William and Mary University: Hair-Raising Tales of A Haunted Campus

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If you are a history or a horror buff visiting the Colonial Williamsburg area, William and Mary University is a must stop on your itinerary. This haunted campus possesses a distinct and tormented history that is sure to bring out goosebumps in even the warmest of weather. 

William and Mary Campus
William and Mary Campus

History of William and Mary: The Haunted Campus

William and Mary University was established in 1693 and is considered the oldest higher learning institution in the entire U.S. country. The campus is spectacularly beautiful. Lovely brick buildings stand among delightful and charming landscaping touches. This haunted campus was founded by King William III and Queen Mary II of England. 

Because of its longstanding existence within the Williamsburg area of Virginia, this University has seen its share of horrific historical and otherwise frightening events. This haunted campus stood tall during both the Revolutionary and Civil wars. Many reports exist of spooks and spectors roaming residence halls, buildings, and the rest of the campus. 

Tours/ Resources/ Apps: Haunted Campus

Williamsburgghosttour.com offers regular ghost tours of the William and Mary campus nightly. The prices range from $15 to $21 depending on which tour you choose. They run from 60 to 90 minutes each. If you are more interested in touring on your own, information is available about  ghosts and hauntings of the college on the website. 

They also offer a self guided tour which is available by phone app for $4. The self guided tour takes approximately 2 hours and is more than worth the purchase price. All tours include a walk and history of the Colonial Williamsburg area as well. 

Haunted Campus Stories

1. The Brafferton House

The Brafferton House: William and Mary
The Brafferton House: William and Mary

The statuesque building known as the Brafferton House was built as a school and housing institute for the Native Americans that lived in the state of Virginia. The goal of the school was to assist the boys to assimilate into American culture. They taught the children to speak the English language and more. 

What happened at this school was far from civilized. The boys who lived there were abused, beaten, locked up at night and kept from their families. They were exposed to diseases and generally treated very poorly. 

One particular boy was said to have tried to escape on many occasions. One fateful night, his lifeless body was found laying in a ditch. Many students and faculty on campus have reported hearing his footsteps or the sound of a tom tom drum playing. 

2. Tucker Hall

Tucker Hall
Tucker Hall

Tucker Hall is considered to be one of the most haunted buildings on the William and Mary Campus. It is said that many students have taken their lives in this cursed hall. 

One of the more famous ghostly stories of Tucker Hall is of one particular student who was riddled with anxiety related to her studies. This girl, afraid of not passing her upcoming exam, walked to a nearby restroom and hanged herself. Years later, another student was found dead in the exact same location with a note reading “She made me do it.”

People have reported that a ghostly figure has approached and asked if they were worried about their studies. If they responded in any way that they were fine, the figure would respond with rage. Banging and noise would ensue. 

Some students and faculty report that sometimes at night that a light can be seen from one of the top floor windows. The building is currently empty due to renovations. 

3. President’s House

The President of the University still resides at the President’s house on Campus. This building is reported to have its own share of hauntings. It is no wonder with the history that it has endured. 

This particular building was once used to house wounded soldiers after the Battle of Williamsburg in 1862. Many people suffered and died in and around this location. 

One strange story about the President’s house is that one of its interior doors refused to stay shut even after being repaired by a handyman. The handyman on call reported that there was nothing wrong with the door. It just wouldn’t close. At a later date, an unidentified set of bones was found in brick behind the door. They were removed and the door was, suddenly, able to close. 

Current and former residents of the home have reported women weeping, apparitions, and window writings. This house is occupied to this day and continues to receive haunted reports. 

4. Tunnels of the Haunted Campus

An entire set of underground tunnels used to exist under the campus.  These tunnels led from the crypt to the Wren building. They became a large problem during hazings and such from fraternities and other student use. Due to these problems,the tunnels were eventually closed off. One entrance remains but is sealed. 

If you look down this particular grate and use your flashlight, you can still see a cobblestone path. Because many crimes and unmentionable experiences took place in the tunnels, they too, are said to be haunted. 

People have reported hearing ghostly screams, cries, and laughter. One person even reported seeing footsteps in the water. 

Students caught entering the tunnel system by way of the grate are immediately expelled from the college. 

Check out colonialghosts.com for more ghost stories related to this haunted campus. 


Fun Activity:

1. Tyler Garden

Tyler Garden William and Mary from wm.edu

The Tyler Garden contains three bust statues of Tyler family members. Lyon Tyler, John Tyler, and John Tyler. The Tyler family has deep rooted connections with William and Mary college. It is a fact that up to 30 members of this prominent family has attended the university. The garden stands as a memorial and was dedicated to the college in 2004. 

This is a very special place to visit. The three busts face a building with a lovely brick courtyard. If you stand directly on the center brick and face away from the busts and speak, a strange thing happens. There is an acoustic anomaly that you will experience in this exact spot. Give it a try when you visit this college. It is a unique and interesting activity. 

Don’t forget to take time to read and appreciate the statues that stand in the garden. This is a learning experience after all. 

For more wonderful and beautiful places to visit in the fall, check out this awesome article!!


William and Mary is a university with a sordid history. Since it is one of the oldest standing educational institutions of its kind, it only seems reasonable that there are many stories circulating amongst alumni and faculty alike. The college has seen over 300 years of strife, battle, horrific events, and interesting characters. 

This is a must see campus when visiting the Williamsburg, Virginia area. It is simply stunning. Take a stroll through the Sunken Garden, take a peak at the Wren building, and be sure to check out the cemetery. While you visit this beautiful campus, be prepared to encounter eerie happenings. This haunted campus is sure to bring chill to a warm day. 

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