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Fordham University History: Haunted Fordham

Everything you ever wanted to know about its history, people, places ... and maybe even a few things you didn't.


Some say Keating, some say Finlay. Despite discrepancy over where, many agree that it happened and its among the students' favorite tales...

Late one night in the 1970's a security guard sat down to take a break in one of the comfortable basement chairs. Despite being alone, the man heard a door slam. His curiosity and suspicion gave way to all out fear when the chairs started moving and slamming themselves into the walls. The guard went running from the building (some say leaving his shoes behind) and never returned to the campus. 

In the first floor entryway students frequently feel as though they are being watched, and there are distinct cold spots even on the warmest of days

Many students also report feeling a cold hand grab their shoulder in the hall even when there is no one around.


"That's not funny. You know I'm afraid of little girl ghosts!" - Joey Tribbiani (Friends Episode 10.14)

Famed fictional character Joey is not the only one scared of little girl ghosts. The one known to lurk behind shower curtains in Martyr's Court bathrooms has been terrifying students for years.

Don't try to look beneath the curtain before entering, that won't save you. Students never see her feet beneath the curtain but when they pull it back they see a little blonde girl staring straight ahead. This seems to be among the most frequently reported ghostly events.

Additionally, students sometimes hear children's laughter in the walls.


Before the Gabelli School of Business moved in in 2012, Hughes Hall used to be a dorm of some notoriety. It was one of the filming locations for The Exorcist (1973) and, like Martyr's, seems to have a ghost child of its own. Students have reported seeing a small boy aimlessly wandering the halls. 

Additionally, locked doors have been known to fly open, seemingly of their own accord.

Happy Hauntings


There are many rumors, stories and speculations surrounding Fordham University and the Ghosts that seem to linger. It might have something to do with the fact that scenes from the Exorcist were filmed here or that the campus is well over a century old and built on (or near) land that once contained a hospital. Whatever the reason, Rose Hill is repeatedly considered to be one of the most haunted campuses in the North East, if not the whole US. 

Read through the stories... but beware... you may have trouble showering in Martyrs, focusing on class in Keating or sleeping in Finlay afterwards.   

Haunted Articles

For the full stories and articles that have been written about Fordham Hauntings from both students and outsiders alike, click the links below.



Haunted New York (Columbia Spectator)

13 Haunted Campuses (Huffington Post)

Universities with Haunted Dorms (US News)


Haven't got your ghosty fill? Student led Ghost Tours are often offered at the Rose Hill campus around Halloween... keep your eye out for announcements and sign-ups


With the hauntings around Collins even the faculty are spooked. They and students alike have reported seeing a man walking around the balconies. This same ghostly figure is often blamed for things being rearranged or moved backstage before performances.

Queens Court

The Queens Court haunting is my personal favorite. It is even featured in Elizabeth Tucker's book, Haunted Halls: ghostlore of American college campuses (RH - BF1478 .T83 2007)

In the summer of 2003, before any of the students had moved in, when making their rounds the RAs would repeatedly find the mattresses in one room propped up,rather than lying flat no matter how many times they fixed them. One night around 2:30AM one of the RAs heard a knock at his door. Standing there was an elderly Jesuit who said, 

"Someone must have been praying pretty loudly if they got me up at this hour. Sorry about that, it normally stays at the other end of the hall, but it must have gotten out. Don't worry, I took care of it." 

For the rest of the summer the mattresses stayed in their proper places. The RA later tried to seek out the Jesuit but when he described the elderly man who visited him in the night, he was told that the only Jesuit bearing that description had died 10 years earlier.


Though one of the newer dorms on campus (built in 2000) O'Hare has a ghost of its own.

One of the construction workers had a heart attack while working on the roof and fell tragically to his death. Students have reported the sound of hammering in the walls as if the spirit of the man is still trying to finish the job.


Finlay, before becoming a dorm, was the location of Fordham's Medical School. In the lofted rooms students could observe dissections of cadavers and the basement served as the holding place for the lifeless bodies.

More than once students have woken up in the middle of the night, feeling as though someone is grabbing at their throat making it difficult for them to breathe or feel a tugging on their toe as if they were a cadaver being tagged. 

They also sometimes see what looks like students peering down on them from the loft