Haunted Tales of Moravian
So you don’t believe in ghosts? Living at Moravian College will surely change your mind by the time you graduate! Being the sixth oldest college in America, Moravian is sure to have its fair share of secrets.
Before Moravian existed as the liberal arts college we all know and love today, it went through its period of transitions. For example, the Brethren’s House, was converted into a hospital for American soldiers during the Revolutionary War and is rumored to have its resident ghosts. Today, it serves as the music and art building for students, which is where may of the hauntings are said to take place. Another supposedly haunted building located on Moravian’s Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus is Main Hall, which is the all-female dormitory. It originally opened in 1854 as a residence hall for single women, and is said to contain three infamous ghosts: those of a Revolutionary War nurse, a little girl, and a cat. Given the age of some of the buildings along with their history, is it any surprise that hauntings are rumored to have happened here? Listen to some of the stories students have to tell about first-hand encounters with the paranormal or supernatural experiences they’ve had and decide for yourself!
"The Haunting of Hearst Hall"
Location: Hearst Hall, Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus
Who: Rachel Loughry ‘17, Ashley Frick ‘17
R: I was giving my suite mate Ashley a tour of the music building on Friday, Oct. 7 and had a small twistable flashlight (MagLight) with me. We went into Hearst Hall and sat there for a while talking. Just out of curiosity, we wondered if we could communicate with the ghost who lives there. He is said to be a young boy roughly 7-10 years old who died there. I twisted the flashlight so it was completely off and set it on the floor. There is a cabinet in the room that is rumored to emit tapping noises despite it being locked. We turned off the lights and sat down on the floor on the other side of the room across from the flashlight and started asking questions.
A: We asked “If you’re here, turn on the flashlight.” But nothing happened. But then we wondered what would happen if we unlocked the cabinet and if we would get a response.
R: I got up and unlocked the cabinet and sat back down.
A: The next question we asked was “If you don’t turn the light on, we’ll lock the cabinet.” Then the light turned on and it got brighter as if someone were turning it to its full brightness. You know when you twist the MagLight flashlights that the beam becomes more focused? That’s what happened. The next question was “If you turn the light off for us, we’ll leave the cabinet unlocked for you when we leave.” Then the light turned off. These responses occurred almost immediately after we asked them.
R: Like, within a few seconds. There was no delay.
A: We also asked “if you don’t want us to come back, turn the light off.”
R: But it didn’t turn off that time. So it was fine with us coming back. Then we respectably left.
A: I even thanked him for his time, even though I was literally shaking. I was so scared. I always believed in a spiritual realm and that there were spirits both good and bad, but I didn’t necessarily believe that we could communicate with them. But this made me realize that you can, and I don’t really believe in “coincidences”, especially not that kind of coincidence. Since it happened more than once, I knew it wasn’t a fluke. So now, I’m more open minded that there are ways to communicate with spirits.
R: It didn’t really change my mind because I’m the one who took her in there *laughs*. Since I’m a music major, I spend a good amount of time in those buildings so I know the creepy stuff that happens in there.
A: It was definitely one of the craziest things that’s happened to me at Moravian College. I was not expecting a response.
"Time Passes, And So Will You"
Location: Main Hall, South Campus
Who: Previous resident of Main Hall who wishes to remain anonymous
Resident: I used to live on the fourth floor freshman year and my room had two closets. I was in a double but I was the only one living there. I had a white board calendar that I hung on one of the back of the closet doors. That night I went to sleep, but woke up to find it had fallen on the floor. So I thought, okay you know it fell; the command hook broke because that happens sometimes. So I hung it back up and the next day I come back and I went to sleep and then in the middle of the night, I heard this crash so I turned on my light and the white board didn’t just fall; it was sitting by the side of my bed which is on the other side of the room. So I took my white board and put it somewhere else and it never moved again. I was terrified! It flew at my bed!
Location: Music building, South Campus
Who: Shane Hansen ‘18
S: Last year I was at coffee house on a Wednesday night. As most people know, there was a vending machine that gave free soda in a hallway on the second floor of the music building. I wanted to go get a drink. There is a stairwell leading down to an exit door to leave the building to the right of the vending machine. I looked down the stairwell and there was a black human figure looking back up at me. It looked like a shadow and I couldn’t see any details. It was probably about my size, maybe a bit bigger. Probably 6’2” or somewhere around there and appeared to be maybe 200-some pounds. It then turned around and walked through the door to leave the building. I was definitely freaked out and I just turned around and ran back to coffee house.
Location: Main Hall and The HILL, Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus
Who: Kendra Kramer ‘17
K: I didn't believe in ghosts before I came to Moravian College. When I told people that I was coming to Moravian as a Music Student and would be living in Main Hall, so many people told me that the campus is haunted. I didn't buy it - ghosts don't exist, right?
Freshman year, I was in Main Hall, room 207. It was early morning - my roommate had an early class and I didn't have to be up that day. My roommate got up and left the room to go take a shower. I was sort of awake from hearing her alarm clock go off and I rolled over to go back to sleep. As I was getting comfortable, I felt warmth moving up the side of my bed, like a cat was walking across the bed. At first, I didn't think much of it - I have a cat at home, so this is an experience I'm used to. Then it occurred to me that I was at school, and there isn't a cat here, so I opened my eyes to see what was going on. When I looked, I saw my blanket becoming indented like there was a cat walking across the bed, but there wasn't a cat. Then, it felt like the cat laid down next to me curled up and the blanket moved as if there was weight on it where the cat would be. The entire experience was oddly calming and I wasn't creeped out or scared at all. I went back to sleep and the "cat" was gone when I woke up. The cat came back to visit our room a couple of times that year, and for some reason I have a strong feeling that he's orange, although I never did actually see him.
