YOUNG VOICES

Halloween 2016: The UK's Five Most Haunted Universities Will Spook Even The Most Cynical Students

Has your university made the list?

25/10/2016 16:24

There is a ghostly legend at almost every university across Britain - a corner of the library where things mysteriously disappear, an old stone staircase to be avoided on dark nights.

But some institutions are more haunted than others, with hair-raising tales spooky enough to strike terror into the hearts of even the most cynical students on Halloween...

Christ’s College, University of Cambridge

Sebastian Ballard
The ghost of murderous fellow Christopher Round is said to haunt the college's pool on the anniversary of his crime 

It’s rumoured the ghost of one of the school’s fellows haunts the grounds of Christ’s College, Cambridge after jealousy got the better of him one fateful night in the mid-nineteenth century.

Christopher Round was courting a local lady when he found out another of the school’s fellows, Philip Collier, was also seeing her. Round burned with jealousy and a rivalry quickly formed between the two young men.

When Collier fell into the college pool on a drunken night out, Round took his chance to eliminate the competition. Round moved quickly, grabbing a branch from one of the college’s oldest trees.

But rather than helping his fellow student, Round used the branch to hold the man under water, watching until he finally stopped struggling.

It’s reported that every year on 29 May, the ghost of Round wanders around the college pool, his guilty moans echoing through the Fellows’ building where he lived.

St Andrews, Scotland

University of St Andrews
At more than 600 years old, St Andrews is Scotland's oldest university - and one of the spookiest 

St Andrews is one of the oldest universities in Britain, so it’s hardly surprising that it’s said to be home to a number of ghosts.

But it is the White Lady of the Haunted Tower that is the institution’s most famous apparition.

In 1868, two stonemasons were repairing the walls of the tower when they stumbled across a sealed chamber. Intrigued, the pair broke in, finding several coffins before them.

One of the caskets lay open, the body of beautiful young woman in a long white dress lying preserved within.

Since her resting place was disturbed, the figure of woman in a glowing white gowns is said to wander through the famous sea mists of St Andrews. 

Royal Holloway, University Of London

Royal Holloway University of London
The grisly oil painting has hung in the university since it was founded in 1866 

It may not be the most obvious of spooks, but an oil painting at Royal Holloway has had students gripped with fear for centuries.

Edwin Landseer’s 1864 painting ‘Man Proposes, God Disposes’ has hung in the college since it opening in 1866. The gory picture depicts a pair of polar bears devouring the body of explorers from a doomed Arctic expedition. 

But the bloody nature of the painting is not the reason why students still demand it is covered with the Union Jack during exams. 

It is said that an early student at the university went mad during an examination after looking directly the image. She swiftly killed herself, but not before writing “The polar bears made me do it”on her exam paper...

University of South Wales  

JennyUWN
A six-foot tall matron named Big Bertha died in mysterious circumstances over the Christmas holidays in 1961 

The spectre of a six-foot tall matron is reported to be a common sight among staff and students at the University of South Wales. 

The formidable phantom, known as Big Bertha, is said to have wandered the halls of the university since her suspicious death in 1961, still dressed in her sensible brown smock. 

The body of 60-year-old Bertha was found at the bottom the stairs after toppling over a second storey bannister during the Christmas holidays.

But with no students at the college at the time, many have questioned why she would be on the second floor. So did she fall, or was she pushed? 

Some say the ghost of the imposing matron refuses to leave the university until the circumstances of her death are discovered.

But the most spine-tingling element of the story? Big Bertha’s identical twin turned up to the funeral.

A twin no-one had ever heard about…

St John’s College, University of Oxford

Ben Gallagher
The headless apparition of the university's former chancellor has been seen kicking his severed head through the library on dark nights

For any students reluctant to head to the library, the legend of the headless ghost of Archbishop William Laud might be enough to put them off all together. 

Laud was the Archbishop of Canterbury when he was impeached and beheaded in 1645 by his political enemies. 

But before he became the head of the Anglican Church, the formidable archbishop was the chancellor of Oxford University, and it is here his spirit has supposedly returned to. 

It is said that the ancient spectre of the Archbishop walks the halls of the library late at night, kicking his severed head along the floor with a candle in his hand.  

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS