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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The Banishing

While this story is my own, I have changed the names of those involved to protect their privacy.

Growing up with Wiccan high priestess, Lady Rhea, for a mother made for an interesting time.  Aside from glittering Enchanted Candles, crafting perfumes, and giving clients psychic advice, my mother occasionally performed banishing rituals to remove negative energies from close friends’ houses.  This was much different from the spiritual cleansings that she did to purify a space.  These spells involved deeper, older magick.  For those of you who don’t know, Wiccans and Pagans often spell magick with a “k” to differentiate from the stage “magic” that magicians use as entertainment.

When I was a teenager, a close family friend of ours, started experiencing a lot of problems.  Anne had a big house with several people living there.  Over a few months, her family experienced a slew of bad luck with illnesses, financial setbacks, and a rise in heated arguments.  While various circumstances could lead to this happening, Anne felt that something in the house was “off,” so she asked for my mother to give her a reading to see what was going on.

Mom shuffled her cards and turned them over.  Taking a final drag of her cigarette, she shook her head.  “Oh, no…This is not good.”

“What is it?” asked Anne.

Mom turned over more cards.  “What I’m going to say might sound ridiculous, but I need you to listen to me.”  Anne nodded.  My mom paused before continuing, “The cards indicate that there is something inside of the house that is causing the problem.  It’s a negative entity of some sort.”

Anne’s adult son, Peter, who was also seated at the table turned his head at this news.  He said that he had recently woke up and saw an apparition of a bat-like creature with a human face hovering over his bed.  He hadn’t mentioned it before because he thought it was just a nightmare.  Mom looked back at the card reading.  She turned to Anne’s son.

“Can I see your room?”

He nodded.  Even I tagged along upstairs.  After hearing Peter’s story, I didn’t want to be left alone.  Mom entered the room.  After a minute or two, she nodded.  “Yes.  Whatever it is, it’s upstairs and it generally stays in this room.”

We went back downstairs.

“What can we do?” asked Anne as she made more coffee.

“You can light some white candles and incense to help cleanse the space, but ultimately, I’ll have to do a banishing spell for you,” said my mother.

I almost choked on my soda.  Mom always prescribed candles, prayers, incense, that sort of thing.  She only spoke about conducting rituals for serious problems.

“Great,” said Peter.  “I’m staying downstairs on the couch until this thing is gone.”

After Peter went to hang out with some friends, Mom asked Anne about the history of the house.  A large, three-story, white, Victorian house, it was the kind that you see iced with snow on picturesque Christmas cards.  The house had been remodeled in the years following an older relative’s death.  Mom asked if there were any strange events that had happened in the house.  Anne said that there was one.

The last owner of the house had met a tragic end.  Two hours before his daughter’s wedding, he had excused himself saying that he would be right back.  While everyone was in the house getting ready, he left the car engine running and sealed himself inside the vehicle with the windows shut.  Without any warning to his friends or family, he had committed suicide on the day that his daughter was to be married.

“Why’d you even buy the house?” I asked, after Anne was done telling the story.  I was about fifteen then.

“TARA!” Mom glared at me.

Anne laughed.  “It’s okay, Rhea,” she said.  “We didn’t find out until years after we bought the house.  Some neighbors told us.”

Later on, I shivered as we got into the car.  Even though I had been over Anne’s house hundreds of times, I was afraid that the ghost of the dead man was going to jump out at us in the driveway.

“Could Anne’s neighbors have made up that story?” I asked.

“Perhaps,” said Mom, “But I don’t think so.  That negative spirit has caused trouble before.”

“What are we going to do?”

“It’s okay,” said Mom.  “We’re going to get rid of it.”

“How?”

“You’ll see.”

The first thing Mom did was call our coven members.  She told them that she needed their help doing a special favor for a dear friend of hers.  They all knew about Anne and were happy to help.  I had already been initiated and since we needed as many people as possible, Mom decided to bring me along.

A few days later, our coven met at Anne’s house.  We went upstairs to the second floor where all of the bedrooms were located.  My mother turned off the lights and then lit some candles.  She and her partner cast circle to help protect us during the ritual.  Then we all started running clockwise to create a cone of power while chanting a Wiccan banishing spell that is sacred to my mother’s coven.  As we did this, we were running past the bedroom doors which were all standing wide open.

At one point as I was running past Peter’s room, I saw a pale face glaring back at us from the dark.  The apparition was about three or four feet off of the floor.  The face glowed white and had three dark spaces where the eyes and mouth should be.  I didn’t dare break the chain and by the time that I had come around again, the thing was gone.  After the ritual was done, I mentioned the incident to my mother.  One of my older friends who was also in the coven turned to me.

“You saw it too?”

In addition to the banishing spell, we also said prayers that night to help the previous owner’s spirit move on to the light.  After the ritual, everyone was much more at peace in the house and Anne’s family life returned to normal.

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

If you enjoyed this article and would be interested in supporting my work, please check out my Patreon page. 

