Mary Baldwin College

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Mary Baldwin College is a four-year liberal arts women’s college based in Staunton, VA. It was founded in 1842, and was originally called the Augusta Female Seminary.

There are several reported ghosts at the college:

A ghost known as “Richard” haunts the several areas, including the Administration Building, Wenger Hall and Grafton Library. At least one worker reports seeing him as a a blue-uniformed soldier, with gold buttons on his jacket. In general he is believed to be a playful spirit, hiding items and moving them around.

McClung dormitory is said to be haunted as well. A pale white figure has been seen floating above certain beds in that building, and a child’s handprint mysterious appears from time to time in the room where Mary Julia Baldwin once lived. Items are moved, inexplicably.

A security guard swears that he distinctly heard the sound of someone jumping off the diving board and splash into the pool in the King Building, but when he went to the pool to investigate there was no one there, and not a single ripple in the water.

There is even a “celebrity ghost” at MBC – that of actress Tallulah Bankhead, who attended the school in the early 1900s. She allegedly plays with the lights in the Collins Theatre, and moves objects around.

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Geographic Information

318 Prospect St
Staunton, VA 24401
United States

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38.1546524, -79.06944050000004
Nearest Towns:
Staunton, VA (0.4 mi.)
Jolivue, VA (3.1 mi.)
Verona, VA (4.7 mi.)
Fishersville, VA (6.7 mi.)
Churchville, VA (7.1 mi.)
Stuarts Draft, VA (8.8 mi.)
Mount Sidney, VA (9.3 mi.)
New Hope, VA (9.4 mi.)
Middlebrook, VA (10.6 mi.)
Lyndhurst, VA (11.0 mi.)

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  1. I used to live in the room next to Mary Baldwin’s room in McClung Dormitory (room 111) and then on several occasions I felt something in my room and at the time of the occurances I was the only one in the room. It was really weird because I was the only one in the room, my roommate Shoko hadn’t moved in yet and there was a presence in the room besides myself.

    • That’s so creepy but interesting. I am a senior at JMU this year and the only incidents I have had were in Rockingham Hall (now a parking lot) where I found a large handprint on the mirror after I showered. And last year I lived in Weaver Hall and heard odd banging sounds most nights and could never find anything that caused the noise. My roommate and I named the “ghost” Jerry. 🙂

  2. Hi! I an an Alumn of MBC (2013) and I came across this site because of reoccurring memories from a haunting that happened to me and my roommate in Tullidge dorm in 2011 that still appears in my dreams every now and then and I’d like to share one specific incident.

    Me and my roommate lived in the basement of tullidge for our sophomore year. Of my 4 years at MBC,my time in Tullidge wasn’t the most memorable due to the paranormal events I’ve experienced. Anyways. My roommate And I were sleeping in our room one night, and we both woke up with sleep paralysis. I wanted to scream but my body was in a shocked-state that I couldn’t move. I had no idea my roommate was going through the same experience at the same time. After my sleep paralysis went away I lied in bed relieved that it was over however I felt a strong presence next to my bed and I was so scared I didn’t want to turn my head. I close down my eyes and starting praying. As I prayed, my books on my bookshelf were knocked out of the shelf. I know they were secured tightly that there was no way my books could have fell unless something moved them.

    A minute after my books fell, my roommate was talking in her sleep saying “Lucy…is that you??” She repeated it out loud a couple more times and then I responded by telling her name to wake her up. We were both wide awake and she told me how she had sleep paralysis and She thought I was standing at the foot of her bed when she woke up but I never left my bed. This all happened around 3:30am. We didn’t go back to sleep after that.

    After she’s transferred to another college, I had the room to myself enduring further paranormal activities throughout the restaurant of sophomore year. To this day, I still have dreams of that in Tullidge that randomly occur.

  3. Hi! I am also an alumn of MBC (now MBU) and I used to do campus tours, so I made it my mission to find out all about the ghosts on campus.

    The Library is terrifying, especially after dark. There are all sorts of weird sounds that can be heard after 8pm. There is one end of the library where the study carrels are located, but it is really difficult to focus there; something likes to hover and whisper to late night studiers.

    Richard also used to haunt the area where the PEG building is now. It, along with most of the campus, was a hospital during the Civil War, and the ladies studying at the Seminary used to treat the patients and pray over them. Richard was likely a soldier that died under their care. Aside from moving things around, he causes mischief by touching people on the shoulder. I guess he moved on to McClung after the renovation in 2002.

    Mary Julia Baldwin herself is DEFINITELY a spirit there. Her house used to be in what is now McClung Residence Hall – they just built around her house. Yep – you heard me. The just built AROUND. HER. HOUSE. Resourceful, but creepy. Her bedroom is what is now room 14; there’s even a plaque with her birth and death dates by/on the door. What’s creepy is how she interacts with the living. As a child, she suffered from a horrible fever that left her face deformed, and she was incredibly embarrassed by it. Because of that, no one in room 14 has ever been able to keep a mirror in tact – She breaks them. That is also why you will only ever find paintings of the right side of her face.

    Later in life, the paralysis spread and she eventually became wheel chair bound. You can still hear the squeaking from her wooden wheel chair going up and down various parts of campus. And, since MBC is all hills, it is rumored that there are underground tunnels that travel from Downtown Staunton to upper campus, now Staunton Military Academy, but formerly stables, a huge orchard, and a lake.

  4. I attended Mary Baldwin from 1987-1988 and lived in Hilltop dorm on the first floor. One night in the spring of 1988, I woke up in the middle of the night and looked down from the top of my loft bed over to a desk at the foot of my roommate’s bed and saw a soldier standing there in full uniform (The image was gray and smoky and I felt that if I had touched it, my hand would have gone right through it.). The soldier/general? with his right hand on the edge of her desk, looking off. He had some sort of cane or staff in his left hand. I remember not feeling afraid, but thinking to myself that I was acutely seeing a ghost and I should have felt more afraid than I did. When I woke up in the morning my roommate said she had seen the same apparition. It’s been 32 years since this happened and I’m still curious as to who this man was!

  5. I graduated from Mary Baldwin in 2019. When I was sophomore, my roommate and I lived on the 2nd floor of Tullidge. One night we were in the bathroom and we were freaked out by a light fixture that was flickering – we knew there was water damage and attributed the flickering to that. Regardless, it scared us bad enough that we took off running back to our room. As I ran past one of the phones that hung on the wall, the received flew off and hit the wall right in front of my roommates face, almost as if it was trying to hit her? We were so scared we fell into our room on the floor and just sat there trying to figure out how that could have happened. When we opened the door to the hall, the phone was just hanging down there, swinging back and forth. A neighbor of ours later told us that she would sometimes see a black figure hanging outside our doorway when she would be coming back from the bathroom at night.

    I’ve heard classmates who lived on the basement level of Tullidge speak of knocking on their door, only to open and see no one in either direction. Often times, the knocking was followed by laughter of little boys – possibly those from SMA. A shadowy figure was sometimes seen right at the edge of the light in the hallway. All very creepy things.

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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.