Skip to content

On-campus locations, ranked by viability as a leprechaun habitat

Of all the times of year, the month of March is a strong contender for the very best. Not because the warm weather gets students out on the quad in droves, and not because the birds return to tweet at my window every morning. Rather, it’s because the time spanning March 1st to March 17th is the only time of year in which it is socially acceptable for me to express my unreasonable level of affection for the greatest legendary creature in the folklore of the world: the leprechaun.

If you’re a more casual leprechaun enthusiast, you probably think of leprechauns as tiny, red-haired, green-coated men hanging out with their treasure at the end of the rainbow. Most of this image comes from modern times rather than actual Irish folklore, but you can hold onto it if you like. For the purposes of this article, however, keep in mind that you don’t need to search for the end of the rainbow to find a leprechaun—in fact, the leprechaun may even find you.

“But Caden,” you ask, “how can I find a leprechaun? Is the University of Rochester a good place to search for them? Will I find community as a leprechaun enthusiast at the University? Can I get a research grant for on-campus leprechaun hunts?” Well, you’re in luck. I give you: a complete guide to all the best places to search for leprechauns at the University of Rochester!

8. The sculpture outside Sage Art Center

I mean, look at this thing. It’s basically an upside-down leprechaun hat. Plus, it offers a variety of perches for a two-foot tall legendary creature to sit and make shoes, or whatever it is they do when they’re not appearing in a Lucky Charms commercial. Is that the tomb of an Irish king underneath that stone slab? Probably.

7. The Spurrier-Sue B. Tunnel

This tunnel, which connects the Susan B. Anthony residence hall with the multipurpose Spurrier Hall, is one of the grungier spaces on campus. It’s one of two on-campus tunnels designated for student artistic expression—although this one is much more of a free-for-all. It’s probably one of the weirdest places on campus and doesn’t get as much foot traffic as the other, normal tunnels (which mostly connect academic buildings), making it the perfect hideout for a leprechaun.

6. The stacks

Being alone in the stacks of Rush Rhees Library already feels like being in another realm, so it might as well be magical. There’s an old story about a guy who catches a leprechaun, who tells the guy that his gold is buried under a certain tree in the forest. The guy wraps a scarf around the tree to mark it, makes the leprechaun promise not to remove the scarf, and goes home to get a shovel. When he comes back, every tree in the forest has an identical scarf on it.

Beware of a similar fate should you catch a leprechaun in the stacks, where endless identical shelves are housed. Only knowledge of the Library of Congress Classification System will save you.

5. The facilities tunnel

In addition to the many student-accessible tunnels that make walking between classes nice and cozy during the winter, the University also has special tunnels that are only accessible to members of the facilities crew to assist with maintenance and repairs. I don’t recommend searching for leprechauns here, unless you want to get caught breaking and entering. But think about it! Another world, existing just beneath our own—this is classic fairy stuff. And, although leprechauns are known for their solitary nature, they are technically fairies. It’s basically free real estate.

4. The bridge in Gavett Hall

Similarly, there’s something up with the bridge in Gavett Hall, one of our engineering buildings. Cross this bridge and it’s like entering a whole new building, except it’s the same building. A bridge to another realm, perhaps? All I’m saying is that this place gives off crazy leprechaun energy.


3. This weird door

Look, I want to know what’s going on with this door. Why is it so small? Why doesn’t it connect with the floor? I suspect a connection with the otherworldly facilities tunnel. Whatever the case, this feels like a natural leprechaun habitat.


2. The hole in the wall of the TV room

As the current head of the campus TV club, URTV, I spend a lot of time in the club room, and a while back I noticed this perfectly circular hole in the wall. Unless cookie-cutter sharks have learned to fly, I see no explanation other than the tiny tools of a particularly tiny leprechaun. You may argue, and you may say that this hole was clearly put here by humans, but would a human be able to crawl through this hole? No. Case closed.

In conclusion, there are leprechauns in the walls, and they probably sneak out to watch URTV at night.

1. The space between these two bushes in the freshman quad

This is it. This is prime leprechaun real estate. Irish folklore is known for its connection to nature, with phenomena like fairy rings becoming associated, rather predictably, with fairies. I used to walk between these bushes as a shortcut for maximum efficiency when walking to the freshman quad (as opposed to taking the stairs five feet away), and I’m suddenly realizing that I never questioned why such a perfect path exists between the bushes in the first place. When the fairies aren’t out dancing, I would bet a leprechaun takes up residence in this place.

And that’s it!

Now that you know where to search for leprechauns on campus, see if you can find any of these spots on a campus tour! Oh, and to answer the question posed at the beginning of this post, sadly—despite my best efforts at convincing University faculty—you cannot get a research grant for a leprechaun hunt.

At least, not yet.

Return to the top of the page