There is currently a new ghost series on TV, this one called "School Spirits." I was wondering when someone was going to get around to covering haunted colleges since there seem to be so many of them. I was also wondering WHY there are so many of them. In my 12 feet or so of shelf space devoted to ghost stories and haunted locations, I would guess there are almost as many collegiate hauntings described as there are castles and churches.
Personally, I once spent a retreat on a college campus in what was a disturbed, if not disturbing, dormitory. The room was perfectly fine: desk with lamp, bed, closet space, even a sink. The atmosphere in the room itself, however, was both watchful and waiting. I didn't sleep much there, those two nights. The hall outside the room was even worse. There was no bathroom attached to the bedroom and anyone needing to shower or use the facility had a long walk to get to it. The best part was creeping, speed-walking, or outright running past the back of the building's chapel, full of wonderful shadows that mercifully stayed put when I zipped through them en route to the lavatory. Whoever designed the path we used to answer the call of nature had a warped sense of humor.
Even my high school had some issues. The school was built in two parts: an older section that had been the original school, and the newer add-on that came about as enrollment increased. The older section, with its wrought-iron fence and gothic design (all-girls' Catholic high school) should have been the scary part, but it wasn't. The new side of the school with its modern tiling and squared-off rooms was the area that filled itself with unexplained noises and shufflings when students stayed late for extra-curricular activities like sports or rehearsals.
And all of this leads me back to my original question. Why are places of education so frequently haunted? Do that many students commit suicide? Were there murders on campus in days gone by that have since been forgotten? Or is it just that the buildings soak up all of the adolescent and post-adolescent emotion and anguish that goes hand-in-hand with scholastic rites of passage, replaying those feelings for those sensitive enough to notice them?
I don't know the answer to this. All I know is that I have been to some scary buildings in my time and quite a few of them involve education.