Burlington is Vermont’s largest city and the University of Vermont is the state’s largest university. Perhaps that helps to explain why it is also one of the most active hot spots of supernatural activity. It seems that the number of ghosts within the halls of UVM may sometimes rival the head count of the living student body, easily earning it the title of:
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UVM “Most Haunted College in Vermont”
The following are a sample of some of the spine tingling events that have taken place within the walls of the university.
The agriculture department (Bittersweet House) has a female ghost in period dress, circa late 19th century, who unexpectedly makes her appearance known. The Center for Cultural Pluralism (Allen House) reportedly has a ghost taking up residence on the top floor. Although he (or she) hasn’t been seen visually, a cold presence can be felt in the vicinity.
The University of Vermont (UVM) in Burlington has developed a reputation over the years for paranormal activity and ghostly occurrences in several buildings across its historic campus. Founded in 1791 and nicknamed UVM for its Latin name Universitas Viridis Montis, the university sits on a hill overlooking downtown Burlington.
Haunting Activity at Converse Hall
One of the most infamous haunted spots is Converse Hall, a large dormitory constructed out of granite. According to campus lore, the attic is haunted by the ghost of a student who hanged himself there in the 1920s, driven to suicide by academic pressures. Dubbed “Henry,” the ghost is said to manifest by slamming doors, knocking over objects, and rearranging dorm furniture. Some attribute the disturbances instead to an engineering student who died in an electrical accident in the 1980s.
The Jacobs House Ghost
The Jacobs House, home to the Center for Counseling and Testing on South Williams Street, also has a resident ghost – reportedly that of a 19th century sea captain who occupied the building until his death in 1877. Witnesses have described seeing the specter of an elderly man walking down the stairs and flickering like a “jellyfish” before disappearing. Janitors have also reported lights being switched on, buckets kicked over, and other poltergeist-like activity.
More Ghosts and Hauntings
Even the offices of the Alumni Association within the Grasse Mount building have spectral tales. The renovated historic home was originally built in 1804 for wealthy merchant Thaddeus Tuttle before becoming a women’s dormitory. Eerie voices, slammed doors, and other unexplained disturbances have led to speculation that Tuttle or another past resident may linger at the property long after death.
With its mix of venerable buildings and spirited young student body, ghostly legends continue to endure at UVM. While definitive proof remains elusive, the stories serve as an intriguing accent to the long, mysterious history of Vermont’s flagship university.
The Center for Counseling and Testing is rumored to be haunted
The former director encountered the ghost of Captain Jacobs, a retired seaman who died there in the early part of the 20th century. Poltergeist activity, which is often described as “noisy ghost” activity has been reported there as recently as 1992. It would seem that Captain Jacobs is a restless spirit indeed!
The Grasse Mount House comes with a vibrant though eerie history
of ghostly voices and doors that slam and lock themselves, without human effort. Converse Hall is reportedly haunted by a former student who committed suicide there. Though never seen, the student remains as active in death as he may have been while he was one of the living. He turns radios on and off and interacts with electrical equipment. The student electrocuted himself in 1998.
Coolidge Hall, a dormitory, has a few resident ghosts,
including a male presence that likes to awaken the residents by staring at them, a playful spirit who enjoys pulling blankets off beds and a whistling specter that can’t carry a tune.
The Millis Hall dormitory might have experienced a female ghost
on the 2nd floor during the 97-98 year. Redstone Hall dormitory residents include a ghost that appears in the back staircase and has been seen to run through walls. He’s not fond of female students for some reason (possibly pertaining to the circumstances of his death) and has chased frightened students out of the area on occasion.
At Simpson Hall, a spirit of a man who stalked a female student followed her to her dorm one year and apparently never left. He now resides in Simpson to this day. Late at night students wake up with a sensation of being watched. Usually the room becomes icy cold when it happens. Some students wake up freezing cold at night with the feeling that there is someone else in their bed.