Saturday, August 29, 2009

St. Rose's Haunted Houses

Image from michaelejahn's Picasa Web Gallery

The College of Saint Rose was established in 1920 in Albany, NY, by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, and named after Saint Rose of Lima, the patron saint of founder Mother Rosina. Does it have ghosts? Is the Pope Italian...ummm, Polish...errr, German?

Anyway, yes, it does. And just to make things easier on spook hunters, three are on the same street.

Carey Hall: Actually, calling Carey a hall is a misnomer. It's a small house on 944 Madison Avenue that's a home away from home for twelve female students.

There are a lot of stories connected to Carey. One is that a mother’s spirit is still here because her baby died in the house. The apparition of a man who went off to war is said to remain in Carey, his childhood home. This is also where the spook of a gardener hangs out.

Besides the odd sighting, there have been reports of playful antics, like tossing clothes from student suitcases all over the room after they pack up to leave the hall.

Though pranksters, the spirits in Carey are considered guardian angels of sorts. It has been reported that people would feel a warm, calming breeze in their rooms, even with the windows shut tight. It's supposedly the tranquil essence of the hall's watchful spirits.

One tale that may or may not be spirit related is that of Sister Dorothy Flood. She was home alone in Carey one day, and was headed down the steps. Suddenly she saw a ball of fire coming up the stairs toward her. She turned tail and went back up the stairs, and the mini-comet followed her. The good sister fled to her room and locked the door.

The college padre explained to her that she just ran across an example of St. Elmo's fire (though we've never heard of it taking place indoors, but hey...) and it was a good omen for Sister Flood. It's never happened again, so maybe the Father was right.

Charter Hall: Located at 923 Madison Avenue, this is a house, too, but a bit bigger than Carey. It holds sixteen co-eds.

Supposedly, the flute playing of a musician who committed suicide in Chicago can be heard here, a similar phenomena as experienced in Quillinan Hall. And no, no one's quite sure why the flutist is there.

Morris Hall: Still a house, but a big honkin' one on 568 Morris Street that was once a convent. It holds 40 co-eds.

Students there reported spotting the image of a priest in the common room, which was once a chapel for the sisters. The priest would be seen at the altar, back turned. The paranormal padre has also been seen in mirrors in the building and in windows. He was even spotting strolling down a hallway.

A renovation that divided the room with a wall between the common area and the altar space seems to have put an end to his sightings, though. But there are more spooky happenings, even with the spirit priest behind walls.

Students have reported hearing flute music, just like in Charter Hall.

The most common occurrences are in the rooms on the first floor of Morris. Things would be disturbed and moved. Music and lights would go off and on. Odds and ends placed on the window sill would fly off and crash in the middle of the room. Ghosts hate being ignored.

Quillinan Hall: The hall was named after Mother Rosina, who founded the college and was baptized Ellen Quillinan (thanks Reo!) The house is on 953 Madison Avenue, and used to be the home of a family with a little girl. Starting in the 1970s, it was reported that a young girl would show up in the house, asking the residents if they'd like to play with her.

The identity of the child's apparition was identified, according to St. Rose lore, by students who brought in an Ouija board to communicate with her. The spirit told the students that she was seven years old and died in a fire.

The only problem was there was no known blaze at the building. But shortly after, the underside of the stairs going from the first to the second floor were found to be charred during renovations to the house, confirming the girl's tale.

The moppet has been known to play tricks on the residents. She particularly likes to lock students out of their rooms and play jacks while people try to sleep.

Don't believe us? Well, the Dean of Students delivers an orientation speech every year to the incoming frosh. And he always mentions the spooks of St. Rose's. Would he fib to those dewy-eyed freshmen? We say never!


Unknown said...

Where in the world did you get Sr. Rose of Lima? The college was founded by Mother Rosina of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and her baptism name was Ellen Quillinan, which is why you have Quillinan Hall there.

Ron Ieraci said...

Reo - I got it from Wikipedia:

which I have to admit isn't always on the money. Is it possible that Mother Rosina took her name from St. Rose of Lima, hence the connection and citation?

And thanks for the bit about Quillinan Hall; I'll add it to the post - Ron