27 Dec 2014
Weird NJ: Guggenheim ghosts walk Monmouth U
Weird NJ readers their first hand encounters with the ghosts of Monmouth University in West Long Branch...
Leonie and the Library
I attended Monmouth University in the fall and did a paper on the ghost of the Guggenheim Library. The ghost that is thought to haunt the library is Leonie Guggenheim. I asked around to get information and I was told by two employees of the library that she walks down the staircase every night at midnight. No one is allowed to be there, though, and the keeper shuts down that part of the library at 11:30 and will not let anyone else in.
I was fascinated with this and chose to study alone close to closing one night in Leonie's sitting room. While studying, I felt confident that the story was a fake … then I heard a loud thud from the hallway. I blew it off and thought perhaps it was somebody who had dropped a book in one of the other rooms. A while later I heard another loud thud and this time was more alarmed. I ran out in the hallway to see if someone was there, but no one was. Again I thought nothing of it and went back to my studies. Then some time later I heard another thud, and this time I was sure someone else was there. I ran out into the hallway and inspected the other rooms, but nobody was in them. I felt weirded out and gathered my things and got the heck out of there. A few days later I told one of the librarians about it and she looked at me with alarm and said never to study alone up there at night. I asked her why and she said, "Well…it's just not safe." Many students feel that the school was trying to conceal what really goes on up there. The library was actually the summer cottage of Murry and Leonie.
Even before I had heard the tales I had an eerie feeling like someone was watching and didn't want me in there. –Holly Ford
More Guggenheim Ghouls Go Bump in the Night
Many years ago I worked for the police department at Monmouth College, now Monmouth University, in West Long Branch, and I became quite familiar with the ghosts that haunt many of the buildings on campus. Mrs. Guggenheim was blind, and at night one can hear her cane tapping along the halls. A bathroom window in the building goes up and down on its own, and a white man sits in the courtyard early in the morning. Woodrow Wilson Hall, which was built as the summer home for President Wilson, is also haunted. Many years ago there was a fire in the building, and two firemen were killed in the elevator shaft. People have reported at night hearing the sounds of fire and the screaming and yelling of the firemen. In the Guggenheim theatre one can find an upstairs window going up and down on its own, and a woman laughing inside when you keep trying to close it.
The police headquarters is also haunted. The house used for headquarters was actually the summer home of the boxer Jack Dempsey. Locked doors open and close on their own, a woman in a white nightgown has been seen walking up the stairs, and an officer that died during the 1980s tends to come back and visit from time to time. He usually likes visiting during the daytime. –ahgbear
Weird NJ magazine, "Your Travel Guide to New Jersey's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets," can be found on newsstands throughout the state and on the web at www.WeirdNJ.com.