by Hillary Keating
When you imagine a haunted location, you usually picture a graveyard, or an abandoned mental asylum, or that house up on the hill that’s been abandoned for years with WARNING: KEEP OUT signs strewn about the property. The last place you’d think of is a college, right?
For the first edition of Weird New Jersey, we are going to examine the haunted side of Monmouth University in West Long Branch. There have been many reports from students and faculty members claiming that the Guggenheim Library, theatre, and Wilson Hall are hot spots of paranormal activity.
Monmouth University’s Guggenheim Library was once the summer home of the wealthy Murry and Leonie Guggenheim. Sadly, while traveling on the maiden voyage of the ocean liner, Titanic, Mrs. Guggenheim did not make it off the ship…alive. Many believe that she still occupies her summer home on the Monmouth University campus. Students report that each night around midnight, a women dressed in white can be seen descending the staircase, only to disappear when she reaches the bottom steps. Librarians have also reported that after closing for the night and turning off all the lights, they return in the morning to find the same lights blazing.
The second supernatural hot spot on campus is the Guggenheim Theatre. The building was once the estate stables, and legend says that a stable boy was killed there when a horse kicked him in the head. His girlfriend then hanged herself after the incident. It is reported that when leaving the theatre, people can hear a woman crying at night. Similarly, it is reported that a college student living near the theatre saw a young boy in the window and called the police. When the police arrived the student still claimed to see the boy in the window, but the police saw nothing.
Other Monmouth University staff and students suggest that Wilson Hall carries an unusual “emotion.” Workers report hearing strange noises and feel a strong presence. The main hot spot in the hall is a small room behind the building’s auditorium. People also report seeing orbs in the hall. Orbs are balls of light that are believed to be manifestations of the supernatural. However, they are frequently debunked because dust can sometimes have a similar appearance.
So are these stories real, or just the workings of an overactive imagination? Is it possible that former owners and workers of the estate still linger between this life and the next? Whether these tales are mere urban legend or the real evidence of the supernatural, we may never know…