On November 28, 1969 Betsy Aardsma, a twenty something year old Penn State student was doing research in the stacks of Pattee library when an unknown assailant came up behind her and stabbed her a single time through the left breast. As the young woman slumped over in the aisle two men exited the central region of the library, telling a desk clerk that “somebody better help that girl” as they left, they and her murderer have never been identified. Due to Aardsma wearing a bright red dress no one noticed that she was bleeding out and assumed she had a seizure, it wasn’t until she was in the hospital that any one noticed she had been stabbed but it was too late by then and she was dead before she ever made it there. The case is still open till this day
Several years later on the anniversary of the young ladies death a lit candle was found in aisle 51 surrounded by clippings about the murder along with chilling writing on the floor where her body had been found “R.I.P Betsy Ruth Aardsma, Jul 11, 1947- Nov.28, 1969 P.S. I’m Back”. The event has since repeated every few years minus the writing and has sparked legends of the haunted stacks throughout Penn State, an influx of curious students and onlookers even prompted the library to move the stacks around and change their numbers. The Happy Valley police are sure that the candles and the clippings are a cruel prank played by kids and not some message from a deranged killer or killers.
The changing and moving of the stacks hasn’t stopped students in the vicinity from feeling as though they are being watched as they attempt to do work. Shadows have been seen walking back and forth along the row the murder occurred, young men and women who not only go to school at Penn State but work in the library have also occasionally seen a pair of red glowing eyes staring back at the as they move the books around the shelves. People who don’t even know the story of Aardsma and what went down in 1969 have been known to avoid the area where the crime happened because of the supposedly oppressive atmosphere.
It’s not just feelings or shadows being seen, on more than one occasion students, typically females, have felt unseen hands on their shoulders or backs tapping them. Young men sometimes feel slight pushes causing them to fall a bit into the books, more worrisome are the few stories of out right violent attacks in which a handful of students and stack workers have reported the feeling of being strangled by someone or something they never see or hear come up behind them. The eeriest and possibly the strangest thing about this possible haunting is how some female students ( a lot of them fitting Aardsma’s description) have ended up going to campus hospital complaining of sharp and terrible pains in the area of their back and left breast which is were the original victim was stabbed.
Less violent but equally as strange are the loud piercing screams some have heard through out the area, even though Aardsma was never heard screaming at all before or after the original attack as a scream would have drawn quicker attention to her, it is surmised that the poor woman had been laying on the floor of the library for 10-15 minutes before she was found and possibly passed away sometime in those minutes.