The Haunted History of Fordham’s School Spirits

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Marytrs’ Court is home to several ghosts, the most famous of which is a little girl who is known to lurk in the showers.

By Julia Boron

Marytrs’ Court is home to several ghosts, the most famous of which is a little girl who is known to lurk in the showers. (Fordham Ram Archives)

There are two types of people at Halloween. The first are those who live for pumpkins in any form possible (the carving, the eating of any and all things pumpkin and the never ending supply of pumpkin spice lattes.) These people love eating candy and the change of weather, but most importantly, they shudder at a bump in the night.

But let’s not forget about our friends who love to scare and be scared. They binge watch horror movies, go all out in attempts to scare their friends and relish in the adrenaline a haunted house provides. Luckily, these people may not have to travel as far for haunted houses as they think. What happens when Fordham has ghost stories and haunted houses of its own?

According to the Fordham University Library database, Fordham has its share of hauntings.

In the summer of 2003, before the fall semester had begun, RAs in Queens Court were making their rounds. They would always find the mattresses in one room propped up, rather than lying flat on the beds even when they fixed them. Spooky, huh? One night, an RA awoke to a knock at his door. He opened it to find an elderly Jesuit who said, “Someone must have been praying pretty loudly if they got me up at this hour. Sorry about that; it normally stays at the other end of the hall, but it must have gotten out. Don’t worry, I took care of it.” From then on, the mattresses stayed put on the beds. When the RA tried to figure out who the elderly man who he had seen was, he discovered that the only Jesuit bearing that description had died 10 years earlier.

Martyr’s is known to have a little girl ghost. This blonde spirit has been seen in the bathrooms and is said to like to lurk behind shower curtains. Bella Wood, FCRH ’20, had a dorm room freshman year was located directly next-door to the communal bathrooms. “Our bedroom door would open and close on its own on several occasions,” she said.

Monica Fufaul, FCRH ’18, had an even eerier Marytr’s experience her freshman year. “What happened was I woke up one morning around Halloween with sleep paralysis and I couldn’t move. I tried yelling my roommate’s name but I felt something like hands choking me. Above me was this floating, translucent figure-like girl with long hair that didn’t have a face but was still looking at me. When she finally disappeared I got this really calming feeling like nothing had happened but I was confused because I was sweating and shaking. I got really freaked out and couldn’t sleep the next few nights but got over it when our floor had our infamous bathroom blessing a few days later,” she said.

Though O’Hare is a newer building on campus, that does not exclude it from the supernatural. One of the construction workers had a heart attack while working on the roof, and unfortunately, he fell tragically to his death. It is rumored that students living in the building can hear construction noises in the walls, even though there is no work taking place.

On a late night in the 1970s, a security guard sat down to take a break in the basement of Keating. He heard a door slam, but he was alone. He then became quickly frightened when the chairs started moving and slamming themselves into walls. The guard ran from the building, never to return to campus again. It is rumored he even left his shoes behind in the great escape.

Hughes Hall was one of the filming locations for The Exorcist (1973). It also has a ghost child of its own: a boy who has been seen aimlessly wandering the halls. In addition to the mix of fright in Hughes, locked doors are known to fly open, with no explanation as to why.

Last, but certainly not least, is Finlay. Before Finlay became known for its cool lofts with the spiral staircases, it was home to Fordham’s Medical School. Up in the lofts, students could observe dissections of cadavers, and the basement was home to these lifeless bodies. One student, Mike Casale, FCRH ’20, had a great uncle who allegedly died in the building. “Keep your eye out for a man named Jack Galvin,” he said.

Students have reported waking up in the middle of the night feeling as though someone is grabbing at their throat or they feel tugging on their toes as if they were a cadaver being tagged. Erin Flynn, FCRH ’20, has had her own scary encounter. “I felt a hand gently resting on my shoulder twice while I was sitting at my desk. I was freaked out because it happened so close to my bed.”

With all this knowledge, please use your discretion, folks. Try to not to disrupt any ghosts. Let us all hope that, if Fordham does have ghosts, they are friendly.