Headless Skeletons of F&M’s Dietz-Santee Hall

Built in 1924 and designed by architect Charles Zeller Klauder, Franklin & Marshall‘s Dietz-Santee Hall is the oldest residence on campus. Mary E. Santee financed the building’s construction in memory of her deceased fiance, Jacob Y. Dietz, and her father, Charles Santee. Both men had been F&M trustees.

While Dietz-Santee Hall has no ghost stories, an unusually macabre incident transpired there on September 8, 1936.

📷: F&M Digital Collections. 1924 image of Dietz-Santee Hall Charles Zellar Klauder.

Laborers unearthed a buried trunk filled with dismembered, headless skeletons near the Hartman Green side of Dietz. This startling discovery left the workers visibly shocked.

Upon further investigation, the Biology department reluctantly admitted that the cadavers, which had been dissected on the third floor of nearby Stager Hall, had perhaps not been disposed of properly.

The absence of heads added a perplexing element to the situation. The college newspaper, The Student Weekly, pointed out that numerous fraternities were known to keep skulls in their basements, presumably as conversation pieces and fraternal rituals.

No students have reported ghostly incidents in Dietz-Santee Hall…yet.

Click here to read more F&M Ghost Stories on the College’s Archives and Special Collections page.

Planning Your Visit

Dietz-Santee Hall is located at 603 W Frederick St, Lancaster, PA 17603.


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