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7 spine-chilling tales from the world’s most haunted universities

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For those of you who don’t usually break a sweat at the thought of exams and deadlines, perhaps these creepy stories of hauntings at universities all around the world will get the hairs on the back of your neck standing. 

And if you’re studying alone tonight, don’t be surprised if you find yourself some … unexpected company.

1. Fordham University, U.S.

Thanks to its spooky atmosphere, some scenes of The Exorcist were filmed on its campus. According to campus lore, a resident assistant was filling out a damage report one night when he noticed mattresses that should have been flat on the floor were standing upright against the walls.

Not long after, a Jesuit priest knocked on the R.A.’s door, saying that he’d “seen to” the evil spirit responsible for messing with the mattresses. When the R.A. later tried to track down the priest, he found out that the man he thought he saw had died 10 years ago.

2. University of Toronto, Canada

The University of Toronto is so proud of its reputation for being haunted that it actually conducts haunted tours of the campus. Of all its ghosts, however, the most well-known spooky tale is one of Russian stonemason Ivan Reznikoff, who attacked his colleague Paul Diablos with an axe after he allegedly discovered his fiancée’s affair with Diablos.

However, Diablos got the upper hand and stabbed the Russian with a knife, killing him. Diablos was said to have then hidden the body in a ventilation shaft. The university’s magazine claims that a mark from Reznikoff’s axe can still be seen in University College’s southwest corner, and that workers later found the skeleton of a man wearing a belt buckle with a stonemason’s emblem in a ventilation shaft after the building partially burned down.

3. University of Pune, India

At the University of Pune, in western India, students say there is the grave of Alice Richman. According to the inscription on her gravestone, she was an Australian who died of Cholera in 1886.

But locals believe that she died after been thrown off her horse, while some even suggest that she had committed suicide. Whatever the cause of her death, people say that Alice is the ghostly spectre that can be seen roaming the campus in a white gown.

4. University of Cambridge, England

One of the world’s top universities, the University of Cambridge, is also among the oldest in England. So it should come as no surprise that it should have a few resident ghouls. But the most famous of them would have to be Oliver Cromwell, the late Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. A controversial figure, known for his involvement in the trial and execution of King Charles I, his body was supposedly dug up, hung, and beheaded three years after his death.

His head was said to have then been placed on top of a pike outside Westminster Hall for over 20 years, after which it was owned by several different people before ending up at Sidney Sussex College, the college he had attended while at Cambridge. Since then, his ghost has reportedly been seen around campus, perhaps in search of the rest of its body.

5. Nagasaki University, Japan

The university’s medical school dates back to 1857, but the majority of the ghosts on campus are said to have been victims of the atomic bomb, which dropped on the city on August 9, 1945.

Located a mere 600 meters from the hypocenter, over 800 medical staff, students, and professors were killed in the blast, while the school was badly damaged by the explosion. To this day, over 70 years after, students and staff say they can hear screams and smell burning flesh.

6. Heidelberg University, Germany

The university’s clinic is said to be one of the creepiest places on campus, as the sounds of women weeping can be heard, presumably the many women who were forced to undergo sterilization under Hitler’s eugenics movement.

Two of the university’s professors were also said to have been murdered, and the chalkboards in the professors’ former lecture halls reportedly erase themselves or have random words written on them overnight, even though the halls are locked. In 1933, the Nazis burned books in the university square, and on the anniversary of the event, those who pass through the square claim they can smell smoke and burning leather.

7. Chinese University of Hong Kong, China

All male students at the university know better than to walk home alone, thanks to the ghost of the faceless woman. According to legend, the ghost of a woman with long, braided hair haunts Single Braid Road, which runs beside the campus.

She is said to approach unsuspecting young men who are walking down the road unaccompanied. But when they chance upon her face, they’re horrified to find that she doesn’t have any. The ghost is said to be of a woman who had her face torn off after jumping from a moving train. Near the road is a train station.

Images via Wikimedia Commons and Shutterstock

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