By Taiba Azeem
Rumors regarding MacDonough Hall’s alleged haunting have become common
knowledge to SUNY Plattsburgh students and professors. The paranormal occurrences experienced by residents secured SUNY Plattsburgh a spot on the “Top 13 most haunted Colleges in New York State”.
Students residing in the Hall over the years have reported many mysterious incidents which is presumed to be the presence of a paranormal being. There have been multiple reports about toilets flushing on their own, lights flickering or shutting down, things falling off the shelves and doors opening or closing automatically. The second floor is thought to be the most haunted.
There are several theories about who or what is haunting the building. One is John Blanchard, a janitor at the college who committed suicide in 1917. However, the residence hall was built 24 years after the suicide. When the hall was being reconstructed, 2 graves and a bone were found. One grave was never identified, but the other belonged to Benjamin Vaughn (wife of the man who built the Kent Delord House), a museum and the oldest house in Plattsburgh.
While working on a YouTube series called ‘Plattsburgh Paranormal’ last fall, senior Maddie Stewart, covered the activities of Macdonough Hall but did not personally experience any unusual activities.
However, she said she has heard several anecdotes from her peers. During their research for the show, Stewart and her team found out about the unearthing of the graves and thought it was solid evidence that the Hall is haunted.
Many believe that the spooky events occur in the Hall because it is located right next to the Riverside Cemetery.
The Northern New York Paranormal Research Society (NNYPRS), a group based out of Malone and Albany that scientifically investigates claims of paranormal activity, payed a visit to the campus and inspected Macdonough Hall.
Kristina Lollo, a resident of Macdonough Hall in Spring 2020, said sometimes when she was using the bathroom in the middle of the night, the showers would abruptly start running water even though nobody else was in the bathroom. Sometimes she would wake up and find her window open and things on her desk rearranged that she didn’t remember moving. She lived in a single.
Lollo said she believes the Ghosts or the other beings that live there have fun pranking gullible students.
“I think the rumors surrounding the hauntings of Macdonough are so widely accepted and believed because a lot of people have had experiences like these and because we are gullible to our new environment,” Lollo said. “Being a student can be stressful and demanding, so I’d attribute some of the perpetuation and acceptance of these rumors to our attentiveness, or lack thereof, to things outside of our school work and our misunderstanding of how things in the building function and operate. Either way, I think it makes for some fun campus lore!”