"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

March 9, 2010

Ghosts and History at the Academy of Holy Angels

So, today, I decided to look around for more information on the building in my previous post, Academy of Holy Angels. I began to enter the search term "Academy of Holy Angels history" into Google's search box but up popped the suggested terms. One read "Academy of Holy Angels haunted". Curiousity gripped me and I changed my search term to the new one. This led me to the Shadowlands website and its listing of "Haunted Locations in Minnesota". The building has two listings:

The first reads: "It is said that on the third floor in room 394 there is a ghost janitor that hung himself there years ago. He still lurks in the room at night and, once in a while, during school hours. September 2004 Correction: A former student has informed us the above information is incorrect. In the late '70s, there was a studen that hung himself in the janitor room... next to the bell tower. To this day, there are still apparitions appearing. And haunting footsteps."

Ha! So, I was right. There IS a bell tower in that building.

The second entry reads: "There have been sightings of spirits in the theatre. The upper balcony is where there has been spiritual activity spotted. It is said that whomever it is sits there and watches the plays and has been spotted on many occasions."

Which isn't very descriptive at all. What kind of spiritual activity? Is it a man or a woman? Or just a presence that flips down one of the seats and boos at the unknowing actors?

Of course, this all has to be taken with a grain of salt. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, this IS an internet source and bored people love to pass on urban legends. I'm sure the website owner isn't one but his or her sources may be questionable. I can already see incomplete information in the Guthrie Theatre (Minneapolis) entry. They fail to mention that the ghostly usher supposedly hasn't been seen since a seance or a cleansing or something of that nature was performed to contact the ghost.


Eventually, I went back to looking up the history of the building and found a small section on the school's own web page. The Academy of Holy Angels has existed in various forms since 1851 when four Catholic nuns from Missouri taught in a log chapel. The current building, however, wasn't opened unti 1931 and was "surrounded by cornfields". It's definitely not surrounded by cornfields anymore. The corner of 66th and Nicollet is one of the busiest in the metro area. To the school's north, east, and northeast are three different strip malls which usually have fairly full parking lots. About a half-mile to the west, high-rise apartment buildings can be seen jutting in the sky.

Anyway, a more complete history of the Academy of Holy Angels can be found at: http://www.academyofholyangels.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=220

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

Nothing said...

I myself am a Holy Angels alum, and I've gotta add something. My friends and I are fairly sure that the chapel is also haunted.

Anonymous said...

I attended 7th thru 12th grades at the academy. I don't know about a suicide in the seventies but I remember the day in '92 like it was yesterday when a senior was found hanging in room 394 by a fellow student. The classroom was not used again as long as I attended holy angels. The following year a janitor was found hanging in the boiler room which is attached to the school by an underground tunnel. I was exploring those tunnels and experienced a cold breeze and footsteps rushing past on one occasion. The fourth floor was converted from dorm rooms to class rooms when the boarding school was phased out. The girls bathroom up there was another place which I would consider haunted. I recall people would be tapped on the shoulder by an unseen presence or feel spooked in general . The theaters balcony and it's stairwell were a spooky haunt as well. That school was such an amazing place for paranormal activity. Rich with history and tragedy.

Anonymous said...

the fourth floor girls bathroom is for sure haunted. Apparently someone tried to kill themselves in their and so no one would hear she turned the faucet on. People were saying the water will run randomly now. I was in their yesterday and it did…...

Anonymous said...

I attend the Academy of Holy Angels in MN. I have never seen the bell tower and from the looks of it, inside and out there seems to be no bell tower. Nobody mentions it and everybody says it is non existent. I'll look into it though. I have heard about the suicides. The janitos and the student. I wish I could get into the theatre more. I'll continue to look for the tower and search the maitenance building next door!

Anonymous said...

holy angels is right down the street from my house. iv seen people and lights in there at night

Anonymous said...

I currently go the AHA and there is no bell-tower. There was a suicide here but no one will talk about it and I am going to look for room 394. This year, they closed the 4th floor from students and now you cannot access it unless you have a pass.

Anonymous said...

I am a parent of kids that go there. Both seem to feel that the 4th floor, and the chapel are always creepy. I don't think think they have access to the 4th floor anymore either.

My daughter has spent a lot of time in the theater, and has never had anything happen to her. But a few teachers and fellow students say they have.

