The Ghosts of the Palestra? - NBC 10 Philadelphia

The Ghosts of the Palestra?



    The Ghosts of the Palestra?
    The paranormal-friendly Palestra during a Quakers game.

    Have you ever wondered if a ghost could sink a 15-foot jumper?
    Since it’s opening in 1927, the historic Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania has hosted more games and more visiting teams than any other facility.

    But games aren’t the only things allegedly going on at the Palestra as more than just visiting teams roam its halls.

    The Cathedral of College Basketball was given its name by Greek professor Dr. William Bates. He felt the name was fitting because in ancient Greece, young men would compete in a variety of events in a rectangular enclosure to the view of spectators, known as a Palestra.

    A building pushing 85 years old named after a term derived from Greek history?  Sounds like the perfect set-up for a ghost story to me.

    The guys over at The 700 Level unearthed this paranormal tale.

    “A wave of cold swept over me. I pulled the sleeping bag tightly over my body, but the cold was inside me, throughout me like a popsicle in a freezer,” said Kyle Whelliston of, who recently dared to spend a night alone in the hoops house of horrors.

    “When I slept over…I wasn't the only one there. Whatever the second, or third, or 80th actually was, I can only pretend to guess.”

    He’s not the only one, though, who has come across these paranormal Penn fans.

    “I’ve seen them plenty of times,” long-time Palestra caretaker Dan Harrell told in a 2005 interview. “Their faces are misty, and they remain in view only long enough so you know they’re there.”

    Although there have been a number of paranormal accounts by both workers and players alike, most have dismissed the stories calling them “silly,” and “cute.”

    Others think these ghosts and ghouls should scare some life into both the Men and Women’s basketball teams, who are an atrocious 2-27 combined for this season.

    Happy haunting hoops fans!

    Thanks to for an awesome short video about the Palestra’s haunted history. See it here