Sunday, January 16, 2011

Paranormal / Spiritual News: Haunted Fordham University, Celebrity Ghost Stories and Media Links

The Hauntings at Fordham University

ghosteyes - The Fordham University in Bronx, New York is a century and a half old college, certainly old enough to have developed a few ghost stories. Fordham University is not, however, believed to be the origin of the paranormal activity here. The haunting of Fordham University dates back much farther than the facility’s existence.

Fordham University was built in 1841 atop the site of several other much older buildings, The Rose Hill Manor House for one; home of Scotsman Robert Watts who made his fortune as a New York merchant. Adjacent to the Rose Hill Manor was a medical facility. Like all hospitals in those days, the mortality rate was high, the stench of medicinal fluids all but unbearable.

If the design of Fordham University, with its castle-like structure and gothic overtones, weren’t enough to inspire Hollywood to produce a multitude of macabre films, the campus has plenty of its own haunting legends that date back as long as the college has been standing.

The most significant phenomena occur in Keating Hall. When you enter the first floor, there is a massive lobby with a seating area, the walls lined with century old relics of the early days of Fordham University. In those days, Jesuits made up the student body. Throughout the years, people have felt uneasy here as if being watched from the shadows. There are often cold spots reported here as well.

The haunting of Keating Hall continues on the third floor where an icy hand has been known to grab shoulders. Those who suffer the fate only to turn to find no one there. Students in the auditorium have reported a crashing sound from the rear stairwell, famous for its cold spots, but upon rushing to the scene there is no sign of anyone in the area except for a chair found toppled over at the end of the steps. In the ‘Blue Room’, a ghost reportedly manifests itself.

Keating Hall’s Martyrs Court also claims to be the home of an apparition; a young blonde woman who appears in the shower room. She does not interact or respond to anyone, moving not an inch, but staring straight ahead until she finally disappears into thin air. A male ghost also appears in the halls here, walking along aimlessly, but as soon as someone steps into the hall to see who walked by, the ghost vanishes.

The basement of this area is alleged to be the old hospital’s morgue, and home to the most cryptic of all Fordham University ghost haunts. It is now a small library of sorts, with several shelves of books and a comfortable seating area. One night during the 1970’s, a security guard was making his rounds. After a long night, his feet hurt badly, so he took a seat, removed his shoes and relaxed for a few moments. Suddenly he heard the door slam closed. Knowing he was alone, the guard became unsettled, but it wasn’t until the chairs began moving, slamming up against the wall, that he jumped up and ran screaming from the building. He did not even bother to grab his shoes, and is rumored to have never returned to Fordham University again.

The university’s Finlay Hall was for many years a medical school where students commonly dissected human cadavers. These studies have since discontinued, taken over by other subjects, but the students who reside here aren’t so sure the history has dissolved with the classes. In the deep of night, several have awoken to an icy clenched hand over their throats.

Hughes Hall of Fordham University is haunted by a little boy who’s been seen traipsing the upper floors. A construction worker had a tragic accident in O’Hare Hall many years back and is said to continue hammering away at the walls in the wee hours of the night. A ghost appears in the balcony of Collins Auditorium, where the actors on stage have been frightened by disembodied whispers.

The relentless history of the site leads one to believe that the potential for a haunting at Fordham University is certainly plausible. For the thousands of students who have lived there, especially those who’ve had personal experiences, there is no doubt that Fordham University is haunted.


Fordham's Hauntings: Further Accounts

Bronx - Fordham University - Fordham is built on two things- the old Rose Hill manor, and an old hospital that were taken down in the late 1830's for construction of the campus. there are still tunnels that connect a lot of the buildings on campus. so in the hospital (Keating hall was the morgue), and Finlay hall was the crematorium. Finlay now has classes held in it. Late 1970's: a security guard was on his break in the basement lounge of Finlay, when the doors closed themselves and the chairs started to bang themselves against the wall. he got up and the hell out of there and quit his job on the spot.

Bronx - Fordham University - Hughes Hall - Hauntings are reported to happen all over the campus. In Hughes Hall students report locked doors swinging open and there is a young boy who has been known to appear in rooms in the late hours of the night.

