Dorming with Ghosts: The Many Spirits of Marillac Hall

Ouija boards are the subject of much controversy.  Having grown up with a psychic mother, I am pretty comfortable using them, although I know that it is wise to take some precautions, such as lighting a white candle and placing a chalice or bowl of water nearby to help attract positive spirits.  I had some spectacular experiences with ghosts during my years at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, especially at Marillac Hall.

I lived in Marillac Hall in my Junior year.  I’m glad that I had a roommate because I don’t think that I would have been brave enough to live there on my own.  The oldest building on campus, Marillac was built in the late 1800s.  My college always had a lot of fun hosting haunted houses and ghost tours for Halloween.  After getting permission from the Residence Director, I invited my mother and a friend up to do a Ouija board séance at Marillac Hall.

I was standing downstairs in the lounge, waiting for my mother to arrive.  Suddenly, I heard a tapping sound.  Looking up, I saw a face grinning back at me through the porch door’s window.  I must have jumped ten feet high.  The woman on the other side of the doorway laughed hysterically.

“Very funny, Mom,” I chided her.  “You have to come in the front door.  The porch is always kept locked.”  She nodded and I went around to get her and our family friend, Artie, signed in under me.  Artie, also known as Lord Tammuz, is another elder of the Craft in New York City.  He and my mom have been friends for many years and they are used to doing the Ouija board together.  Mom, Artie, and I spent some time catching up while we waited for people to arrive for the event.

Once everyone was there, I introduced Mom and Artie to the group.  Mom explained how we were going to respectfully ask any spirits who were around if they wished to communicate.  This was not going to be an aggressive event where we tried to coerce spirits into making contact.  While there were never any guarantees that spirits would decide to come thorough the board, Mom was hopeful that there would be a high level of activity that night because it was Halloween.  The veil between the Spirit World and the living is thinnest on Halloween night, which is also known as Samhain in Wiccan traditions.

Due to fire safety precautions, we could not light any candles, but Mom said that was okay.  She didn’t think we would run into any negative spirits.  The Mount is a peaceful, holy place.  CMSV was founded by the Sisters of Charity and Marillac Hall has a tiny chapel located on the first floor where the Sisters sometimes hold special, private prayer sessions.

We turned down the lights, keeping only the low lamps on so that we could see the board clearly.  Mom and Artie did the board while I recorded the words that the spirits spelled out.  The first spirit that came through was a gentleman from the 1940s.  His wife had attended the College of Mount Saint Vincent back when it was still a women’s college.  He had fond memories of visiting her here while they were courting.  They had gotten married after she graduated.

The room that we were doing the Ouija board reading in is known as the “Engagement Room.”  Mom and Artie didn’t know this, but my classmates and I did because we knew the history of the building.  When the school was still exclusively for women, male visitors weren’t allowed to go upstairs to visit their girlfriends.  The front desk attendant would escort the gentleman caller into the “Engagement Room” to wait.  Then they would let the young lady know that she had a visitor.

The second spirit that came through was a priest with a heavy Irish brogue named Father William.  During his life, he had resided on campus and taught mathematics.  This was reflected in the friendly, but professorial manner in which he addressed us.  He told us that many spirits chose to “haunt” CMSV, but not in the negative sense.  Very few, if any were stuck there.  Rather, the positive experiences that they had at the Mount forged a bond with the place that kept them coming back to visit long after they had gone to the light.

Father William went on to explain that sometimes spirits returning for a visit would be surprised by the changes that the Mount had undergone in their absence.  His former abode was now a large broom closet.  One of my classmates gasped, “Are you the ghost that haunts the storage closet on the third floor whose door always opens up on its own?”

“Aye,” Father William spelled out.

“Why do you stay there?” we asked.

“The landlord hates me,” he responded.  Then Father William told us all to study hard and said that he had to be going because there were other spirits who wanted to come through the board.

A couple of other spirits came through.  One commented on a student’s velvet curtains and said that she could leave them open if she ever wanted to see the ghosts that congregate on the balcony outside her window at night.  Just like the porch, the balcony had been sealed off many years before and students were forbidden to climb out onto it, even if their windows overlooked it.  The young woman shook her head, “After this, I’m always keeping them closed.”

Then the last spirit of the night arrived.  This one was a female from the 1950s.  “Hi, gang!” she chirped out over the board.  She introduced herself as K.M.  “I love Marillac!  I have a monument here.”  We all looked at each other.  As far as my classmates and I knew, there was no monument to any student on campus.  We were curious about how she had died.

K.M. grew sad.  “I did something foolish that led to an accident.”

“What did you do?” we asked.

She spelled out one word.  “Dumbwaiter.”  She had apparently climbed inside of one and the resulting accident had led to her death.

I nodded.  “Oh…That must be why all of the old dumbwaiters in the building are sealed up now.”

The spirit circled “YES” on the board.

We were all silent for a moment.  Then one of the students asked, “Where is your monument?”

K.M. responded, “In here.  Turn on the light.”

We didn’t understand what she meant, so we kept turning on and off lights for a few minutes.  We didn’t see any monument though.  It was close to midnight at this point, so we had to bring the event to a close.  We all said goodbye to K.M.  Then Mom thanked the spirits for joining us and closed out the session.  As we were cleaning up, Mom noticed something behind a tall lamp.  The lampshade had been hiding a brass plaque that was attached to the wall.  The initials of the person who the plaque commemorated were K.M. from the Class of 1955.

