Dear Old State has been around since the 1800s so it is no surprise that our hallowed halls and historic buildings are haunted by the ghosts of past students. In honor of Halloween, VALLEY has the inside scoop on the places you don’t want to be at night.
Schwab Auditorium is known for holding speeches for distinguished speakers and other visitors that come to the University, but the 900-person auditorium is a permanent home to more than one ghost. According to the Penn State page devoted to the haunted places on campus, the building is haunted by Charles Schwab, the industrialist for whom the building is named for. The building is also haunted by a janitor and a female presence according to the people who work there.
Frances Atherton, the wife of George Atherton, is said to haunt the top floor of the Old Botany Building to look after the grave of her husband. The Old Botany Building has been around since 1887 so it is very possible that Frances isn’t the only ghost to wander the halls.
Another not as well known ghost story is perhaps the spookiest of them all—the stacks in Pattee Library. Students flock to the stacks for hours studying and that is exactly what Betsy Aardsma was doing on November 28th, 1969. The 22-year old English graduate student was studying in the stacks around 4pm when she was stabbed by an unidentified man. First responders thought that Aardsma had suffered a seizure or other type of injury and did not notice the small amount of blood that was coming from the wound and staining her red dress until she had died. To this day no one has solved the murder and the Penn State Police are still searching for more information.
Forensics majors use the two small cottages in the center of campus as mock crime scenes so it is no wonder many students feel as if the two small structures are haunted. From the blood spattered walls to the footprints that often mark the concrete around the houses, it is the spot for the perfect crime. The cottages are even transformed into haunted houses for a few nights in October to celebrate the spookiest month of the year.
Tweet us at @ValleyMag with your haunted stories of campus and remember to watch out for Penn State’s paranormal visitors.