If you’ve ever heard strange noises or felt an unwelcome presence on the Fordham campus, you’re not alone. Since Fordham’s founding in 1841, the campus has been considered “one of the most haunted campuses in the North East, if not the whole US,” according to the Fordham University Library Guides. The Fordham campus has certainly been exposed to its fair share of spirits and spooky activity. According to the Fordham University Library Guides, rumors that the campus was once the site of a hospital are true. Fordham is also known for being one of the filming locations for notoriously eerie scenes from “The Exorcist,” movie. Regardless of whether or not it has anything to do with Fordham’s haunted past, students, faculty, and staff continue to find themselves in frightening and unexplainable situations across the campus.
Keating Hall, one of the oldest and most famous buildings on campus, is mysterious in its very nature. A maze of interconnected tunnels, I frequently find myself getting lost in this building, even after spending four years on this campus. According to the Fordham University Library Guides, “Late one night in the 1970s a security guard sat down to take a break in one of the comfortable basement chairs. Despite being alone, the man heard a door slam.” The story goes on to claim that after hearing the door slam, the basement chairs began moving by themselves, and “slamming into the walls.” According to the guides, it is noted that today students often “report feeling a cold hand grab their shoulder in the hall even when there is no one around.”
Queen’s court, a freshman residence hall, is well-known for the sighting of a ghostly Jesuit in 2003. According to the library guides, before students moved in for the summer term in 2003, an RA “would repeatedly find the mattresses in one room propped up, rather than lying flat no matter how many times they fixed them.”It was reported that later one night around 2:30 AM the RA heard a knock on their door and spoke with an elderly Jesuit who was woken up by some loud noise. The guides explain that for the rest of the summer the “mattresses stayed in their proper places,” however, when the RA “later tried to seek out the Jesuit … he was told that the only Jesuit bearing that description had died 10 years earlier.”
The ghost story of Martyr’s Court is my personal favorite, as this building served as my very own freshman residence hall where I personally experienced a haunting encounter. According to the Fordham Library Guides, a little girl ghost has been “known to lurk behind shower curtains in Martyr’s Court bathrooms.” It is reported that “students never see her feet beneath the curtain but when they pull it back they see a little blonde girl staring straight ahead.” Additionally, it is said that “students sometimes hear children’s laughter in the walls,” according to the guides.
While I never saw the little girl ghost in the showers of Martyr’s Court, I experienced a paranormal encounter of some kind during my freshman year. One day after returning to my dorm from an early morning class I decided to lay down and take a nap. My roommates were both out for class and wouldn’t be returning for a while. After drifting to sleep I remember hearing someone enter my room and open the window. Assuming it was one of my roommates back early from class I never opened my eyes to check, although I remember feeling some kind of presence. Later when I woke up, I noticed that the window was still open but nobody else was in the room. Curious to see which one of my roommates had come back early from class, I asked them both but was completely terrified when they confirmed that neither of them had returned early from class or opened the window in the room. To this day, I am still unsure who, or what entered the room and opened the window while I was taking a nap.
Perhaps one of the most famously haunted residence buildings on campus, the Fordham University Library Guides confirm that Finlay was once the location of Fordham’s Medical School. The guides report that “in the lofted rooms students could observe dissections of cadavers and the basement served as the holding place for the lifeless bodies.” Today, students report waking up in the night and “feeling as though someone is grabbing at their throat making it difficult for them to breathe or feel a tugging on their toe as if they were a cadaver being tagged,” according to the guides.
If these stories aren’t enough to sufficiently scare you away from walking around campus alone at night, make sure to check out the library guides for more detailed stories and additional spooky content. Also, check out the following articles which feature Fordham’s haunted campus.