From the Collegian Archives: Ghosts


We’ve all heard the rumours and stories about ghosts at Kenyon. From the Gates of Hell to the perils of Caples, we are a (supposedly) haunted school. In honor of Halloween, today I present a ghostly opinions piece from a 1996 issue of the Collegian. Now turn your attention to the writings of Mr. Tim Mutrie and his thoughts on ghosts at Kenyon.



Whether or not you chose to believe in any of it, Kenyonites are forced to reckon with the rumored presence  of the supernatural.

Most of the student body is made aware of this on prospective student tours. I remember my tour guide pointing out the Gates of Hell, which I still cannot pinpoint exactly. Is it the stone entrance to the southern part of Middle Path or the eerie maple tree between the library and Peirce that’s branches form a distinct trident?

While I have never seen any of the ghosts, spirits, or any of the mischievous deeds which may mark their presence, I find it difficult to exclude the possibility that they do exist. I did, however, see a bat in Nu Pi Kappa–make what you want of it. Nonetheless, I do not believe in ghosts, but if I saw one, this posturing would end abruptly–my eyes see perfectly.

Much of the Kenyon ghost tradition is steeped in rumor and embellishment. Most of it can be directly attributed to the deaths of Kenyon students and subsequent ghostly returns to their old digs, which is the typical m.o. for ghosts. You die and come back to where you used to hang, as if you had some unfinished business to attend to.

Tim Shutt, the resident ghost professor, knows more than anyone about these oral, and in some cases sparsely documented, traditions. If you do witness the para-normal, it is Shutt you should seek for counsel. The Security and Safety office no longer keeps ghostbusters on call to handle situations of this nature due to budget cuts.

In my travels, I have often fielded questions of the ghostly nature when I made it known that I was a Kenyon student. In all cases I have responded humorously to such inquiries, but these widespread rumors persist.

Such is the case with any stereotype, they must possess some degree of truth. With that in mind, I find difficulty casting off this matter of ghosts simply as nonsense; there is a fraction of truth to it. Take a look around campus and the greater Knox County area. You will be hard-pressed to find something: churches, old Victorian houses, Ascension Hall, Old Kenyon, Caples, which doesn’t strike you as odd, whether it’s the architecture alone or the overwhelming mystical aura. Ohio, the southeastern part in particular, is the infamous home for bouts with spirits and ghosts. People of this region find this less perplexing than most folks at Kenyom, as it is commonplace. This Halloween, be advised and be aware that there may be something or someone out there: behind you, above you, beneath you, who may or may not like you at all; but whatever you do, do not venture down Lower Gambier Road after dark.

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