She took a photography class a few years ago. She took a boatload of pictures all over the school using the same camera and hd cards during the day. Every picture was completely normal, except for everyone in the chapel. The chapel pictures were filled with orbs. I don't believe in orbs, but it was weird.

Lastly, in the parlor, therei is a lovely wooden long high
table like a sideboard. We have been told by teachers that it used to be a bier to hold the nuns coffins...

Party_Penguin27 said...

I currently go to Academy of Holy Angels. I can confirm that the Theater is NOT haunted. However a student in the 80's did almost burn it down. There is a bell tower in the school, but along with the tunnels is not accessible because of asbestos. There is a janitors closet next to the bell tower. A student and a janitor both hung themselves SOMEWHERE in the school in the same year. Most of the 4th floor is no longer used, except for the band room. I have sometimes gotten a feeling like someone is watching me in the school, and the lobby with the wood paneling by the office has an unearthly chill. I can confirm that there is some sort of haunting in the 3rd floor boys' bathroom. Paper towels are hung on the disused towel racks sometimes, and a set of bare footprints can sometimes be seen. I have also heard that the girls bathroom by the theatre is haunted, but have no confirmations. The strange thing is how much the teachers deny the rumors, as if the school really is haunted, but they have been hushed into silence.

Anonymous said...

I went to Holy Angels as well. We went on a "ghost hunt" while I was there for a special in our yearbook. We took pictures of all the haunted spots and there was nothing peculiar about the photographs until we got to the balcony in the theater and there were hundreds of orbs. You could almost not make out the pictures- then no orbs again after we left the balcony. Could just as well be dust because it was not very well maintained up there- but ghosts are more fun to believe than dust. The tunnels are said to be very haunted and no one's allowed to go down there, but I have a feeling it's because they're filled with asbestos. My homeroom was on the 4th floor all four years where the nun's dorms used to be, and we had no experience with anything spooky happening- although there's a blocked off stairway up there that lead to an abandoned attic area. I went up there once with three friends and once we almost reached the top of the stairs it was absolutely pitch black and we all felt like the breath was sucked out of our mouth- we freaked out and instantly ran back down. I could list tons of more of the death/haunting stories. It was fun to sneak away during study hall and explore the hidden crevices of that school.

Anonymous said...

I am a current student at Holy Angels in Richfield. What has been said about the suicide in '92 is correct. There are currently only a few teachers left at the school who still teach here. One of them, Sister Gene (sorry about spelling) has told me that she knew the student who had committed suicide and had done so with the tape from VCR tape. Also, my coach, an alumni and teacher at Blessed Trinity elementary school adjacent to Holy Angels told me that one of his fellow co-workers was the student who had walked in on the boy who killed himself. It is believed that the boy was going to stand on a stool and wait for the teacher to help him. That day, there was a sub, the teacher never showed, and the boy hanged himself. Everyone walked in in shock, and the sub, so shocked himself, made a joke like "Having a rough day there?" Soon, people came to there senses and called an ambulance. Currently, the room 394 is in use and I had a class there last trimester. After football games, I would go up to my locker right next to 394 to get my backpack and it was creepy as hell. Also, like previously mentioned, a janitor did kill himself soon after this incident in the boiler room. It was told to me by a teacher, however I am not sure if this is true, that he committed the act late on a Friday and the smell of his corpse was only noticed that Monday. So yeah, creepy ass school.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I go there now. I've been to the fourth floor and above the theater. Been to the creepy little room on the fifth floor that's locked and has a ton of old stuff in it. Also have heard about the suicides but have never heard anything more regarding them. Definitely creepy as hell in there when you're alone. Gives you the chills. Will be paying a visit to the tunnels when I'm a senior hahaha. Woods took us up to a locked portion for a class once and showed us all the parts of the fourth floor. Pretty cool

Anonymous said...

Where is room 394?? All the rooms have 4 numbers...

Anonymous said...

I had gone to Blessed Trinity right across the parking lot of AHA for some time but I had never gone to Holy Angels. When I was in 3rd grade (this would have been at the Penn Campus), my friend had walked in and told me that she thought the girls' bathroom was haunted. For years I had suspected the boys' bathroom was haunted, due to toilets flushing, toilet seats falling, and faucets running on their own. Most of my friends have experienced this too. The creepiest thing that would happen would be the sounds of footsteps pacing back and forth. The theory of the cause was the death of a kindergartner from cancer years back. You spend elementary in a haunted school and graduate to high in another haunted building