Sweet Briar College
Surrounded by the lush, green hills of rural Virginia, Sweet Briar College, with its exquisite architecture, horse stables, and serene views, seems more like an expensive resort escape for 19th century aristocrats than a modern school. Established in 1901, to this day it remains a small, private college for young women, despite the fact that many other such academic institutions in America have since opted for a co-ed student population. Perhaps it is this reverence for history and tradition that makes Sweet Briar College a prime location for a haunting.
The land on which the college now stands was once a large plantation owned by the wealthy Indiana man, Fletcher Williams. Sadly, his young daughter, Daisy, died at the age of sixteen and was buried on the grounds.
In an attempt to honor Daisy’s memory, Mrs. Williams decided that the family fortune would eventually be used to convert the plantation into a college, where young women like her own daughter could be provided with a quality education. As a testament to Daisy, the college is certainly a success, although it seems to have gotten some help from Daisy herself.
For years, stories have circulated which suggest that the spirit of the young girl still intrudes into the world of the living. In one such instance, during the school’s early years, an instructor was residing in the former house of Daisy and Mrs. Williams, when the chandelier, which was off at the time, began to light up, then turn off, then light up again, repeating the process about six times. The instructor, familiar with the history of the house, asked Daisy to stop her mischief, at which point the nuisance ceased. Another instructor was adjusting a mirror in the house, when she noticed a cloudy form moving across the mirror, looking very much like someone dancing. It was common knowledge among her family and friends that Daisy loved to dance, especially in front of mirrors.
Students have also reported that a statue of Daisy, on nights when the wind is heavy, makes a sound not unlike screaming.
Unlike at other schools, where a rational explanation for such occurrences is often sought, the faculty at Sweet Briar College embraces the reputation that the school has cultivated over the years, listing encounters with Daisy on their official website and occasionally conducting ghost tours for the students.
University of Vermont
If the stories are to be believed, there are several restless spirits still attending this university. One of the most commonly known is that of Henry, a student who tragically took his own life in one of the buildings on campus. To this day, it is said that lights will mysteriously turn on and off there, doors will slam shut for seemingly no reason at all, and objects will move despite having been touched by no one.
In the school’s Counseling and Testing Center, multiple people have reported encountering the apparition of an old man who glides down the stairway.
Another recent suicide on campus has led some to believe that, much like with Henry, the building where the tragedy took place is now subject to unexplained noises.
Although efforts have been made for centuries now to determine the true nature of ghosts and hauntings, with some cases explained away by science, there are still many instances in which no amount of tests can indentify the cause of the phenomena. Perhaps one day, the spirits which roam these schools will be explained, but until then, they remain a very weird mystery.
- - United States Military Academy: http://www.aogusma.org/soc/elpaso/wppc/wp.jpg http://sherpaguides.com/georgia/civil_war/blue_gray_trail/union_soldier.jpg
- - Asheville High School, North Carolina: http://www.krunker.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/ghostly-image-in-asheville-camera-thumb.jpg
- - Sweet Briar College: http://www.virginia.org/images/cities/amherstcounty.jpg http://www2.sbc.edu/newsletter/images/uploads/daisy_williams_for_newsletter.jpg
- - University of Vermont: http://www.aashe.org/images/resources/profiles/photos/UniversityofVermont.jpg