Chambersburg, PA - Wilson College

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Chambersburg, PA - Wilson College

Post by LDG on Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:39 pm

On 13/04/08 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote:By Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Gettysburg might get all the attention when it comes to ghosts in
south central Pennsylvania. But they can appear anywhere, even on college
Twenty-five miles west in Chambersburg, tiny Wilson College has a long
history of hauntings. Some of the greatest activity is reputed to occur in the
original Wilson College building, Norland Hall, which was built by Col.
Alexander McClure and his wife, Matilda, after their first home was burned by
Confederate forces in 1864.
Before the ornate Victorian was converted into an office in the late '80s,
the college used to put guests up in its large master bedroom. But it wasn't
always a good night's sleep.

"A lot of people have been very discomforted in that bedroom," says retired
FBI agent Athena Varounis, a 1976 alumna who is writing a book about the ghosts
of Franklin County. Those discomforted would include President Dwight D.
Eisenhower, who, according to local legend, was so unnerved by Norland Hall's
paranormal vibes that he refused to spend the night in its guest room. Neither
would renowned pianist Lili Kraus, who was interned by the Japanese during WWII,
said Ms. Varounis.

PG SEEN editor Marylynn Uricchio is another guest who got up close and
personal with the spirit who's said to haunt Norland Hall. When she was in high
school, her father gave a lecture at Wilson College, and he and his wife were
put up in the bedroom. Ms. Uricchio's cot was in a small adjacent dressing
Sometime during the night, she recalls, she heard a creak that snapped her
instantly awake. Looking up, she saw a distinguished older gentleman dressed in
a long robe and white ascot come out of the closet and walk across the room. He
sat down in a chair and nodded politely at her.
"I was fine until I knew he could see me," she recalls. "But when our eyes
met, I just knew" -- that she was seeing a ghost, that is.
Ms. Uricchio, who was 18 at the time, was so unnerved by the experience that
she crawled in bed with her parents.

In the lobby the next morning, she looked in a display case that held various
photos, swords and letters that had belonged to Col. McClure and instantly
recognized the kindly white-haired old man who'd given her that ghostly nod.
Was it Col. McClure? Who's to say? But it's one more experience that
indicates something otherworldly exists in the Norland Hall guest bedroom.

First published on April 13, 2008 at 12:00 am

A scary night at Wilson College

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