The Ghosts of Bryn Mawr

Bryn Mawr College was founded in 1885 and has its fair share of spooky stories. Here are the two most well-known ghosts of Bryn Mawr College.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: suicide, death, suffocation, terminal illness

The Ghost of Merion Dorm

The story: Lillian was a Bryn Mawr student who lived on the third floor of Merion in the year 1901. She believed she had leprosy, and by some false information took a bath in kerosene believing it would cure her. Unfortunately, after her bath, a lantern in her room fell on her robe and she caught fire. To save her roommates and the dorm from also catching fire, she jumped out her third-story window to her death.

The truth: There is no evidence of Lillian believing she was sick nor any evidence she jumped out a window. In fact, the only record of the incident is a clipping from the Philadelphia Inquirer telling that she was found after a small fire in her room, passed out, where she died later that night after some medical attention.

The haunt: Merion residents have reported hearing a woman humming in the halls, especially on the third floor. Doors will open and shut mysteriously, and many first years have experienced computer malfunctions in the common room. All of these are thought to be the work of Lillian, and many students leave out pieces of candy or treats as offering to the poltergeist.


The Ghost of Denbigh Dorm

The story: A male staff member of the school was having an affair with a student who resided in Denbigh. In order to see her, this man would sneak into the servant’s quarters and knock on the ceiling of her room to be let in. Denbigh is notorious for burning down twice since it was originally built. Unfortunately, this staff member's knocks were not heard amidst the chaos of one of these fires, and he was not able to escape.

The truth: There are no reports of anyone dying during the Denbigh fires, nor are there any names to the characters involved in this story.

The haunt: As there is no name for this ghost, students have begun to call him “Danny Denbigh.” He haunts the third floor of Denbigh and often sneaks into student’s rooms. He will turn lights and fans on and off, cause malfunctions on computers and move objects around the room. On a personal note, I can attest to strange things happening on Denbigh third that most of the residents have chalked up to Danny!