Bronx - Fordham University - Collins Auditorium - Student and faculty had reportedly seen a man walking around on the balconies above the stage itself. Strange whispers are heard and cold sensations are frequently felt by young Fordham thespians. The building is just one of countless haunted places on the campus, which include Martyrs Court, Teirney Hall, Millenium Hall, Hughs Hall, Lombardi Center, Coffey Feild, Dwane Library, Keating Hall, and Freeman Hall. - If you have any additional information of any of these locations, please email Haunted Places

Bronx - Fordham University - Finlay Hall - was used long ago as the medical school. There was reportedly a morgue in the basement. Residents have been awoken numerous times by unseen hands grabbing at their throat.

Bronx - Fordham University - Martyr's Court - a large dormitory on the campus. Residents have reported seeing a young, blond-haired girl standing in the shower, behind the curtain, staring straight ahead. The dean's response when they wanted to move was "It's March. This sort of thing happens all the time, and worse, so just try to turn the other cheek." They also report seeing a man walking by their rooms, in the direction of a wall at the end of the hall. When they would go out to see who it was, he'd be gone, also hear children's laughter in the walls of their apartment.

Bronx - Fordham University - O?Hare Hall - A worker was killed during the construction of the building.It has been rumored that he still roams the halls, banging on walls as if he was still working on the building.

Bronx - Fordham University - Queen?s Court Dorm - the 'most haunted' building on campus. this happened summer 2003, a lot of the other Fordham stories are standard ghost stories heard at all colleges, but this one is pretty unique: During the summer, Residence Assistants have to stay in dorm buildings for the end of the summer to fix everything up. There are usually 5 RA's and an RD (residence director) in a building. Here's what happened: RA's have to fill out RCR's (room condition reports) for every room so they know who to bill for any damage done. on one floor, every time they went into any room, the mattresses on both beds in the dorm room would be up against the wall. there were only 6 people in the entire building, so they figured someone was just messing around with them. one night one of the RA's went up to a room, put a mattress down, locked the door, and left. he came back an hour later and it was up. when he was in bed that night, about 2:30, he got a knock on his door. he answered it, and it was a priest, one of the Jesuits (the order of priests that run Fordham, also most known for exorcisms, the priest in the exorcist was a Fordham Jesuit). The priest said something along the lines of "someone must be praying pretty hard for you to have me up here this early . . anyway, it usually stays in one room down at the end of the hall, but it got out. I took care of it so you have nothing to worry about now." the RA kid thanked the priest, and went back to bed. the next day he went to the head nun of the campus, and thanked her for sending the priest over to queens at that hour of the morning, she said she never did. he described the father to her, she said she had never seen such a priest. he described the priest to several other Jesuits on campus, but none of them knew who he was . . . this is why this story is so great - a ghost priest performed an exorcism. - February 2004 update/correction: The previous story about the 2003 summer haunting of Queen's Court took place on the first floor of the building's St. Robert's wing, an all male floor. But there's more to the events that early November 2003, when the hall was full of 20-some residents, all of the lighting- main AND emergency, suddenly went out one night. The lights were out- inexplicably- for almost the entire day. By the time night fell, the floor was pitch black. During the day, the fire alarm lights flashed several times but only in the Robert's first hallway- nowhere else in the building. The creepiest part was that night, when the two residents who live in "the room" that had the problem with mattress flipping earlier in the summer got locked in. The second roommate had come in and didn't even shut the door all the way- suddenly it was shut and locked, and they couldn't open it up. No one could get the door open. Finally, locksmiths had to be brought in- in the middle of the night, keep in mind- to climb in through the windows, and literally take the door apart, until it suddenly fell off its hinges.


Other Strange Fordham Tales

Administration Building: There is a constant scent of cigar smoke in the halls that some students attribute to ghosts.

Collins Auditorium: Located above the stage, both student and faculty believe they have seen the ghost of a man who walks around the balconies. Students claim to experience cold sensations when in the auditorium, as well as odd whispers.

Finlay Hall: In the past, this building served as a medical school, but today, residents dwell on the premises with some reporting the feeling of someone grabbing at their throat in the middle of the night.

Hughes Hall: During the wee hours of the night, some students claim the ghost of a young boy who appears in the rooms visits them. Locked doors have also swung open on their own in Hughes Hall.