When Strange Winds Blow

Thanks to Amy from West Virginia for this story!

Amy grew up with her grandparents in an old coal mining town.  Her grandfather built the house with his own hands using leftover wood from the church.  Amy’s grandfather passed away before she was born, but she heard plenty of stories about him.  A coal miner, he had also been a heavy smoker and had a reputation for being a curmudgeon.  Amy never felt her grandfather’s presence in the house while growing up, nor did she experience anything paranormal or out of the ordinary.

However, something strange did happen on the day of her grandfather’s death.  Unknown to Amy’s grandmother at the time, he had been crushed between two mining machines.  It was a terrible accident.

Amy’s grandmother was home alone when suddenly the back door flew open.  The gust of wind tore the curtains down in the living room.  When it reached the other side of the house, the front door opened inward, as if someone had pulled it open from the inside.  Then the wind exited the house and everything was still again.  Later, Amy’s grandmother discovered that this incident had occurred at the time of her husband’s death.

Amy still lives in her childhood home.  Things were fine until she did some major remodeling to modernize the place.  Every so often, a great wind blows through the house.  She has checked it out and there are no sources for these drafts.  She has also occasionally seen a shadow.  She is unsure whether the apparition’s presence makes her feel uncomfortable because of a vibe that it is giving off or if it is because of the background knowledge that she has about her grandfather.  Both Amy and her husband have sensed the spirit.  Sometimes the wind leaves the scent of tobacco in its wake, but no one in the house smokes.

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

If you enjoyed this article and would be interested in supporting my work, please check out my Patreon page. 

The House Next Door

Thanks to Stacia from Pennsylvania for sharing this story with me!

Stacia comes from a psychically gifted family.  They always knew that the house next door was haunted.  Former occupants had suffered from drug abuse and suicide, among other trials.  After it was abandoned, Stacia and her family would sit on their front porch and listen to the echo of the doors banging opened and closed throughout the empty house.  Their dogs refused to go anywhere near it and growling could be heard coming from inside the house.  Despite these occurrences, Stacia’s family bought the place so that they could knock it down and extend their property.

After the house had been stripped, Stacia and her three siblings went into the front room to see if they could make contact with whomever was in the house.  Standing shoulder to shoulder, they took each other’s hands.  Almost immediately, the closet doors started repeatedly slamming open and shut.  It was then that they knew that they weren’t dealing with a trapped or sad ghost, but some sort of dark presence.  They quickly exited the house.

Sometime later, Stacia returned with one of her sisters.  They brought along a cat ball toy that had a little bell inside of it to see if they could get the spirit to interact with them.  Stacia took the ball and threw it at the top of the stairs.  The laws of physics should have caused it to fall down and roll around.  Instead, the ball looked as if it was caught in mid-air by something unseen and then it dropped straight down to the ground without any movement at all.  Realizing that they must have found the entity’s location, they went upstairs to investigate.  Once again, the upstairs closet door began rapidly opening and closing of its own volition.  Stacia and her sister ran out of the house.

Stacia was in the house one more time before it was torn down.  She and her sister went down into the basement to start the demolition.  Lying on the floor was an old Maxwell House coffee can that had been cut out on both ends so that you could actually see through it.  Picking up a hammer, they started taking down a wall when a cat-like shriek sounded from their right hand side, followed by punching and banging to their left.  Whipping around, they saw the coffee can rolling along the floor by itself, as if it was being pushed by an invisible hand.

After the house was taken down, Stacia and her family had the ground blessed in an attempt to calm any remaining restless spirits.  Whatever was in the house has apparently moved into the tree that still stands on the former house’s site.  Sometimes at night, if Stacia goes too close to the tree, it will come out and chase her back to her house.  Stacia told me this story while standing by what she calls “the damn tree.”

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

If you enjoyed this article and would be interested in supporting my work, please check out my Patreon page. 

Ghostly Vibrations: A Change in Hauntings

Thanks to Paula from Nassau County, Long Island for this story!

Paula grew up in an old farmhouse that was built in the 1900s.  It has four floors including a basement, the first and second floor, and an attic.  Paula is more sensitive to psychic impressions than most of her family members.  She could always tell that her house was haunted.

Most of the paranormal activity happened on the first floor when there wasn’t anyone else down there.  Paula would hear chairs move, as if someone had just scraped them along the floor to get up.  Or there would be the vibrations of footsteps walking along the hallway between the main hall and the kitchen.  Sitting in her room and hearing these noises coming from downstairs, Paula would think, “As long as whatever it is doesn’t come upstairs, I’m okay.”

Some of the sounds were so commonplace that they literally became a part of the background noise of the house.  She’d hear dishes rattling in the cupboards and chalk it up to “old house sounds.”  It was only as she got older and started talking to other people about this, that Paula discovered that those things generally don’t happen in houses.

