A bit of history…
Southern Vermont College (formerly known as the Edward Everett Estate) is located in the picturesque village of Bennington, VT . Everett’s fortune was made from becoming the first person to strike oil in Ohio. He married Amy King, the daughter of a wealthy businessman. He built the Estate as a summer mansion in Vermont. According to legend, not long after the estate was built, Everett’s wife Amy, drowned while swimming. Others would claim that her death was a suicide or even a murder. The “official” story as reported, was that she died at their other home in Washington, DC from a prolonged illness, dying during a serious operation.
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Everett remarried in 1920 but his three daughters with his first wife, Amy, never got along well with Grace Burnap, his new but younger wife. This resulted in conflict and legal battles when Everett passed away in 1929. The affair over his will was so bitter that it became known as “The Battle of the Bennington Millions”, as it was the largest court case in Vermont. Such a contentious and emotionally charged history perhaps laid the groundwork for the Estate’s paranormal events to come.
The estate became the site of St. Josephs School, a Catholic seminary that closed and became a co-ed college (Southern Vermont College). Some report the ghostly presence of a woman dressed in white who roams the former estate and grounds. She is believed to be the spirit of Everett’s first wife who had died so mysteriously. A couple by the name of Lundoff, lived near the Everett Estate in 1956 and ended their existence in a double suicide. This sad event could only serve to increase the negative energy of the area.
The source of ghostly activity?
According to years of students/staff performing night security, ghostly activity could possibly include Everett himself, his second wife, Grace, and mysterious persons wearing black hooded robes (seen quite often around the area). Common paranormal activities reported, include: smoke filled hallways, lights turning on in rooms that are locked, doors/windows unlocked after being secured during a previous security round, footsteps around the college when no one else is in the building. The 2 main sources of paranormal events in the estate are the 3rd floor and an Abbey room with a strange energy. The second source (now a classroom), was the sleeping quarters for house staff where a maid supposedly hung herself.
Nestled in the picturesque town of Bennington, Vermont, the now-closed Southern Vermont College (SVC) was once a thriving institution of higher learning. However, throughout its history, the college was also the subject of numerous tales of paranormal activity and eerie occurrences. In this article, we will explore the ghostly legends and spine-chilling events that have contributed to the haunted reputation of Bennington’s Southern Vermont College.
A Haunting History: The Evergreen Estate
The SVC campus was originally home to the Evergreen Estate, a lavish mansion built in the late 19th century by Edward Everett, a wealthy businessman. The estate passed through several hands before being converted into Southern Vermont College in 1974. The mansion, which served as the college’s administrative building, is said to be at the heart of the campus’s paranormal activity, with strange noises, unexplained sightings, and eerie sensations reported by staff and students alike.
The Ghostly Lady in White
One of the most enduring ghost stories associated with Southern Vermont College is that of the Lady in White. Believed to be the spirit of a young woman who died tragically on the estate grounds, her apparition has been spotted on numerous occasions, often wandering the halls of the mansion or drifting across the campus grounds. Described as a spectral figure clad in a flowing white gown, the Lady in White is said to exude an overwhelming sense of sadness and despair.
Whispers from the Beyond: The Haunted Library
The SVC library, housed in a separate building, has also been the site of several paranormal encounters. Students and faculty members have reported hearing disembodied voices, whispers, and even laughter emanating from seemingly empty corners of the building. Books have been known to fall from shelves without explanation, and some claim to have seen shadowy figures lurking among the stacks. These eerie occurrences have left many wondering whether the library is home to restless spirits from the college’s past.
The Haunted Theater
Southern Vermont College’s theater was yet another location on campus where paranormal activity was said to be prevalent. Actors, crew members, and theatergoers alike have reported unexplained cold spots, disembodied footsteps, and even the occasional sighting of a mysterious figure watching from the wings. Some believe that these strange happenings are the work of a mischievous spirit with a love for the performing arts.
Although Southern Vermont College has closed its doors, the stories of its haunted history continue to intrigue and captivate the imaginations of those familiar with the campus. From the ghostly Lady in White to the eerie occurrences in the library and theater, the college’s paranormal past offers a fascinating glimpse into the unknown. As the buildings of SVC stand silent and empty, one cannot help but wonder what secrets still linger within their walls, and whether the spirits that once haunted the campus have finally found peace.