Drew University

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Many hauntings have been described at Drew University; for instance, in the Great Hall, which is quite like a castle, ghostly faces are said to appear in the ceiling carvings as the chandeliers swing by themselves. Also, a mirror reflects an apparition of a man in gold round spectacles. At the Arboretum, a spectral, filmy Lady in Blue lingers around the lake in back. And Hoyt Hall is rumored to be haunted by a girl who once hanged herself in the attic.

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    Geographic Information

    36 Madison Ave
    Madison, NJ 07940
    United States

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    40.76092740357487, -74.42593243717056
    Morris County, New Jersey
    Nearest Towns:
    Madison, NJ (0.5 mi.)
    Chatham, NJ (2.6 mi.)
    Florham Park, NJ (2.7 mi.)
    Summit, NJ (3.7 mi.)
    Morristown, NJ (3.8 mi.)
    Hanover, NJ (4.3 mi.)
    New Providence, NJ (4.5 mi.)
    Morris Plains, NJ (5.1 mi.)
    East Hanover, NJ (5.2 mi.)
    Short Hills, NJ (5.3 mi.)


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    1. I was a student at Drew University. My friends and I recall with slight horror and laughter some of the strange things that happened to us. I’m going to try to list the most poignant and “provable” ones based on witnesses and my personal traumatizing experience. I’ll go in order from least horrifying to most.

      Story 1- I’ve been in the arboretum more times than I can count- mostly hiding from public safety or getting into shenanigans most of the students would get into out there. My friend came running back from the lake out there to our group of friends yelling something about jade. Apparently a womanly figure who hovered over the lake told my friend I needed this stone- for what, I’d inquire over and over again. We’ll get to that…

      Story 2- I lived in Hoyt my senior year- the story goes the attic is haunted. Let me tell you- there is way more going on in that building than just the top floor. When I first moved in, I placed my stereo on my desk. I did not plug it in. Suddenly that evening as I was entertaining some friends and unpacking boxes, an old radio station started playing do-whop music. It stopped after a few seconds. I called the electrician on campus the next morning to see if he could figure out how this happened. He told me that it was possible that there were some currents still in the wire from when it was plugged in last (3 months prior??) and when I contested especially since he seemed unconvinced by his own words, he just shrugged, smirked and left. Months later, I heard the same music coming from the hallway. It was 2, maybe 3 in the morning. I cracked open my door, and saw a blue shadowy figure, which seemed like a older nurse pushing a cart with a radio on the bottom row. I obviously slammed my door and hid under the covers the rest of the night.

      Story 3: it was mid-afternoon. I had about five people hanging out in my room making music and drinking (I was a senior, so we could drink fellas). My bed served as a couch, as many do- it’s a college dorm. All the sudden, a red ball of energy floated down beside me between me and the person sitting next to me. It was clear as day- a red ball the size of maybe a tennis ball, glowing and floating as if sitting between us. Pressure filled the room. We all looked at it, and then each other, and we ran from the room and stood outside for a while before moving along with our day dismissing it as maybe we were crazy.

      Story 4- the attic. We all heard the stories of men who slept on the top floor with their girlfriends waking up bruised… I had a friend who lived up there so occasionally I’d climb the stairwell at night to visit her or head back to my place after a night of handing out. It was pouring rain one night, I want to say it was 1am. Lighting/thunder/ the whole bit- a serious storm. I was walking up the stairs, and suddenly my feet froze. I actually felt like I couldn’t climb the stairs between the third and fourth floors. Instinct made me look up, and all I saw were feet dangling from the ceiling- I couldn’t look anymore- I ran back down the stairs faster than I could think.

      Story 5- the basement. This is the most horrifying moment of my life to this day. I went to the basement about a month before winter break. One had to do laundry down there. Usually there was someone else switching laundry but I was particularly lazy on this day so I believe it was after midnight at some point. I was by myself, and walking down those stairs makes someone feel woozy during the daytime, let alone late at night. Kids would often pull pranks, too. I start switching my laundry from the washer to the dryer, and I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I quickly turned my head over to the gated-off area where the “underground tunnel” leads to town (where people often pulled pranks) and saw someone in a white T-shirt and jeans turn around away from me. I yelled, “knock it off,” at this figure. It Turned back around and I saw it’s face- gray, sunken, wrinkled. It was dressed like the 1950s greasers we have seen in movies like “Grease.” For months I saw this face- it was in every reflection. It was following me. I taunted it. It finally left me alone when I stayed with my friend in his guest room- his mother was a minister, so the guest room was covered in crosses and photos of priests. I am embarrassed to tell this portion of the story, but I was pinned on the air mattress, each limb like an “x.” I couldn’t move. I felt something climbing on top of me, I felt breath on my face. The little candle in the window above my head grew so bright and all the crosses on the wall started shaking. I screamed for help, hoping someone could wake me- I thought I was having a nightmare and just couldn’t wake up. The crosses started shaking so hard one fell to the ground, and that’s when I heard the footsteps racing down the stairs. The light returned to normal and the family flipped on the lights. I was still stuck to the bed, but I finally felt like it was gone. This was a week before returning to school. I moved forward like it was a nightmare and it couldn’t have happened. It was impossible. I’m a rational person, and everything about this experience was irrational. I did laundry in Spirituality house across the grass from Hoyt for a few months until it became a distant memory. The day I was too lazy to tote my laundry over there, I decided to be brave and do laundry downstairs again, but only during the day. The day I made this decision, I heard someone downstairs doing their own laundry. I pushed the door open. The door immediately slammed and I felt an abrupt cold rush of air coming straight at me. It was almost like a ghost planted itself in my head and it was yelling at me, “you let it out! Get the fuck out!” It was a man dressed like a priest. I stopped doing laundry in Hoyt.

      The above stories are my personal experiences. I can’t explain them. There are more but I don’t remember them vividly enough to write them down. Drew university is haunted, but by more than what stories claim. Whenever you ask a student about their experiences, you’ll get at least one story. Oh, I left you hanging about the Jade. It was said to me, a few years after I graduated that jade protects against evil. It always helps you in your dreams to understand. If I had this stone when my friend told me I needed it- I may have (and this is skepticism) been able to avoid the terrifying experience I had in the basement. I wear one around my neck most of the time a decade later.

      • Drew Special Collections  |  

        Hi RMB, I am very curious about your ghost encounter accounts. I work at Drew University Special Collections and we are collecting ghost accounts for a new website. The accounts can be submitted either as written documentation, audio or video submissions. If you are interested, please contact me at speccol@drew.edu.

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    Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. HauntedPlaces.org 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.