Top 10 Bryn Mawr Curiosities

Bryn Mawr College Campus

By Megan Fortgang

By Megan Fortgang
Unigo Campus Rep at Bryn Mawr

bryn curiosities merion1. The Merion Ghost - Lillian is the ghost of Merion, Bryn Mawr’s oldest dormitory. The story is that Lillian was a student at Bryn Mawr who suffered from a psychological disorder. One day she doused herself in a flammable liquid and jumped out a window. Whether from the jump or the burns, she died. Now her ghost is witnessed on the third floor of Merion where she lived.bryn curiosities moon

2. The Moon Bench - At the end of Senior Row there is a bench from which you can see all the way down to Pembroke Arch. Though a beautiful view of the campus, you better not sit and kiss your significant other there, because legend has it if you kiss someone on the Moon bench your relationship won’t last. 

3. Rockefeller - Thomas Tunnel: Rumor has it that a tunnel exists between Rockefeller, a dormitory, and Thomas (the former library turned academic building). It is also said by some that a key to this tunnel is given to an underclasswoman on May Day by the graduating senior possessor of the key.

bryn curiosities lab
4. The Labyrinth - This peculiar area I hadn’t even noticed until my second semester of freshman year. Just past Canady library on an open stretch of lawn, a small mowed area in the shape of a maze exists amidst the lawn. This “Labyrinth,” so says the sign, is intended to be a place for reflection… but who knew it was there?!

Bryn Mawr curiosities athena5. Statue of Athena - The statue of Athena is an epic symbol of Bryn Mawr culture and history. The statue, placed in a far corner of Thomas Great Hall, is said to help students who ask. Students leave gifts and offerings in the hopes of obtaining Athena’s aid. However, the Athena in the Great Hall is not the original. She is a copy of the original who now stands in a high niche Carpenter Library after she was repeatedly stolen (for the last time in the ‘90s by Haverford students). 

bryn curiosities willow6. Lady of the Willow - In the fall and spring, Rhodes beach is frequented by many a sun bathing Mawrtyr. Few know, however, that off to the side towards Goodhart Theater is a willow stump carved with the face of a woman – just like Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas. Barely seen in the daylight, the face is a creepy sight at night.

bryn curiosities owl


7. Owl of Rockefeller Arch - The owl in the center of Rockefeller arch is said to be the protector of the college. It is also said that if you kiss your significant other in Rockefeller arch you will be together forever.

8. Bryn Mawr Doubles - Rumor has it, and probable fact as well, that the double rooms in the older dorms (Merion and Rockefeller for example) were actually set up that way so that students could bring their maids with them! Some of those rooms are now split into singles instead and students live in the little side rooms where the maids would have lived.

bryn curiosities denbigh9. Denbigh Ghost - The story is that a Bryn Mawr girl was dating a guy she wasn’t supposed to (possibly a school facilities worker…). He used to sneak into the basement and bang on the ceiling to tell her he was there. Bryn Mawr dorms are not known for being particularly fire retardant, so one day Denbigh caught fire and this poor boy was locked in the basement and couldn’t escape. So, any banging heard in Denbigh can be attributed to the poor boyfriend who died in the fire. Believe it if you will.


bryn curiosities cape10. Capies - Capies are girls wandering around in capes or “bat robes” (collegiate regalia style robes). The tradition of cape-wears is entirely separate from the tradition of freshwomen wearing black robes for Lantern Night, so whether this tradition is to preserve the days when Mawrtyrs were required to wear regalia or whether this is an attempt to make Bryn Mawr even more like Hogwarts, I’m not sure… What capies do, where they came from, and why I have no idea, but they are there…