10.12 Becker’s Haunted Halls ~ Miller & Merrill

By Katelyn Putelis

Massachusetts, with more colleges per square mile than any other state, has generated ~ and continues to generate ~ many a college ghost story, and Becker College seems to have spawned more than its fair share.

Miller Hall was built in 1891 by Daniel Bates as a two family house.  Until 1937 the house remained much the same; but that year, Harlan Pierpont bought the house and began reconstruction, changing the outside of the house and installing modern plumbing and heating.

Whether it was these changes or the energy brought on by the new residents, the dorm quickly became known as one of the most haunted spots in Worcester; it now houses approximately 23 students…and at least one ghost.

Over the years students have dealt with inexplicable temperature changes in certain parts of the building, voices coming from the walls and doors locking and unlocking without human assistance. Due to changes in the layout of the rooms, some doors lead nowhere or are always kept locked.  Although there is nothing behind the doors, students often report hearing voices and loud banging coming from them. At least two individuals have said ~ at different times ~ that they’ve seen strange lights and a mysterious figure in their room.

Jennifer, who often got chills in her room and always felt as though she were being watched, remembers one night in particular.   She heard banging from inside one of her locked closets and the next day found out that other dorm mates had experienced the same and other strange occurrences. One night students heard something (or someone!) being dragged across the ceiling above them.  They talked to the people who lived above them, but everyone swore they’d been asleep all night. Another night Jennifer heard moaning in the halls and the next morning woke to trash all over the hall. All the students claimed they were innocent of the prank ~ plus the floor was isolated by fire doors.

Another girl in Miller Hall went through something even more traumatizing: she woke up to find herself paralyzed, with something holding her down on the bed. This kind of haunting is often explained away scientifically.  For eons, there has been the legend of the Old Hag who would hold people down and drain their life energy. What was unique about this episode was that the girl also felt her eyes being held shut, something not previously mentioned in past accounts.  When she was finally able to open her eyes, her whole room, which had been dark when she went to bed, was illuminated by a brilliant white light.

Miller Hall isn’t the only Becker dorm with a few extra guests. Merrill Hall dates back to the 1800s and belonged to an affluent New York family before it was acquired by Becker in 1955. Although there has been no official paranormal activity reported, Becker students have plenty of creepy stories to tell.

Steven (’11) recalls many nights where he and he friends would go to the basement, curious if they would see any paranormal activity. “The unfinished basement was creepy enough to begin with, it always gave me chills just walking in,” Steven recalls.” Steven and his friends frequented the basement, hoping to scare themselves and each other. “Usually, someone would just make weird noises, or grab someone when it was dark, it was fun, but it was never really more than that. One night, though, we heard footsteps in the basement, and we knew we were the only ones down there, so it was really weird.”

Lauren (’12) recalls waking up in the middle of the night to find her door creaked open. “I lived in a single, so there was no one else that could have opened my door. I didn’t have anyone over that night, so it’s not like someone could have accidentally not closed the door. Plus, I always lock my door before I go to sleep.”

Is there actually paranormal activity in these two Becker dorms? If you have a friend who lives in one of the dorms, why not spend a night and see for yourself!