Ghost Stories From the Greatwood Campus

The Manor House was once the home of the Martin Family.

Halloween time again, little pretties. Students, faculty, staff, and locals have recounted tales of strange occurrences rumored to have taken place at the Greatwood Campus of Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. 

The former sheep farm owned by the Martin family transferred ownership in 1938 to the Goddard Seminary and became the Greatwood campus for Goddard College. The haybarn, creamery, clock house, blacksmith shop, farm manager’s cottage, greenhouse, garden house, and the family estate were converted into classrooms and offices. The beauty and uniqueness of the former sheep farm campus has deemed it a worthy entry onto the National Reservation of Historic Places.

Sounds of a horses neigh coming from the former horse barn, sightings of figures in windows and the gardens, and phone lines suddenly activating have all been rumored.

Prospective students who may attend the Vermont campus, read to the end…if you dare!

Dormitory Ghost Caller

The phone line has been acting up lately, according to Carl Etnier, Help Desk manager.

A line in a room on campus has been making calls to 911. If this had been a real emergency, dispatch would have been sent to campus. But there was no occupant to the dorm in question. There was not a single student on campus at all.

In fact, the line had been disconnected for years.

It happened over 8 times in the last four months. Hello? Anyone there?

Honor-bound Soldier

Mikhael Yowe (IBA ’10) tells of this encounter:

“I used to sit in the Haybarn for quiet times and met a soldier there who hung out in the top room of the barn. He was in love with the woman and would watch the woman and child from the window up there. Would have loved to have learned more about them all but he was honor bound to not speak of the situation.”

Tell no one!

The Manor House Mysteries

Mikhael Yowe’s mysterious encounters didn’t end there.

“While I was at Goddard, I saw many times, a young child playing over by the concrete pond behind the manor house. The child was about 5ish.  I would also see what might have been the child’s mother watching from the second floor of the manor house.” 

Cathy Vincevic tells this story about the Manor House from 2007:

It was a lovely, bright day and the little group I was in for residency had decided to meet in the front room of the manor. I was admiring the garden maze through the window while we waited for our group, led by Jim Sparrell, to assemble. This was our first meeting and I didn’t know anyone. 

One more person yet to arrive, a young man, was very late. 

I turned from the windows and came to sit down in our circle of chairs and saw a man walk in looking directly at me, and then move past me, and the entire group of about six people. 

Jim wondered where the missing student might be and I asked, “Wasn’t that him who just walked past us?” 

No one else has seen him. 

“He was just here!” I said. 

There were no other groups in the manor that day and no one in the other rooms when I went to look. 

Was it a ghost? 

I got to see a young man walk through the door and then disappear.”

Did this student just drop out… of existence?

Pretty Little Garden House

The Tudor Revival Style Garden house in the upper garden dates from 1918. It is guarded over by a carved wood frieze board depicting a menagerie of creatures: newts, squirrels, turtles and various snakes. Stained glass windows in the double doors let in a glimmering eeriness. A limestone squirrel and owl lurk as gargoyles on the gable of the front facade while a floppy-eared bunny and attentive beaver guard the back. Four corbels, in the forms of boar, cow, ram, and goat serve as watchful eyes on each corner.

According to the National Register of Historic Places, the garden house building is held aloft by rafters that bubble over with intrigue. 

“The interior is framed with wooden posts and beams salvaged from a seventeenth century Ipswich, Massachusetts, courthouse where an ancestor of the Martins was tried and convicted as a witch in 1692.”

Late night study group, anyone?


Are you an alum with a strange encounter to report? It’s all in good fun. Send your account to with the subject GHOST STORY. We will update this blog with more stories.

Thinking of attending Goddard but you’re afraid of what may occur? Our staff and faculty are trained professionals in appeasing restless souls with a pedagogical model that shakes the hearts and minds of students. Students can expect the unexpected, as Goddard give students the voice, choice, and agency to design their own curriculum and work in their own communities to achieve their degree. Low-residency programs mean that students howl at the moon on campus for about 9 nights, twice a year. Come sit by the fire and tell your story. Investigate the mysteries of Goddard with an inquiry to Get Info