Various students around campus have claimed that the Hawk Crossings apartments, located just outside of Montclair State University’s campus on Clove Road, are haunted. Many residents have either heard eerie stories or experienced the haunted happenings first-hand.
“These apartments are definitely haunted,” said junior business major Tiaira Bratlam, while widening her eyes. “I notice objects move by themselves all of the time.”
Montclair State is an old campus. The first building, College Hall, was constructed in 1908. Many residents suspect that this is the reason why there is paranormal activity.
Hawk Crossings residents of 2017 have their own stories about the strange paranormal activity that they have experienced. Students have reported hearing odd noises, flickering lights and shaking doors. Residents also reported seeing objects move and strange shadows in the woods at nightfall.
However, some students are skeptical about whether or not the claims are true.
“I have heard many people talk about paranormal activity in the [Hawk] Crossings apartments,” said junior mathematics major Aliena Hull, a Hawk Crossings resident. “One of my friends told me it was haunted before I moved in, but I don’t really believe in ghosts. When I hear strange noises, I just assume it is from the residents that live next to me.”
On the other hand, Hull’s roommate Racquel Cordero, a junior mathematics major, is convinced that the apartments are haunted. Cordero explained that she notices odd occurrences all the time.
“One time I was sitting on the couch with my boyfriend,” Cordero said. “I stood up to make a cup of coffee. All of the sudden me and my boyfriend heard a loud thump. I looked over and the garbage can lid was swinging by itself, as if someone hit it.”
Residents are not the only students who claim that Hawk Crossings is haunted. Staff members also have bizarre stories.
“At RA training, they told us to ignore the rumors because Hawk [Crossings] isn’t haunted and there is nothing to worry about,” said Rachel O’Neill, a junior fine arts major and resident assistant at Hawk Crossings. “But after a couple of months living here, I think otherwise. The other day, I was in the Hawk Crossings office and random objects started falling in the boss’s room. I walked into her room to check if she was there, and she wasn’t.”
It is believed that the Hawk Crossings apartments are haunted because they were built on top of an Indian burial ground in the 1970s. Although there is not a lot of evidence to support this claim, there is proof that Montclair State’s campus was in fact a Native American campground.
In “Montclair State University, A Century of Triumph Over Circumstance,” by former history professor Thomas Moore, the author explains the history of Montclair State in detail. According to the book, Montclair State decided to construct more buildings in order to accommodate the increased popularity of students interested in 1917. The campus decided it would no longer be located just in the city of Montclair and expanded the campus into Clifton, too. A few years later, students around campus found arrowheads and other material on the site in Clifton.
“It was [evident] that the land had once been inhabited by the Lenape branch of the Delaware Tribe,” Moore wrote. “Montclair memorialized the Lenape history by naming their athletic teams the Indians, which eventually was changed to Red Hawks in 1989 when sensitivity to [the] dignity of Native Americans occurred in society.”
For decades, students have been associating the paranormal activity with the fact that the land once belonged to a Native American tribe.
“I don’t care what anyone says,” O’Neill said. “Too many weird things happen in [Hawk Crossings] apartments for them not to be haunted.”