Ghostly tour set to tell haunting stories of campus sites

With the help of Eerie Erie owner Rachel Jessup, Gannon University’s Alumni Association will be hosting a virtual ghost tour Thursday at 7 p.m.

During this tour, called Ghosts of Gannon, there will be multiple stops at historic buildings around campus to tell the mysteries surrounding them, focusing on spooky,  mysterious and odd stories

Ashley Dinger, the record coordinator in the Registrars’ Office, will be attending Thursday’s event.

“I always love a good ghost story,” she said.

She finds it exciting that there are stories in the place she works, Gitnik Manse, saying, “It will be great to know some of the buildings that I go in and out of every day may possibly have a few hidden faces around. I’ve always been intrigued about the history of buildings.”

Some of the spots that will be included on the tour include, but are not limited to Old Main, Gitnik Manse – the admissions office — Nash Library, Schuster Theatre and Friendship Green.

Rumor has it that Gannon is haunted, with one hot spot for paranormal activity in one of the university’s fraternity houses on campus, according to the “Most Haunted Places in Erie, PA” article on Haunted Rooms America’s website.

One of the most retold stories involves an incident that happened at a Halloween costume party in one of these houses. People say that a dark figure with a cowboy hat appeared randomly, which prompted one of the students to follow it.

Upon reaching the top of the staircase, this dark figure tipped his hat to the student and disappeared. After this occurrence, there were many reports of weird, unexplainable noises and movements happening in the fraternity house.

All of these were heard from the upstairs of the house, such as windows opening and closing, walking with no one there and random banging. A short time later, the man apparently reappeared to warn everyone to leave the house immediately, but he has not been seen since. Many debates question the truth behind this story. However, it has grown to be a popular story on campus around Halloween-time.

Many students have also reported strange activity Gannon’s Schuster Theatre. One of the stories that students still tell today is about George, who is an alleged ghost that haunts the theater to this day.

It is believed that George was a footman for the Strongs at the Strong Mansion (what is now Gannon’s Old Main). He was in love with a maid of the Strong family.

When this came to light, the Strongs immediately fired him. Shortly after, he took his own life for the rejection of love.

George is strongly associated with the Schuster Theater, and even moved locations when the theater did.

A story told by Seamus Clerkin, a senior theater and communications arts major, highlights how George is still active in the theater students’ lives “Back in the summer of 2017 before the Schuster Theater’s trip to Scotland, I had realized I left my boots in Schuster,” Clerkin said. “As I walked through the hallway, I heard some noises and saw some sets of clothes hangers swaying back and forth when th

ere was no draft.”

Clerkin went on to say that he figured it might’ve been George, so he decided to interact with him. “I said hello and continued on. As I was grabbing my boots, I felt a huge gust of wind hit me and a waft of thick cigar smoke come over the air.”

As Clerkin started to leave, things even got stranger.

“As I left the building, I saw dark shadow move in the distance. I said goodbye to George and ran out of there!”

Theater students know when George is around, noting the movement of props, the opening and closing of objects and the smell of cigar smoke in the room when he is present.

Celebrate Halloween safely with Gannon University and check out this spooky event. Go to to register. A Zoom link will be emailed out on the day of the event to those who registered.


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