Fordham’s Haunted Dorms: Creepy ghost children, a man disappearing into walls, priests blessing haunted dorms, and more, about in these haunted dorms at Fordham University in the Bronx, NY.

This episode is a look at some of Fordham University’s “less haunted” dorms: meet the ghosts of Loschert Hall (formerly called Alumni Court North), O’Hare Hall (formerly called Millennium Hall), Martyrs’ Court, and Loyola Hall.

Highlights include:
• Thoughts about hauntings based on recent deaths
• Some debunking attempts
• Sleep paralysis
• A dorm built on the former site of a cemetery

Episode Script for Fordham’s Haunted Dorms

DISCLAIMER: I’m providing this version of the script for accessibility purposes. It hasn’t been proofread, so please excuse typos. There are also some things that may differ between the final episode and this draft script. Please treat the episode audio as the final product. 

Note: For this version of the script, I tried to censor students’ names. Everyone I mention by name was quoted and named on the record in publicly accessible articles, but many of the articles exist in PDF form in the university’s archives and are not indexed by search engines. I don’t want to screw up the SEO on anyone’s name, so if you want to see full names, check out the sources or listen to the episode. 

 

Alumni Court North (now called Loschert, renamed in 2008) (1987)

  • I mentioned a 2017 Observer article by Zoe S—-, which had some great accounts of Fordham hauntings, so here’s another story from that article:
    • The article recounts another story, from Tiffany K—-, class of 07, whose friend lived in a rare single room in Alumni Court North, a dorm right next to Queens Court. The friend called her, shaken, and said he head a knocking sound in the room. K—- said it was just his imagination and that he should go back to sleep. I want to read the next paragraph from the article:
      • “But, K—-’s friend couldn’t go back to sleep, “He calls me again later in the night, saying his bed shook and that he was going to sleep next to the guard that night.” The next day, K—- and her friend looked for clarity in one of the priests, “The priest was like ‘Oh, that’s so and so. I guess he moved to your dorm. Come let’s go to your room.’ So, the priest grabs some holy water, the Bible, and candles. We head over to the dorm, and we light the candles, and he opens the door and starts praying.” Unlike the other stories, K—-’s story has a happy ending, ‘All the freshmen around us must have been so freaked out, but whatever he did worked. Nothing ever happened again after that.'”
        https://fordhamobserver.com/33317/features/fordham-frights-the-ghosts-that-haunt-our-school/
    • A commenter on collegeconfidential related this story:
      • “I think it was North, on Thanksgiving break, everyone went home except for me and two other girls on my floor because we all had this one philosophy professor who assigned a 10-15 page paper 1st semester Freshman year. Granted my floor was deserted and I hung out with one of the girls all the time during that break. She was out getting McD’s. I lived near the stairs and I was in my room when I heard laughing and running down the hall. I ran to my door and looked out in the hall way to catch my friend or the other girl to see if they wanted to hangout and no one was there. Also, no slamming of a door down the hall like they had run into their room(s). I just chalked it up to people in the building really bored. “

 

O’Hare (2000)

  • A website called theramrealm.com had a 2014 article that mentioned the O’Hare Hauntings:
    • Tragedy supposedly struck O’Hare when a worker fell from the roof back while it was being built — though no legitimate source has verified this. Still, rumors ran rampant when students started hearing weird sounds that reminded them of construction, on the upper floors. One current resident who was familiar with the tale still lets it get to her, and “refuses to take the stairwells at night.” She said she hears weird sounds late at night, and being afraid of ghosts as is, she said she’s “let the tale get in her head, and [doesn’t] take any chances.
  • So, this article says that no legitimate source has verified the death of the worker: that’s not true, but I don’t blame the author for not knowing, because I’ve only been able to find one source anywhere on the internet that mentions the construction worker by name.
  • The Fordham library website mentions him, though not by name, in their write up of the haunting:
    • Though one of the newer dorms on campus (built in 2000) O’Hare has a ghost of its own.
    • One of the construction workers had a heart attack while working on the roof and fell tragically to his death. Students have reported the sound of hammering in the walls as if the spirit of the man is still trying to finish the job.
  • There’s an article in The Ram from 03/23/2000, called Construction worker dies in tragic accident.
    • This is a really sad story. I feel like the ghost story about O’Hare gets repeated ad nauseum, but no one talks about the man who died, and what his story was, so I wanted to share some of the details of who this person was.
    • A 42-year-old man from Wallkill, NY, was on the scaffolding between the 4th and 5th floors, near where the north and west wings of the building connect. He fell face down on a pile of rocks on Friday, March 10, 2000. When the student EMS service and the fire department arrived, they pronounced him dead.
    • After his death, a Jesuit named Joseph Currie, said a prayer and recited Psalm 23. One of the man’s coworkers said the Our Father, and another coworker said the Serenity Prayer.
    • That afternoon, Fordham’s head of security, John Carroll, Currie, and Sean C—-, one of the man’s coworkers, went to the his family’s home. He was married and had kids, so he left behind his wife a 20-year-old son, a 14-year-old son, and a daughter who had just turned 12.
    • The man’s hobbies including fishing and acting in local plays: he was involved  with the local Gilbert & Sullivan Theater Society, and was in Kismet, Sweeney Todd, The Most Happy Fella, and other plays.
    • 250 people attended his funeral.
    • At the time of this article, it sounds like had been discussion of memorizing him in some way; the priest, Currie, suggesting naming the wing of the building that he had been working on after him. I don’t believe that happened, though I never lived in O’Hare so am a lot less familiar with that building, but I read about O’Hare on Fordham’s website and couldn’t find any mention of him on that page, or on a search of Fordham.edu.
    • When I searched The Ram’s archives, I couldn’t find any other article mentioning him. I also googled his name and Fordham and couldn’t find any information about him.
      • NOTE: I say the deceased man’s name in the episode, and you can find it in my sources, but I kept it out of the shownotes in case his name is intentionally not easily findable online.
  • I don’t know. The O’Hare haunting story really sits poorly with me. I think part of it may be that it’s a recent haunting. I feel like it’s maybe a bit closed-minded to say something like, “ghost stories about recent deaths are in bad taste,” because it is possible that someone may have experienced real phenomena that could be attributed to the spirit of someone who’s recently deceased.
  • But this whole thing, to me, smacks of turning a pretty recent death into a “spooky story,” which . . . I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel right to me. I think also that there’s something that seemed really cruel to me, in reading that article: there’s that mention of the priest floating the idea of naming a wing of the building after him, but I don’t think that actually happened, and there’s basically no mention of him online? I don’t know, if you lived in O’Hare Hall and know of any kind of plaque or anything mentioning his death, definitely let me know, I’m curious if that exists.

