SUNY College at Cortland

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State University of New York Cortland is no stranger to the spirit world. Rumor has it that the ghost of a bleeding football player appears every year in Clark Hall’s Room 716. And at Brockway Hall, the ghost of a former cook has appeared standing at the top of the stairs. At Cheney Hall, the story of a ghost named Elizabeth is a favorite of students. She is said to have been pushed down the stairs from the fourth floor by her boyfriend in the 1980s, and has remained here in spirit ever since, along with a mural designed in her honor. Witnesses say she appears as a misty apparition with outstretched arms. Degroat Hall is also rumored to be haunted.

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Geographic Information

38 Graham Ave
Cortland, NY 13045
United States

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42.59839053950931, -76.18650484102551
Cortland County, New York
Nearest Towns:
Cortland, NY (0.4 mi.)
Munsons Corners, NY (1.6 mi.)
Cortland West, NY (2.0 mi.)
Homer, NY (2.7 mi.)
Blodgett Mills, NY (3.7 mi.)
McGraw, NY (4.7 mi.)
Groton, NY (9.2 mi.)
Dryden, NY (9.3 mi.)
Freeville, NY (10.0 mi.)
Fair Haven, NY (12.5 mi.)

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  1. At an apartment house (can’t remember the exact house number) on Owego Street, in Cortland, NY, my now wife and I were staying at a friends apartment during winter break in college. My friend was at his girlfriends that night. We went to bed for the night. At around 3am, I woke to hear a child laughing/giggling and a ball bouncing down the stairs. My wife ( I didn’t know she was startled awake too) said “you heard that too?” Needless to say, we did not sleep the rest of the night. We asked our friend, and he said ” you guys heard it too? This same house a day later had a fuse blow. I went into the basement and there are 3 body shaped mounds in the dirt floor. I haven’t been back there since, and my friend no longer lives there.

  2. The EMS office is also haunted by a little girl (rumored to be friendly) and she only appears after the member knows about her and has been in the agency for over a year.

  3. The women’s bathroom on the second floor of Shea Hall has a ghost whom I have seen at least twice. All of my paranormal experiences in this bathroom have been late at night when it’s very quiet and I seem to be alone. I have seen the toilet stall doors (or their shadows, when I am in a stall) move when there is no wind. They have not opened nor closed completely, nor made a noise – it’s as if an invisible hand is quietly pushing or pulling the door part way.

    Once while washing my face (and thus my glasses were off), I briefly noticed a figure reflected in the mirror. The figure passed behind me going towards the showers. When I finished at the sink, I peeked into the shower area and called out so I wouldn’t turn the light off on anybody. But nobody was there. I just chalked it up as strange yet unimportant and went to bed.

    On another occasion, I was again washing my face and no one else was in the bathroom. This time, I was looking at myself in the mirror, and I clearly saw a young Caucasian lady with slightly wavy brown hair wearing a white night gown glide silently behind me and move towards the bathroom door. Despite my glasses not being on, she was close enough to me that I could see her features in the mirror. I did not feel anything when she passed me. I thought it was my roommate since this person looked like her. I finished up and realized that I never heard nor saw the door open, and nobody was in any stalls nor in the showers. When I returned to my dorm, my roommate was fast asleep…and wearing a black camisole.

    I will note that at no time did I ever feel afraid, and I honestly didn’t think I was seeing ghosts at first. I may have seen or noticed a ghost passing back and forth in this bathroom at other times and simply thought it was a fellow resident. I have felt that whatever was in there was not aware of living people.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.