These University Ghost Stories Will Keep You Up Tonight

Whatever you do, don’t look over your shoulder.

Failed thesis defense and final exams aren’t the worst university ghost stories out there. Some are even more horrifying, sans professors and deadlines. The following stories are sure to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Read on if you dare, and whatever you do, don’t look over your shoulder.

The retreat rooms at University of St. La Salle

Every student has probably stepped inside a retreat and recollection center. Sometimes, they’re as peaceful as they're intended to be. But most of the time, you can’t deny that they’re pretty damn creepy. Old wood, old interiors, and lots of crosses spell spooky.

During a writing conference that was taking place at University of St. La Salle in Bacolod, Anne* was assigned to a room on the ground floor of Sanctuario de La Salle, the retreat center on campus.

On the first night of her stay, Anne fell asleep early and dreamt of an old woman with long white hair and wrinkly hands hugging her side. Anne was paralyzed with fear, and when she tried to force her subconscious to wake up from the dream, the old woman only hugged her tighter and whispered sinister sounding nonsense in her ear. When the old woman began to scrape her fingernails against her skin, that’s when Anne woke up.

Taking shallow breaths, she opened her eyes and found that she was now lying on the edge of the bed, and the big space next to her was wrinkled, as if someone had lain beside her.


When she looked at the clock, it was 3:00 a.m.

Later that day, she asked the workshop facilitators about the building she was staying in. That’s when they informed her that a nun used to sleep in the exact same room.

The friar of Benavides Park, University of Santo Tomas

University of Santo Tomas (UST) is the oldest university in the Philippines, and probably in Asia, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the university is rife with ghost stories. With its 400-year-history, UST has survived everything from the Spanish colonial era to the Japanese occupation, both of which were some of the bloodiest periods of our time. For a while, UST’s Sampaloc campus was converted into a internment camp by the Japanese to hold Americans under extremely bad conditions. While a lot of Americans died during that time, this story isn’t about an American but the mysterious Dominican priest roaming UST’s Lover’s Lane and Benavides Park.

One day, Raphael* was rushing home to catch a UV Express after his last class ended late. He took the Lover’s Lane shortcut to get to the nearest gate, and as he was walking, he felt the humid weather suddenly turn cool.

Too much in a hurry to pay attention to that fact, Raphael kept walking and passed a figure strolling slowly towards him, wearing a Dominican habit that looked different, older than the ones the campus friars wore. When Raphael reached him, he bowed his head slightly and greeted the friar, still the respectful Catholic student no matter how much of a rush he was in. The friar didn’t say anything.

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But when his eyes peered down as he was bowing his head, he saw that the friar had stopped walking. And his feet weren’t touching the ground. The friar didn’t greet him back.

Raphael felt the air still, and his fight and flight instinct kicked into overdrive. He ran as fast as he could, holding his breath until he was out of the park and at the main gate.

The Haunted Room in University of the Philippines – Diliman

Home to the College of Education, Benitez Hall is one of the oldest buildings on the UP – Diliman campus. No surprise, it’s also the most haunted and home to some of the scariest university ghost stories. Add the fact that it was used as a Japanese interrogation camp, and you can see why so many ghost stories surround the building, including the following urban legend.

One rainy evening, a female instructor of the university ran to Benitez Hall to seek shelter from the sudden downpour. When she saw the guard at the building, she asked if she could stay inside the building until the rain stopped. The guard was hesitant at first, but the teacher was desperate, and so he let her stay in a classroom in the building. Before he left her there, he told her not to open the door until he came back for her when the rain stopped.

A few minutes after he left, she heard footsteps, followed by a slow knock on the door. When she went to the peephole to check that it was the guard on the other side, she only saw red. Confused, she went back to her spot and waited until the rain let up and the guard returned.


When the guard came back for her, she told him what happened. That’s when he told her about the ghost who roams the building, with bright red eyes.

Jun-Jun, the friendly fencing ghost of Ateneo de Manila University

The Blue Eagle Gym is a pride of Ateneo de Manila University. One of the largest university gymnasiums in the country, it’s been there even before Ateneo moved from its Manila Campus to Quezon City. The Blue Eagle Gym is home to many sports teams, including the Ateneo fencing team, who has had its own supernatural encounters in the building.

Jennifer*, a fencer on the Ateneo team, was practicing and joking around with her teammates, while her coach was facilitating their training session. All of a sudden, in the middle of training, the coach stopped talking and advised his fencers to not turn around. Someone was staring at them.

A heavy silence fell over the confused group. Jennifer could feel that something was off, and when she asked her coach what was wrong, he told them that he could see a child peering through the dark corners of the gym.

This wasn’t the first time or the last time that had happened, and for the most part, the ghost of the child in the gym has left them alone. The team named the ghost “Jun-Jun” since it was a kid. 

*Names have been changed at the request of the students and alumni who shared their university ghost stories. 

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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