The Ghosts Of St. Edward’s University
South Austin’s big-name University, St. Edwards, positively reeks of the paranormal. The university is a hodgepodge of architectural styles and era, huge gothic cathedrals and spire mixed in with the glamour of the roaring 20s and the functionality of the late 50s. It is the sort of haven that births wold tales on a daily basis… and some of those sinful urban legends seem to stalk the alumni across its maze-like hallways.
The History Of St. Edward’s University.
The academia was founded by the same superior General of the Congregation of Holy Cross, who brought into being the University of Notre Dame. The man was called Edward Sorin, a reverend that saw a communal need in the farmlands south of Austin and filled up that educational void with what would eventually become St. Edward’s.
For 10 years the structure that house the academic behemoth to come was quaint and rather homely; it was the proverbial homespun school ripped out off the script pages of Little House On The Praire. That all changed when the President of Edward’s, Rev. P.J. Franciscus, in 1885, managed to secure an official college charter. That small tilt against the windmills of ignorance skyrocketed the academy and earned it the necessary prestige to not only increase its enrollment but to attract financial aid and investors.
By the end of that Millennium, Edward’s was growing at a rapid pace. Architect Nicholas J. Clayton of Galveston, Texas was tasked with the project’s success and renovation. He designed a four-story tall main building in the Gothic Revival style and flipped the university’s narrative on its head. It was no longer an outskirt underdog academia but a powerhouse of scholarship and enlightenment.
A Point By Point Chronology.
- In 1903 a massive fire destroyed most of the major main building.
- 1922 a huge tornado battered the main building.
- 1966 the University opened its doors to women. A separate building was erected, Maryhill Collage.
- 1970 Maryhill was completely absorbed by St.Edwards and the university became co-educational.
The last 50 or so years has basically been a revolving door of presidents and chancellors, of investors, or growth and of new departments. St. Edwards is one of the most prestigious universities in the country and, regionally, it is a beacon of civic initiatives and communal improvements.
It is an educational morass that has raised some of Texas’ intellectual elite and some of the nation’s most iconic leaders… It is also a place that, given its history, its passions and its continuous flow of humanity, also managed to amass a few horror stories and more than one ghost.
Let’s take a look at what sort of skeletons St.Edwards has in its closet.
The Hauntings Of St. Edwards.
Some of the students, faculty, and staff members that call St. Edwards their stumping ground are continually attacked by all manner of supernatural events. The university over the year has managed to collect, behind its pristine exterior and shiny towers, a gaggle of savage story and blood-soaked urban legends.
The first yarn comes from the university’s genesis, from those few first years where the forging of the mammoth was being led and the academia was on its first tentative steps. Back in 1877, one of the first classes to attend the scholarly fort suffered a major tragedy. A popular student was trampled by a horse-drawn carriage; his neck severed by the animal’s hooves. The place where this tragedy took place is now a major street, no longer smothered with wooden carriages but by cars. Some students have reported hearing a loud thud while driving on that thoroughfare as if their wheels have just passed over something.
“It’s something that happens quite often, you go outside check under the car and there’s nothing… But, a minute before you could have sworn you crashed into something.”
St. Edwards is renowned through the land for its excellent drama and music program. It is one of the most coveted of its kind in the state. It is also one of the most harrowing, passionate, and demanding. Its students are held to high standards and a strict disciplinary curriculum.
During fevered late-night rehearsals, some of these passionate and artistic souls have been assailed by a myriad of macabre incidents.
“You see things. Some times you don’t know if it’s your mind playing tricks on you, if maybe its a mental short-circuit, or it’s your just sleep deprived… but you see things. Horrible things.”