The house has a tragic past that the residents are familiar with.  Somewhere between 1915 and 1920, a young woman committed suicide in the master bedroom.  When Paula was growing up, her family did some remodeling of the house and found a box of love letters and old-fashioned clothes from 1906.  Apparently, the woman was unhappy in her marriage and had possibly planned to run away, but never found the opportunity to do so.

Another sad event took place in the house in the late 1990s.  A young man died in the basement from complications related to alcohol poisoning.  Paula states that up until this moment, the ghostly activities in the house were almost peaceful or non-intrusive in nature.  After the sudden death, odd things started happening in the house.

There is an apartment in the basement that family members use on and off.  Paula’s brother, Max, and his girlfriend, Michelle, were living there with their baby girl for a while.  Electronics would behave abnormally.  Sometimes, the ceiling fan would turn itself on and spin much faster than it was supposed to on the normal setting.

One evening, Max was in the shower and Michelle was lying down in bed.  Someone called out to her.  Thinking it was Max trying to get her attention, Michelle sat up in bed.  As she did so, she both heard and saw the light switch turn itself off.  Freaked out, she went and asked Max why he had played that trick on her, but he was still in the shower and there was no one else in the basement with them.

About a month later, Michelle was asleep in the basement apartment.  Max was upstairs, keeping watch over their child through the baby monitor.  Suddenly, he saw a pair of legs kicking as if someone was in distress.  He hurried downstairs to find that Michelle was completely fine.  He roused her, told her what he saw, and they both went upstairs to check the baby monitor.

Staring at the screen, they watched something invisible move on the bed.  Then a brilliant, zigzagging light started zooming around the room.  Fearful that whatever that was might mean the baby harm, Michelle went and got their daughter and took her back upstairs with them.  They have felt an uncomfortable energy in that apartment ever since.  Even the family dogs absolutely refuse to go down into the basement.

Paula definitely believes that there is more than one energy in the house now.  The change in the ways the hauntings demonstrated themselves makes me think that the first one that she grew up with is more of a residual haunting.  The second one with the electronics turning themselves on and off and the partial human-like apparition followed by a fast moving light, sounds more like an active haunting.  What do you think?  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

If you enjoyed this article and would be interested in supporting my work, please check out my Patreon page. 

The Girl in the Corner

Thanks to Stephanie and her sister, Liz, for this story!

One night, Stephanie woke up to see a little girl sitting by her closet door.  The apparition had straight black hair with one wisp covering part of her face.  She wore a homemade cotton dress and looked to be about seven years old.  The ghost girl sat staring motionless and silent in the corner of the room.  Figuring that she was dreaming, Stephanie turned over and went back to sleep.

When she was fifteen, Stephanie moved into another room in the house and her younger sister, Liz, took her old room.  Liz was about eight or nine years old then.  Stephanie didn’t say anything about the girl in the room because she thought it was just a strange reoccurring dream and didn’t want to frighten her sister over something silly.

Many years later when they were both adults, the two sisters were talking and Stephanie happened to mention the odd dreams that she used to have as a kid.  Liz turned to her sister.

“You mean you saw her too?”

No one knows who the little ghost girl is or where she came from.  She always appears in the same corner.  To the family’s knowledge, she has not shown up in any other room in the house. Perhaps she is a recording that is attached to that one area since Stephanie’s room is a part of the original building.  Or, maybe that is where she is able to draw the most energy to manifest.  One would hope that her spirit is not still trapped there alone, after all of these years.

 

Keep the Light On

Thanks to Stephanie from Massachusetts for this story!

Whenever I think of haunted states, the ones that come immediately to mind are New York, Virginia, and Massachusetts.  Maybe it’s because they are all from the original thirteen colonies and have so much history, but it’s not surprising to hear of ghost stories.  From houses to colleges to battlefields, almost everything is haunted.

Stephanie works the night shift in a residential home for children with extreme developmental issues.  Part of her job is to check on the children routinely throughout the night.  She does this about every five to ten minutes.  The house that she works in has four bedrooms, a kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, and a living room that functions as a common area.

Stephanie sits watch in the hallway.  The living room is behind her.  Two bedrooms are at the front of the house.  In order to get to the second bedroom, she had to walk around the staircase and pass through the living room.

Last October, it was a normal night like any other when things suddenly became strange.  It was about two or three in the morning.  The area by the craft table in the living room was dimmer than usual.  For some reason, Stephanie had forgotten to turn the light on in the room that night.

As she turned into the living room, the figure of a man materialized.  He had short hair, was muscular in stature, and looked to be anywhere from his twenties to mid-thirties.  It happened so quickly that Stephanie didn’t even have time to react.  One second he was walking beside her and the next, he had passed through the wall by the craft table and disappeared.  She only caught the side profile of his face and didn’t notice any particular details about his clothes.

Stephanie is a no-nonsense person.  She had a better reaction than most other people would have had in her situation.  Once the man was gone, she resumed her nightly duties.  Since that night, Stephanie always remembers to keep the light on in the living room.  The mysterious man is yet to make another appearance.