Centenary College

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Centenary College is said to be haunted by Tillie Smith, who has a tragic story. When she was 18, in 1886, she lived and worked at the college. Her body was found in a nearby field, raped and strangled. College maintenance man James Titus was accused of the murder, although he was known to be of high moral character. Despite only circumstantial evidence, Titus was convicted and sentenced to hang. To avoid hanging, he signed a confession of guilt and was allowed to live for 19 years in prison, until he was paroled in 1904. He continued to live in town until his death in 1952 and was buried in Union Cemetery, where there is also a monument to Tillie, unveiled in 1887. A play about Tillie is put on at the Centenary Theatre, written by Jeanne Walker, who did extensive research on Tillie and the trial. The theater also sponsors Tillie Walks, in which actors and actresses follow her trail through town acting out the events of the night she was murdered. And, perhaps, Tillie does still walk. Staff and students alike have reported seeing Tillie’s ghost at the college.

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    Geographic Information

    400 Jefferson St
    Hackettstown, NJ 07840
    United States

    Get Directions »
    40.846818, -74.83442100000002
    Warren County, New Jersey
    Nearest Towns:
    Hackettstown, NJ (0.6 mi.)
    Beattystown, NJ (2.4 mi.)
    Vienna, NJ (3.2 mi.)
    Great Meadows, NJ (4.4 mi.)
    Long Valley, NJ (5.1 mi.)
    Allamuchy, NJ (5.3 mi.)
    Budd Lake, NJ (5.5 mi.)
    Port Murray, NJ (6.0 mi.)
    Anderson, NJ (6.9 mi.)
    Shiloh, NJ (7.0 mi.)


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    Comments (2)

    1. I had no clue about this college.
      However,I had an encounter with this person
      Who said she was “content” I found her to be very silly and playful ~

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