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Hobson Hall

Hobson Ghosts: Past and Present

One of the more recent tragedies to occur at Ursinus College took place in Hobson and has managed to leave a mark that has lasted at least two decades. See, according to an article in The Grizzly, a popular, beloved student that roomed in Hobson “passed away” in 1993 “due to medical causes” while in her room at Ursinus[1]. Then, since 1999, different Ursinus students have reported Supernatural sensations and happenings in the residency hall, culminating in an attempt to contact the spirit via Ouija board[2]. According to the students who made this attempt to contact the ghost, they discovered that the supernatural presence was indeed the ghost of the girl who died there several years previously (who shall be referred to in this document and related discussion as Ghost T for sensitivity concerns). Yet this ghost claimed to not be alone in the house, but was rather watching over another ghost, Ghost Kenny, who had supposedly passed away in a car crash that happened in front of the residency hall an unspecified number of years previously[3].  Evidently, while both ghosts caused mischief within the house, Ghost Kenny took the brunt of the blame, despite Ghost T being the older of the two and who claimed to be taking care of Ghost Kenny[4].

Haunted Ursinus: Good Ole' Ghost Stories Something Wicked This Way Comes

In publications of The Grizzly, since the Montgomery Ghosts, Ghost T and Ghost Kenny have been referred to as explicitly benevolent spirits. However, this narrative of benevolence is undercut when one of the articles also calls Ghost T’s human housemates “prey” for the ghost [8]. This struggle between narrative and reality is relatively important to this ghost story because it is tied specifically to the place of Hobson Hall and also to the memory of the girl who passed away.

Since she had been described as kind and open-hearted and well-liked in life, it would make sense for interpreters of the story to want to construe Ghost T as a pure reflection of Living T and what she stood for – hence the ghost’s stated desire to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree in the afterlife [9]. Decades later, Ursinus still attempts to cope after this student’s death, despite the current students having not attended the college during the time the incident occurred. This particular incident, since it occurred within living memory, provides a personal touch to ghost stories and ghost origins that might not be as felt with distant lore of tragic lovers whom no one personally knows. Yet plenty of current professors at Ursinus are still relatively old enough to remember Ghost T when she still lived - for them, she exists as a different kind of ghost: a memory that will never fade.

 


[1] Dan Devlin, “Hobson Ghosts: Past and Present,” The Grizzly (Collegeville, PA), Oct. 28, 2004.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Charles J. Adams III, “The Eerie Side of Ursinus,” in Montgomery County Ghost Stories, (Reading: Exeter House Books, 2000): 165-170.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Joe Walsh, “Haunted Ursinus: Good Ole’ Ghost Stories,” The Grizzly (Collegeville, PA), Nov. 5, 2009.

[9] Dan Devlin, “Hobson Ghosts: Past and Present,” The Grizzly (Collegeville, PA), Oct. 28, 2004.