibly more.

Thomas of Talbot House

Let’s begin at Talbot House, where there are two ghosts. Thomas was a young lad who attended Talbot House when it was a school building in the mid-1800s. Today, he would be described as “heavily built,” and 150 years ago, the other children teased and ridiculed him. During a game of hide and seek, he was deceived by two other boys into hiding in the attic, whereupon they locked the door and left him. His lifeless body was found days later, but his footsteps are still heard at the top of the building. One lady saw him in a bathroom and had a conversation with him, thinking him a regular child, until he disappeared before her eyes.

The Haunted Staircase at Sessions House

Built in the early 1700s, Sessions House is the oldest building on the entire campus. It has a secret staircase that is haunted by two shadowy figures, believed to be Johnnie Burgoyne, a British Army General held prisoner there in the 1770s, and Lucy, the Lieutenant’s daughter. The couple met there in secret but of course, their love could never blossom and it is said that they still search for one another on the stairs. As if starting college wasn’t stressful enough already, there is a Halloween tradition at Sessions House that each year’s new students are set the challenge of trying to find the secret staircase.

Jeanne Robeson of Park House

A ghostly young lady spotted in the kitchen at Park House is believed to be Jeanne Robeson. In 1925, she switched on the gas supply to light the stove, but tripped and knocked herself unconscious before she could strike the match. She never regained consciousness as she lay there all night, being slowly asphyxiated by the gas fumes. It’s likely that Jeanne has never quite understood what happened to her, which is why her spirit remains, almost 100 years later.

Gloria, the spirit of Wilder House

Another young lady, but dressed in the garb of an earlier era, haunts Wilder House. As well as fleeting sightings, her footsteps have been heard in the attic and were even recorded by one student. According to college folklore, her name is Gloria and she committed suicide by hanging in one of the rooms on the ground floor.

These are just four of the ghosts that haunt Smith College. Others include a woman in a white gown who haunts the parking lot beside Talbot House, a haunted rocking chair at Northrop House and most shocking of all, the ghostly cries of a newborn infant at Chase House. For any student of the supernatural, Smith College is surely the only place to study!