 

Martyrs’ Court (1950-1951)

  • Supposedly the ghost of a little girl haunts Martyrs. There are stories of students pulling back a shower curtain to find a little blonde girl standing in the shower, staring straight ahead. Some people have claimed to hear children’s laughter echoing from the walls.
    • In the past, I found this not credible at all. Sounds like the preoccupation of folks who’ve watched a lot of horror movies with creepy kids. I can’t imagine what a little kid might be doing on a college campus–I’m not familiar of any stories about young girls on campus. (there’s a boy’s prep school called Fordham Prep on campus, but they don’t admit girls.)
    • However, there’s at least one firsthand account that I found, with specifics and with a named person going on the record to talk about it, so I am reconsidering, though I still have no idea who that little girl would be.
    • It’s been bothering me for years, but I found a possible theory for who the girl might be in The Big Book of New York Ghost Stories by Cheri Farnsworth (2019). To read from the book:
      • “Who the child was is anyone’s guess. She was too young to be a former university student. But she might be a deceased descendant of the Corsa family. The subtitle of a New York Times article dated June 9, 1899, said a “Descendant of Andrew Corsa Claims Some of the Property on Which St. John’s, Fordham, Stands.”
      • According to the article, a Mrs. Davensport Bolsbridge claimed that her first husband, John H. Corsa, the grandnephew of Andrew Corsa, had refused to sign a release for a man who had purchased the property from Andrew’s widow, Ann. Because of financial difficulties, she was seeking the property on behalf of her children, who, she said, were “in sore need of any property which may be rightfully theirs.” Do her children, the direct descendants of Andrew Corsa, now inhabit the Fordham grounds?”
  • I can’t tell you how excited I was to come across a possible explanation for the haunting.
  • I also found two stories about Martyr’s Court hauntings that were in The Ram, The Haunted History of Fordham’s School Spirits, October 25, 2017 by Julia B—- ( https://thefordhamram.com/58141/culture/haunted-history-fordhams-school-spirits/):
    • “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 W—-, 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 F—-, 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.”
  • I hadn’t heard of this apparently infamous bathroom blessing, but sounds interesting.
  • I also found this story about Martyr’s Court, which I found reposed from elsewhere on College Confidential:
    • Residents have reported seeing a young, blond-haired girl standing in the shower, behind the curtain, staring straight ahead. The dean’s response when they wanted to move was “It’s March. This sort of thing happens all the time, and worse, so just try to turn the other cheek.” They also report seeing a man walking by their rooms, in the direction of a wall at the end of the hall. When they would go out to see who it was, he’d be gone, also hear children’s laughter in the walls of their apartment.
    • I also found another person, commenting on that thread on College Confidential, who shared their own story about Martyrs:
      • I’m not sure if this is the same ghost…but I did see a blonde girl sitting on the toilet in the toilet stalls in Martyrs’…when I went back and checked, there was no one there. A couple weeks back I also saw someone sitting in one of the lounges but there wasn’t anyone there when I turned around. Of course, it might be my mind playing tricks on me but I think it’s much cooler to say that I saw ghosts rather than I was imagining things
      • https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/t/haunted/245728/8
    • From unexplainable.net
      • “Known as one of the larger dormitories on campus, Martyr’s Court has at least two ghosts haunting the grounds. First, residents have come in contact with a young girl with blond hair who has been seen standing behind the curtains of the shower. She always seems to be staring straight ahead. Another ghost is that of a man who has been reported to walk by the rooms of residents, heading towards a wall located at the end of the hall. When attempting to investigate his identity, he has vanished before curious students had a chance. In the apartments, some students claim to hear the laughter of children in their walls.”

