Freaky Friday: University of Rochester

This week’s tale is so unbelievably spooky, it requires little to no introduction. Be forewarned, this story may raise the hair on the back of your neck.  Without further ado, we bring you The Legend of Pete Nicosia.

Plans for a new school library were underway in the early 1920s, and it was during its construction that the legend began. Pete Nicosia was working on building the library under foreman James Conroy, when Nicosia met an untimely death, falling 150 feet from the top of the tower to the ground.

Following Nicosia’s death, students reported encountering a man dressed in overalls and a ratty sweater outside a building near the library, who was seeking James Conroy. The man claimed Conroy owed him money for work he did that he was never compensated for before his death. The students suggested he try his request at the service building on campus.

Some of the same students later saw him in the library tower he had been helping to build. When they casually informed him the tower stood at 150 feet, the man replied, “And it didn’t hurt a bit.”

I officially have goosebumps, yet the tale does not end here.

For several weeks, the mysterious man was spotted in and near the library. One day, a fellow worker of Nicosia’s was in the library and upon seeing the man, ran screaming from the building, proclaiming that he had seen a ghost. The worker swore that the man he saw could only have been Nicosia, unless Nicosia had a twin.

University of Rochester’s campus newspaper continues to publish stories of Nicosia’s ghost on occasion, perpetuating his existence on campus. Have you had an encounter with Pete Nicosia or another ghost at Rochester? Share you story with us in the comments!

More Freaky Tales

Freaky Friday: East Tennessee State
Freaky Friday: Washington State University
Freaky Friday: USF Tampa
Freaky Friday: Pacific University
Freaky Friday: Franklin & Marshall
Freaky Friday: University of the South
Freaky Friday: Point Park


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