Freaky Friday: The University of the South

Freaky Friday: The University of the South

This week, we travel to Sewanee, Tennessee, home to The University of the South, also known as “Sewanee.” Ghost stories seem abundant in the state of Tennessee, and Sewanee is no exception– There are even Facebook groups dedicated to the hauntings.

One group, created by Annie Armour, shares many hauntings about the campus.  As an employee of the duPont Library, Annie began collecting stories from the group’s members on Facebook for a book about Sewanee ghosts. Here is one spooky tale 

“I was studying on the 3rd floor of Walsh-Ellet one night and heard footsteps in the stairwell, I thought it was a friend coming to visit. I waited as the steps got closer & then nothing appeared in the hallway…I heard the steps pass by and then go down the other stairwell. I flipped & grabbed my stuff and ran home…. Also, have one from when I lived in Courts my junior year.  My suitemate saw a man enter our adjoining suite (my room) in a big 1920s fur coat all dressed up and she went in to confront the guy & he vanished. Our suite was on the 2nd floor in Courts facing the lake. My roommate & I would have our stereos & alarm clock turned off too, when we KNEW they were set properly!” — Victoria L.


Still, the most popular story is that of the ghostly form of a former student that wanders through buildings on campus. Nicknamed “Phantom Gownsman”, for the dark robes he wears, it is widely believed that the ghost was once a member of the campus group the Order of the Gownsman. The spirit is also headless, which is thought to have been the result of a tragic car accident.

Do you have stories about the “Phantom Gownsman” or other ghostly friends of Sewanee? We’d love to hear them – share with us in the comments below!

Check out more ghostly stories:

Freaky Friday: Franklin & Marshall

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