O'Hare Hall: During the construction of the building, a worker lost his life. There is a rumor that his ghost still wanders about the halls – banging on the walls as if he was still working on the building.

Martyr's Court: Known as one of the larger dormitories on campus, Martyr's Court has at least two ghosts haunting the grounds. First, residents have come in contact with a young girl with blond hair who has been seen standing behind the curtains of the shower. She always seems to be staring straight ahead. Another ghost is that of a man who has been reported to walk by the rooms of residents, heading towards a wall located at the end of the hall. When attempting to investigate his identity, he has vanished before curious students had a chance. In the apartments, some students claim to hear the laughter of children in their walls.

Keating Hall: Keating Hall has a reputation for strange occurrences. While the building is not original to the campus, it is believed that it was constructed over the morgue tunnels during the 1930s. At first, the basement served as the original cafeteria, but with the construction of the new cafeteria, it was transformed in a congressional library with plans for a student center. During the late 1970s, a security quit his job when he experienced the unexplainable closing of doors and chairs banging against the wall.

As for the first floor, an area with chairs and historical items on display is a popular gathering spot between classes. However, when taking a seat, some students are met with a feeling that they are being watched. Sometimes, unexplainable shadows are detected and cold spots are felt – even during hot weather. Rumors state that it is the spirits of Jesuits of the past trapped in the building. On the third floor, some people have reported being touched on the shoulder by spirits or seeing apparitions. Venture to the staircase located above the auditorium and you may encounter unexplainable cold spots. One person reported seeing a chair tumble down the stair when no one else was in the vicinity.


Whoa! Joey Lawrence haunted by Pfister Hotel ghost

avclub - For reasons probably too depressing to contemplate, “ghost hunting” is big business these days. Countless television series dedicated to this dopey phenomenon currently litter the basic-cable airwaves, giving nominally skilled, middle-aged men with access to night-vision video cameras and cargo vans an exciting new career path. Here in Milwaukee, our very own paranormal investigators should be working around the clock, especially if Biography’s Celebrity Ghost Stories is to be believed. (And who wouldn’t believe a show called Celebrity Ghost Stories?)

On a recent episode, none other than former Blossom heartthrob Joey Lawrence recounts a terrifying visit to Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel. It seems Lawrence, joined by his wife and infant daughter, found himself in town during a 2006 national tour of Dancing With The Stars. While nodding off in one of the Pfister’s “old,” “quaint,” and “not comfy or warm” rooms, the onetime Gimme A Break! moppet was awoken twice by the sounds and lights from his daughter’s toys. Later, the room’s bathroom light inexplicably turned on. Of course, Lawrence concludes that this low-level carnage could only have been the work of the restless undead. To quote Ghostbusters’ Dr. Peter Venkman, when faced with a “supernatural” stack of books: “You’re right, no human being would stack books like this.”

Lawrence goes on to explain that after seeking answers from the staff the next morning, he was regaled with a spooky tale involving the hotel founder’s son, a murdered bride, and an elevator shaft. (For the record, Charles Pfister had no children.) As he was checking out, Lawrence claims he made one last visit to the room and witnessed parts of the air conditioning unit fly through the air, scaring him “you-know-what-less.” Whether these damages were subsequently taken out of Lawrence’s deposit is never revealed.

Throughout the segment, Lawrence goes a bit overboard in describing the “spookiness” of the Pfister, and Biography’s Unsolved Mysteries-esque re-enactment makes it seem like an Overlook Hotel stocked exclusively by creepy old dudes in top hats. (Lawrence says the staff were dressed “like they were out of the game Clue.”) Still, reports of strange goings-on inside the swank downtown hotel are nothing new. This is, however, the first time a former Tiger Beat centerfold turned early-’90s R&B sensation has encountered any trouble. What’s next? Brian Austin Green tussling with the ghost of a pissed-off bellhop?

Though the supernatural typically falls outside the range of The A.V. Club’s expertise, we do like to employ Occam’s razor when it comes to such matters. So, take your pick: Either the malevolent ghost of a murdered bride haunts the room of the Pfister Hotel, finally solving the previously unsolvable mystery of life after death, or Joey Lawrence forgot to turn off some of his kid’s toys.



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