A bunch of strange things happened on my floor freshman year too, but nothing that I saw personally. The other girls on our floor told us stories about the showers turning on in the middle of the night and other major things.
Sophomore year, I lived in Main Hall, room 305, which is a single. The cat would come back and visit me some nights in this room too, but I was used to him by now and he made me feel more at home. The room next door to me was empty that entire year. I used to hear sounds from that wall like there was someone in there almost daily. Again, it didn't creep me out. There was one time when I was here over Thanksgiving break. I worked Black Friday at the Lehigh Valley Mall (11pm-5am) and I came back to school quite tired and was trying to fall asleep. I was laying in my bed and I felt like someone was watching me from my doorway. This one was scary for some reason. I have had friends say that the ghosts will leave you alone if you ask them to, so I audibly said, "you're scaring me" and the feeling of being watched immediately went away. The other weird thing about that room was that I would lose things in it all the time. Sometimes, things that I swore I knew exactly where I had left them. On a couple of different occasions, I would ask out loud, alone in my room, "could you please give me back my (whatever was missing)" and when I would return from class, that thing would be lying in the middle of my bed.
I have to say - all the paranormal things that ever happened to me in Main Hall were strangely calming. Even the one night I was scared, after the feeling went away there was this bizarre sense of calm.
Junior year, I moved into the Hill, suite 6H, and I did not have anything that stood out to me in my room. Although, in the fall semester, I was taking Triple Threat (Form, Orchestration, & 20th Century all with Dr. Lipkis - an infamous semester for all music majors), which meant I spent many late nights in Brethren's working in the computer lab. I'd be there so late some nights, that campus safety would have come through and turned off all the lights in the hallways already. My friend and I would be there together and some nights we felt like we were being followed out of the building. The computer lab is on the second floor, and we'd hear footsteps coming from upstairs, which is where all the faculty offices are, so there was definitely no one up there at that hour of the night.
Earlier this semester, when I moved into 6F for training, I was in the Hill with not many other people and my suite mate had not moved in yet. One night, after an exhausting day of training, I was standing by my sink washing some dishes and I felt a cold wind move past my legs. I brushed it off as the air vents being weird, until I looked over my shoulder. For about a solid 4 seconds, I saw a small blonde girl standing by my doorway. She looked to be about 7 or 8 and she was wearing a white gown. This one definitely scared me. I stopped what I was doing and went straight into my room to go to bed. Since then, my suite mate and I have just heard unexplained sounds when the other person is not around and odd things go missing in the suite.
I would definitely say that I am now a firm believer in ghosts, but I wouldn't say that any of them are malicious, at least the ones that I've encountered. I think they are just as afraid of us as we are of them.
Location: Classroom 115, Comenius Hall
Who: Jacqueline Clearie ‘19
J: I was in night class in room 105 in the basement of Comenius. It was probably around 8:30 and it’s a pretty small class, maybe like 7-8 people in the class. We were all just sitting there and it was really quiet and no one else was on the floor; it’s just our class. In the room, there is a projector screen, the kind that you pull down, and it was already down with a powerpoint on the screen. Then suddenly it just flew up, like it snapped up so quickly, like someone was super angry and yanked on it to make it fly up that fast. It scared us so much! Our professor didn’t know the floor was supposedly haunted because he is an adjunct professor but everyone else in the class was creeped out because we knew the stories of how haunted that building is! The rumors are that a nurse haunts the basement of Comenius and she hates people being on her territory. It’s also rumored that crazy stuff happens to technology in that classroom. Like, screens go fuzzy, things stop working, and it’s all just really creepy stuff that happens to the electrical things in there.
Location: 2nd Floor Hallway, The Brethren House
Who: Katie Bahnck ‘18
K: My freshman year I was dating someone who didn't believe in the supernatural at all. I took him to dinner in Clewell dining hall on a Sunday evening around 6pm, and he asked if we could take a walk through the Brethren House in search of any 'paranormal activity'. I knew this wasn't going to end well, especially with his poor attitude. We started our walk through the Brethren house on the second floor, and the building was silent. As we were passing the Washington room, he started to voice his opinion about how 'the supernatural doesn't exist' and 'this building isn't really haunted anyway'. Again, I knew this wasn't going to end well. As we continued our walk down the second floor hall and to the stairs in pursuit of the first floor corridor, the door at the top of the stairs clicked funny behind us. Because I had spent a great amount of time in this building, I knew that is not what it should have sounded like. I brushed this off and we proceeded down the first floor hall. Not even a minute later, it was so loud in the building it almost sounded like a train went by; we couldn't hear one another speak. It sounded like there were carts rolling, almost 25-30 people running up and down the hallway above us. It was so loud! We looked at one another in terror, and ran out the side door closest to Main Hall. We stood outside for a few moments before he said to me, "What the heck was that?” I replied: "Now do you believe me?" Needless to say, he never questioned the supernatural after that. Later that night, I was approached by one of my friends from the music department. I told her about what had happened. Her reply was quick and cheery. "Ha! I know what you heard! You heard the nurses running up and down the hall. And those carts? Those were the gurneys, rolling up and down the hallway."
So have any of these stories convinced you? Do ghosts exist and continue to haunt Moravian’s campus today? These students believe so. But you decide! Have a ghost story to tell yourself? Comment your paranormal experiences below!