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Spirits Of Saint Mary's


This is just a little collection of experiences from Saint Mary's University in Winona, MN. I went here for a year in a half (dropped out for financial reasons, sigh) but I still collected some stories.

The first experience I had is actually the only full bodied apparition I've seen. I was in the theatre for class (I was a theatre major) and we were sitting in the seats. The curtains on the side of the stage were pulled up so you could see backstage on the sides. Stage left (where no living people were) I see a bright white figure walk upstage toward the stairs to go up to the catwalk. It was a woman, wearing an old fashioned dress. Later on in the green room I went over to get a look at the portrait that hung there, of Dorothy Magnus who had funded the building of the theatre. The figure had looked just like her! I figure it was her, checking up on her dear theatre. It was wonderful and I feel special that even though there were a ton of other students in there, she only appeared to me.

My other personal experience was in Heffron Hall. If you Google Heffron Hall, it will come right up, within the last 10 years I believe that it was declared one of the most haunted dorms in the country. You can go read the stories, including a series from our local paper The Winona Daily News and it's an interesting read. Anyways, for my last semester there I lived in Heffron Hall, on the third floor. I hadn't been in to see what the rooms were like so the summer prior to moving in I wandered into the unlocked second floor. They had been painting and doing some remodelling so the carpet was all ripped up but I went in anyway! It looked like no one was there. I went down the hall a bit and down near the end of the hall in one room there was suddenly a huge racket, like things being tossed around like crazy! I was like, uh oh; I hope I don't get in trouble for being in here! I'm not sure why but I went on down the hall to see who was in the room down there. The room was totally empty, except for the empty bed and desk. I was startled but was like YES I had an experience in Heffron! That fall when I moved in, nothing really happened. Several times when I was up late I would start feeling very uneasy, but it was probably just me working myself up from reading stories about the hall online.

The next experiences are ones my close friend had. Her freshman year she lived in Skemp Hall on the third floor. In this room a girl had died. I think it was suicide, but I'm not certain. Every Wednesday night, in the closet they could hear a girl crying. They were scared at first, and then would try to talk to it and calm it down, and when it wouldn't respond to anything it ended up just becoming kind of annoying so they would leave the room at that time every week. My friend has talked to other girls who lived in this room and they all had the same experience.

One night my friend was up in St. Mary's hall on the third floor, playing hide and seek in the dark with friends. (She loves having childlike fun!) She ran to a far room at the end of the hall and waited to be found. Suddenly something grabs her ponytail and jerks her head back and she hears an angry man's voice sneer, "Get out!" Needless to say, she got out! She refused to ever go up there at night after that.

My sister stayed with me several times while I was there, and once she had to leave my dorm and go get a snack late at night. She passed this one wall in Saint Mary's and there was a really creepy knocking on the wall. She asked me what was in this particular room and I didn't know, but the building was locked up and empty at the time. She said she wouldn't have thought anything of it but it made her feel uncomfortable hearing it.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, smixie, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

hbchil11 (1 posts)
11 years ago (2013-07-21)
I don't know if you know the answer because it wasn't your personal experience, but do you know what room in Skemp had the crying girl? I am just curious because I have a friend living on 3rd floor Skemp next year.
generalchaos (2 stories) (141 posts)
13 years ago (2011-11-29)
thank you for the story - *I'm* originally from Rochester. I remember hearing stories about St. Mary's when I was growing up.
smixie (4 stories) (17 posts)
13 years ago (2011-11-11)
miracles- not a prob!

Argette- yes, good point! Another thing to consider is that if you have ever known a theatre person well, it is true passion, and any actor or backstage hand would love theatre enough to stay there forever.

Ngute- nice to know you're kind of from nearby!
ngute80 (220 posts)
13 years ago (2011-11-10)
Thank you for your story. I know exactly where Winona is. I'm originally from Mankato 😊. Please keep us posted.
Argette (guest)
13 years ago (2011-11-10)
It is interesting that so many theaters supposedly have ghosts. I've got to admit that the theatre at my little college is spooky. I don't feel alone there, even when I am alone (which is almost never, even though I still live in the town where I went to college). For one thing, many of the students who participated in drama and got roles in plays when I went to school died young. I can think of at least four who regularly appeared in plays who never made it to age 28. All were very good actors. It makes me wonder...
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
13 years ago (2011-11-10)
smixie - thank you for answering my questions. I appreciate it😊
smixie (4 stories) (17 posts)
13 years ago (2011-11-10)
miracles- I am only assuming no one saw her. Unless they were like me and just silently enjoyed the experience, no one said anything. I don't remember what was going on at the time, it was most likely everyone talking to each other and me sitting there alone being antisocial. Anyone I have recounted it to says they would have freaked out if they saw her, or at least made a bit deal about it.

And as for the knocking, I didn't hear it myself, it was my sister. It was probably just irregular, and what made it creepy was knowing that the building was empty and she had been in that hallway before and never heard it.
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
13 years ago (2011-11-10)
smixie - I'm not knocking your experiences at all, I just have a couple of questions. The first one is about your experience with the woman you believe to be Dorothy Magnus. You said there were a ton of other students there but she appeared only to you. How do you know that for sure? I'm not questioning that you saw her. I believe you did. I'm just wondering why you are so positive that you are the only one who saw her. Out of a ton of other students, there may have been one or two others who saw her that might just not have admitted it. That is, if you questioned each and every one of them.

Also, what does "really creepy knocking" sound like?

Like I said, I'm not trying to discredit your story at all. I'm just curious about these two things.

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