You can read more about the hauntings of CMSV in the following Ghost Posts: A Strange Welcome: Marillac Hall, Part 1, I Thought I was Alone: Marillac Hall, Part 2, The Ghost of Marillac Hill, Legends of CMSV: Sarah’s Story, and The Ghost Chase.


If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send me an email to theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview.  I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

For more ghost stories, paranormal phenomena, and updates, follow Tara Theresa Hill on Facebook and on Twitter at @TaraTheresaHill.

Spook
“Spook” – Artwork by Mara Cordova, Copyright The Ghost Post –  April 2017

Want to show off your passion for ghosts with a little fashion flair?  In celebration of The Ghost Post’s 1 Year Anniversary, I have launched a Café Press store featuring The Ghost Post’s official new mascot, Spook. 

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Ghost Friends

Thanks to Holly Bell for this story! 

One of the warnings that is given to paranormal investigators and ghost hunters who are just starting out in the field is never to invite spirits to follow you home.  This is so that the spirit does not become attached to the person.  The idea is that you would not invite a total stranger into your home without caution and since ghosts are the souls of people who have passed on, you do not want to encourage them to take up residence with you either.  Unless you know the spirit well or have a previous relationship with the person from when they were alive, it’s generally not considered wise to let them into your sacred space.  However, just as with everything, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Holly Bell is a clairaudient paranormal investigator.  Although she has seen apparitions, she mostly hears whispers and collects EVPs.  Holly started her paranormal investigation group about five years ago with another friend of hers who is also an empath.  You can check out her paranormal videos on YouTube.

A couple of years ago, Holly was investigating her former professor’s home.  The professor had lived peacefully in the building for years.  When he became empathic and psychically aware after a near-death experience, he started noticing that his old house was full of ghosts.  Unfortunately, he was terrified of them and decided to sell the place.  Before the deal was closed, he asked Holly to come over and investigate.

After Holly had been in the house a few minutes, the professor asked, “Well?  Why are they here?  What do they want?”

“They want to know why you hate them.  They don’t mean you any harm,” Holly answered.  “Even though they’re dead, they’re just peacefully living out their afterlife here.”

As she continued to explore the house, a young female spirit approached Holly.  The spirit said her name was Sarafina.  She wore a dress that looked like something from the Little House on The Prairie books.  Holly estimated that she was from the 1800s.  The little girl ghost had played with the professor’s niece when she visited, but since he was going to be leaving soon, she was going to be all alone.  The spirit did not seem ready to move on to the light.  During the visit, Holly took a liking to Sarafina and invited her to come home with her instead.

Another time, Holly was doing an investigation in Sacramento Historic City Cemetery in California when she came across the spirit of a cavalry soldier.  He introduced himself as John.  When she was leaving the area where he was, he called for her to come back.  Perhaps he wasn’t stuck haunting the cemetery and might have just been passing through because he decided to follow her home.  Holly has had readings with two other psychics who have confirmed this spirit by name.  John is not ready to cross over and has taken up the role of protecting Holly.


If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send me an email to theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview.  I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

For more ghost stories, paranormal phenomena, and updates, follow Tara Theresa Hill on Facebook and on Twitter at @TaraTheresaHill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Back Room

When I was a little girl, Grandpa Freddie lived in the basement apartment of my Aunt Marianne’s house.  I knew that Grandpa’s wife, Tessie, had passed away three years before I was born.  Grandpa Freddie wasn’t happy talking about Grandma Tessie, so I would pester my mother for stories about her.  Mom told me that Grandma Tessie loved reading, bird-watching, singing, and helping people.  Tessie was a family nickname for Theresa.  Mom said it was too painful to name me after her mother, so she gave me “Theresa” as a middle name instead.

Grandpa Freddie watched me after school and on weekdays during summer vacation.  For some reason, I was always scared of the back room by the kitchen.  The bathroom was located at the end of the small room where they kept the washer and dryer.  It was almost always dark in the back room and I was convinced that something was waiting to grab me.  I would come out of the bathroom and rush through the archway to get back to Grandpa’s kitchen.

At some point, I concluded that if there was a ghost there, it was probably Grandma Tessie.  If that was true, then I shouldn’t be afraid of her.  She was an ancestral spirit and if anything, she would be protective of me.  I stopped running out of the bathroom area, but there was still a sad atmosphere about the place.  Sometimes I would even get the sensation of being watched.

I later learned that the watched feeling might have been an electromagnetic field caused by the washer and dryer, but somehow, I was not convinced.  Years after Grandpa Freddie died, I told my mother about the strange vibes that I would get in the back room.  Then Mom told me this story.

One day, when she was already sick with cancer, Grandpa found Grandma Tessie passed out in the bathroom.  When he tried to pick her up, he saw that she was dead and in his fright, he started shaking her and calling her name.  Miraculously, she came out of it and he took her to the hospital.  She eventually passed away some months later.

Residual hauntings occur when there is no consciousness behind the paranormal activity.  It is the remaining energy imprint from either a repetitive event or a tragedy that took place, not an individual soul that can interact with people.  I did not know that my grandmother had almost died in the bathroom by the back room and yet, I always felt odd in that area.  I think that I picked up on the intense energy that my grandfather must have left behind in that room when he found his wife dying.

What do you think?  Could this be a type of residual haunting?  Have you or someone you know ever experienced a residual haunting before?  Let me know in the comments.


If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send me an email to theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview.  I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

For more ghost stories, paranormal phenomena, and updates, follow Tara Theresa Hill on Facebook and on Twitter at @TaraTheresaHill.