Walsh Hall / 555

  • In the 11/7/02 issue of The Ram, a student named Alycia M—- recounts some of her paranormal experiences when she was living Walsh 605:
    • On the first week of school, she and her roommate set their clocks together, and a week later, her roommate’s clock was 15 mins ahead of hers. The roommate synced up their clocks again, and then M—-‘s clock was 15 mins ahead.
    • She also used to hear their shower running at night, and their doors slowly opening and then slamming shut. Her roommate verified the sounds as well.
    • One of her suitemates had a small table fan, which would turn on and off, on and off, by itself. They checked the plug and the switch and everything seemed normal.
    • The student talks about some other stories she’d heard, like a friend of hers who was at Rodrigue’s, the student-run coffee shop, which has a narrow sort of catwalk ledge thing around its interior. The friend heard someone walking above him, but no one was there.
    • Sidenote, here’s the story behind Rodrigue’s:
  • NYC Landmarks describes it as a “small Greek Revival house” and says its original purpose was unclear. It may have been the home of William Rodrigue, John Hughes’ brother-in-law. Rodrigue was an architect who was involved with designing the University Church and St. John’s Hall. He was also a math and engineering professor at the school.
    • Rodrigue may have designed this building for his family to live in while he worked on the church and St. John’s Hall, but NYC Landmarks points out that the style is more like the Rose Hill Mansion than the Gothic Revival structures Rodrigue is responsible for. The date “1840” appears on a stone beneath the attic window (predating the school’s founding.)
    • “In any event, the house soon became the Parish house and office of the pastor of St. John’s Church, and later served as the college infirmary, earning the nickname the “Pill-box”. Offices of the “Fordham Monthly” and t he “Ram” were subsequently housed in the building, and for a time a bakery in the basement produced a campus specialty, “Fordham Buns”. Prior to being occupied by the Housing office, the building contained Alumni offices.”
    • Landmarks report RE: Alumni House / Rodrigue’s: http://s-media.nyc.gov/agencies/lpc/lp/1084.pdf
  • I will say, the Mason frequently mentions her interest in John Edward, the medium, so she’s definitely someone primed to believe in the paranormal. Doesn’t mean the things she saw weren’t paranormal, though.

 

Loyola/Faber

  • Loyola Hall and Faber Hall are two interconnected buildings that students didn’t live in when I was in school.
  • Loyola was built, I believe, 1928. Faber was built in 1959.
  • When I was a student, Loyola was just a Jesuit residence, and Faber was a departmental office building (there may have been classrooms too, but not sure.) Now, about 125 freshmen live in Loyola, and there are two floors of Faber where freshmen and transfer students live. Faber was renovated for students to live there in 2016, and I’m not totally sure when the switch to having students Loyola happened, but it was sometime in the last decade, which also means that there’s been less time for ghost stories to accumulate online about these buildings.
  • However, I expect there to be ghost stories that start to circulate about these buildings, 1) because Fordham’s real haunted, and 2) because Faber is built on top of the former location of the university’s cemetery.
  • According to a Ram article from October 21, 1999, at one point, the university cemetery was where Faber hall is now built. I mentioned this is a past episode, but the cemetery was originally where the botanical gardens are now (or some people say it’s where the old gym was, but I think the botanical gardens are more likely.) The bodies were disinterred and were moved from there to where Faber is now, then moved to their current location. I think I read this in an earlier episode, but to refresh your memory:
    • “The cemetery, which dates back to 1847, has not been significantly changed since 1959, when bodies were moved due to the construction of Faber Hall.”
  • There’s also a 1976 article that says it was moved in ’59 to make way for Loyola Hall–Loyola and Faber are connected.
  • This is from a 2016 article called “Fordham University Is Straight Out of A Horror Movie” published on theodyssesyonline.com. The person who wrote the article lived in Loyola, and here’s what she had to say about it:
    • “My home for the last year, and Father Joseph McShane’s former room, Loyola 415 is one of the lesser known haunted rooms on campus. Living there from 1992 to 1996, Father McShane has noted the room as the “best room on campus,” at least in his opinion. However, even with the best view on campus, 415 is not without recurrent spooky moments. Father McShane notes “One oddity of the room: I was awakened every morning at around 5 when the steam heat started up and the pipes banged to beat the band.” This occurrence as well as a few others have occurred during my time in the room. Late at night, construction work can be heard from the room, and not any other. My roommates and I have also witnesses the closet opening on its own many a time. While it was pretty spooky we may just be chickens.”

 

Don’t miss past episodes about Fordham’s history and hauntings:

Sources consulted RE: Fordham’s Haunted Dorms

See sources page for the full source list for the series

Books consulted

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