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Hauntings at DelVal

Ghosts at the Library

Where to begin...

With any story, we must start at the beginning. The National Farm School was started in 1896 by Rabbi Dr. Joseph Krauskopf. Originally, the school had a single building, Pioneer Hall, built in 1897. It contains classrooms, library, dining hall, kitchen, gymnasium, dormitory, offices, and quarters for the Dean. 

More buildings were soon added:

  • 1897- Pioneer Hall (classrooms, library, dining hall, kitchen, gymnasium, dormitory, offices, and quarters for the Dean)
  • 1899 - Block Chapel and Eisner Hall (dormitory)
  • 1906 - Segal Hall (dormitory, study hall, and library)
  • 1910 - Miller Hall (dormitory)
  • 1917 - Lasker Hall (dining hall, kitchen, student lounge, student store, and infirmary)
  • 1918 - Greenhouse Complex (Hirsch Botanical Laboratory)
  • 1921 - Admissions Center (home for President)

A fire destroyed Pioneer Hall on April 12, 1923 during a student strike

New York Times

Passing of Rabbi Krauskopf

Rabbi Krauskopf passed away soon after on June 19, 1923 in the Breakers Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ of heart disease. He was 65.

In his will, he requested that the school build a library and that it should house his personal collection of books for the students to use. He wished it to be a replica of the architecture of his own library, with his books placed in the same order, shelf by shelf, which they occupied in his own home. He also explicitly wished to be cremated, unusual in the Jewish tradition. 

Joseph Krauskopf


Is Rabbi Krauskopf haunting the building which houses his books and his ashes? Who knows. Certainly some on campus believe it.

March 21, 1986 Ram Pages (student newspaper)

The Facts

Haunted Dorms?

While there have been multiple articles about a student ghost from the 1890s, no dorms from that period remain. Ulman Hall was built in 1924. Interestingly, it was built using the remaining stones from the burned former dormitory, Pioneer Hall. 

Voices in the Reading Room?

Rabbi Krauskopf originally wanted to include women in the first class of the National Farm School but wasn't able to raise enough funding to build a separate dormitory. It's unlikely that he would be surprised by female students.

Chills in the Memorial Room?

The Memorial Room is located directly above the HVAC system for the building. 

Haunting Music?

Our director is known for playing the pennywhistle in his spare time. The music often seems to float upstairs through the vents. 


How to Research Ghosts

Local Color

Academic Research

Tell your DelVal Ghost Story