Ohio University in Athens, Ohio was founded in 1804 and was the first institution west of the Appalachian Mountains dedicated to higher learning. With a rich history that spans over 200 years, it is not unreasonable to assume that there may be paranormal activity around some of the buildings on campus. It seems though in this case it is hard to find a building not associated with paranormal activity making Ohio University one of the most haunted places in America.
There have been quite a few ghost stories that come from the buildings and houses associated with Ohio State. Stories of former slaves associated with the Underground Railroad, an old insane asylum now being renovated by the University, former students who have died on campus and a loving old lady who seems to not have left her home are all a part of the allure that has gotten the campus nicknamed the most haunted school in the world.
What could be the most notable building on campus is the old State Mental Hospital, or more familiarly named “The Ridges”. It is being renovated by the campus and is now the Lin Hall and houses the Kennedy Museum of Art. Margaret Schilling is reported to still walk the halls of this building. Margaret was a patient in the hospital when she disappeared in December 1978.
The authorities look for the woman but didn’t find her. A maintenance man discovered her body a month later on the top floor of a ward that had been closed off for several years. She had been dead for a few weeks. Before she died she apparently took off all her clothes and folded them neatly beside her. To this day there is a stain in the floor that is an outline of her body. It is reported that Margaret still wonders the floors of the old ward at night.
The Alpha Omicron Phi sorority house was once a stop in the Underground Railroad. Apparently the town people heard of the home harboring slaves and not wanting it to be the source of trouble for the whole town, stormed the home only to discover one slave in the home, Nicodemus. As Nicodemus tried to run from the mob, he was shot dead in the back. This house has been the home of a few sororities and fraternities and all of them have reported strange noises and paranormal activity in the house.
The most famed haunted place on the campus is Wilson Hall. There are several reasons given for the high paranormal events that happen at the building. One is that could be built on one of the Athens Mental Health Center cemeteries and the other is that if you connect five haunted cemeteries in the area it forms a pentagram with Wilson Hall in the center. Neither of these can be proven.
One of the most famous Wilson Hall stories is that of room 428. It is told that a girl who practiced the occult died violently in the room. Since then, students have reported items coming of walls and smashing into walls, footsteps and strange sounds in the rooms, furniture being rearranged and reports of an actual apparition of the girl. According to the Athens County Ohio web site, the University has sealed the room and it is not used anymore.