St. Vincent's Basilica from Wikipedia taken by ohnoitsjamie
St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Westmoreland County, was founded by Bavarian Benedictine Brother Wimmer in 1846. It's famous for hosting the Steelers in August and spooks all year 'round.
Aurelia Hall: Girls using a ouija board contacted a spirit named Henry. They asked him to give them a sign he was real. It took him a while, but when the girls went to bed that night, their floor length mirror flew off the door and shattered against the opposite wall. Not only did they get the scare of their life, but seven years bad luck, too. They apologized to Henry for rousing him, but just to make sure, they slept in friends' rooms for the next few evenings. However, some stories persist that Henry still shows up, as a glowing red face. Another girl found an empty leather bag in her room, and gave it to her mom. Her coat then disappeared. She and her roomie pulled out a ouija board (what ever happened to St Anthony?) and contacted a spirit called T.E. The specter wanted her bag back, and took the coat to hold as collateral until she did. They made the trade. Later, in that same room, (we'd be in an off-campus apartment by now) a blinding light shot out of the closet, and when it faded, an old man with a white beard was seen standing there. When the girls got out of bed, he disappeared, the voyeur! There's also been reports of strange noises and the sound of a basketball bouncing on the seventh floor – which is closed off to the students. The 7th floor is also where a student of the occult was found dead, so lots of bad juju there.
The Basilica: The cornerstone of the basilica was laid in 1892, and the consecration took place on August 24, 1905. The basilica was completely restored in 1996, as part of the 150th anniversary of the college. And it's a good thing, too - it still holds a lot of the past between its walls. It's said that you can feel people rushing by you in the basilica, even when it's empty, and can sometimes see the images of brothers long gone in prayer. Every year, security guards hear strange sounds coming from the basilica after midnight mass on Christmas Eve – kneelers going down, the smell of incense, and sounds of music and singing. They're just keepin' the faith.
Gerard Hall: There are reports of cold spots and disembodied footsteps.
Graveyard, Grounds, & Wandering Monks: Images of the faces of the monks and nuns have been seen in the cemetery, along with an occasional funeral procession. There's a tree stump that's been carved into a wooden throne by the little boy whose grave is beside it; some students claim they've seen his tiny ghost sitting in it. In one part of the cemetery is a statue of Mary, who is said to cry tears of blood when someone in deep sorrow prays to her, in acknowledgment of their pain. In the middle of the graveyard is a Pieta statue of Mary holding Jesus after he has been taken down from the cross. It's claimed that if you sit on the bench in front of it long enough, she will raise her head and look at you. Also, it's regularly reported that entities spotted in the graveyard by security guards vanish without a trace.
Keck's Monk: A monastic novice named Paul Keck reported in the 1850's that he was visited by the spirit of a Benedictine monk that sought prayers for souls in purgatory. Abbot Wimmer at first backed his claims, but as the sighting worked its' way up the chain of command, all the way to the Vatican, Wimmer changed his tune. The visions were eventually deemed a hoax, and they raised considerable scandal within the church at the time. “Keckism” became a form of heresy. It didn't help Keck's cause when he was discovered to have been an actor before donning the robes.
St. Benedict Hall: Benny is haunted by a small girl, nicknamed Jenny, who has appeared in various rooms and likes to play games and tricks on the residents, "borrowing" their things and running through pods in the middle of the night. There are also handprints on the outside of windows.
St. Xavier's Convent: There's a tale of a monk who roams between St. Vincent's and St. Xavier's, a nearby convent. His cowl covers his face, which is invisible even you're looking directly at him. There are visions of brothers working in the kitchen. Shadowy nuns have been seen walking to mass.
Sauerkraut Tower: This landmark structure was built in 1893, designed by Brother Wolfgang Traxler to move 80,000 gallons of water daily through the campus as a gravity powered water tower. Not one to waste space, chief cook Brother Innocent stored barrels of pickled cabbage among it's pipes in the early 20th century, earning the 90' tall building its' nickname. In the 1930's local mines started to drain some of the water supply from the tower, and a monk had to climb the 10 flights of steps 3 times a day to check the water level. Thankfully for the Benedictine's lungs, St. Vincent tapped into the municipal water system in 1942. But it was too late for one nameless brother, who punched his ticket to St. Peter's gate when he got caught in the windmill arms atop the tower and hung himself. To this day, you can still hear the dedicated monk tread up the steps, carrying out his obligation to the college through eternity. And he must be afraid of the dark. Security has to frequently shut off the lights of the empty building, and some people have claimed to see his face looking out of the top window.
Abbot Boniface Wimmer: Abbot Boniface, the founder of the college, rises on the anniversary of his December 8th death and goes to the basilica to say mass for the souls of the departed. He passes through every red door in the crypt area where he's buried beneath the church to check on everyone and to find out how the school has progressed over the year. He's the most famous spirit at St. Vincent, and his sighting is jokingly referred to “freshman orientation” on campus.
And hey, there's supposed to more; we've heard that there are tales from the Grist Mill and other buildings that we haven't been able to run down. So if you have the paranormal poop on any of the stories we missed, give us a yell.