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Who placed the pumpkins at Plymouth State?

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 5:30 PM EDT
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PLYMOUTH, N.H. (WCAX) - Every autumn, a mystery unfolds on the campus of Plymouth State University. Two pumpkins end up on the top of the clock tower, but no one knows how they got there.

“I honestly don’t know,” said sophomore Maria Mutsi.

“I was in class and when I came back they were already there.” “I have a strong feeling they get dropped from a helicopter. There is definitely a helicopter involved,” said Aidan Chaissom.

Here’s what we do know. Rounds Hall was built in 1890. It’s one of the oldest buildings on the Plymouth State campus, and for the last 46 years, pumpkins are impaled on the spires every fall. As legend has it, two roommates climbed the clock tower late one evening and the tradition... well... stuck. But concrete evidence has never surfaced. Some say a campus club could be connected.

“I don’t know, I have a hard time with ghosts. I don’t know if I believe in ghosts,” said senior Caylin Bessette.

Maybe it’s a professor from the past? “We got Robert Frost right there so maybe Robert Frost is pulling a little joke on us every year,” said junior Jack Berrigan. Frost taught here for one semester in the early 1900′s. The mystery at the state school extends all the way to the governor’s office.

“I have no idea,” joked Governor Chris Sununu, R-New Hampshire. It wouldn’t be the first time a politician bent the truth.

And then there’s Hayden Repeta. “I mean, no one knows how Houdini got that elephant to just like poof,” Repeta said. The student says he put the pumpkins up there, but he says he’s not a climber.

Reporter Adam Sullivan: What would you say to the cynical journalist who says you are kind of full of it?

Hayden Repeta: I’d say, ‘Keep on living your dream man.’

So it seems, the mystery of the pumpkins will continue on this campus for yet another year -- a special one that happens to be the school’s 150th anniversary.

“It’s traditions like this that really connect us back to campus, remind alumni what Plymouth State really was and what their experience was like here,” said Brian Gagnon the assistant director of alumni relations at PSU.

The 50th anniversary of the tradition is just four years away and rumor has it, the pumpkin placer could be making an appearance.

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