For The Collegian
Don’t believe everything you hear. Penn State is host to a number of urban legends that may have some students fooled.
Murder in Pattee Library
“I know someone was killed in there,” Jeana Spearly (freshman-psychology) said. “It’s eerie and it’s silent. You feel like someone is lurking right around the corner.”
Spearly said getting lost in the library was no fun. Wandering around the musty, low-ceilinged corridors of the Pattee Library’s stacks, the building’s infamous murder story was enough to have her watching her back.
Some say the ghost of the murder victim still haunts the stacks.
“We get reports all the time, especially from women, that they feel like they have been attacked by some invisible force,” Ryan Buell, director of Penn State’s Paranormal Research Society, said. “A lot of people also see shadowy figures walk through old areas where a doorway or corridor used to be.”
Though the existence of hauntings is up for debate, a homicide did occur in the library.
In 1969, a graduate student named Betsy Aardsma was doing research for an English class in the Pattee stacks when she was murdered. To this day, the mystery remains unsolved.
“I spoke to the police, and they’re still actively investigating,” Buell said. “They won’t open the file to the public because they say it’s an ongoing case.”
Buell said the library staff is not comfortable discussing the incident.
“The library is kind of shady about the whole thing,” Buell said. “They want to keep it hush. They don’t like to talk about it.”
The only designation of the area of the murder scene are the letters, “B.A.,” which is the name of the library section and also Aardsma’s initials.
Buell has not officially attributed the alleged haunts to Aardsma and said much of the lurking creepiness is because of “energy flux” created by the numerous people who have passed through the library over time.
“There are people who come out of there screaming because they think they’ve been attacked,” Buell said. “People are genuinely creeped out.”
Tunnels Under Penn State