Local Haunts: Collingwood Arts Center

Local Haunts: Collingwood Arts Center
June 22, 2009
Jason Korbus

Aside from news and views about the paranormal field at-large, this Examiner page is also intended to educate enthusiasts about the reputed haunted hotspots in Toledo and its surround areas. So let's sit back, relax, and explore together a place that is called by some the "Mecca of Toledo ghost investigators;" the Collingwood Arts Center

A registered historic site, the Collingwood Arts Center was completed in 1905 in the "Flemish Gothic" design by the architect E.O. Fallis. Located in Toledo's historic Old West End, on Collingwood Blvd, it was originally a convent for the Ursuline Order of the Sacred Heart; later housing both the Mary Manse College and St. Ursula Academy before eventually serving as a retirement center for elderly nuns. While today it is used mainly as studio and residential space for local artists, as well as a place to publicly showcase their work, many say that the nuns who once lived there still dwell in spirit.

The eyewitness reports of ghost sightings are varied and go back many years, but perhaps the two most famous are of the angry nun who is seen in the theater balcony and the shadowy figure who inhabits the basement.

Spotted usually when there is a theatric rehearsal on stage, this specter of the nun will gaze angrily at the performers, even being reported to throw sparks in their direction and flood their mind with angry imagery. One former resident reported feeling enraged and then ice cold while walking down the hallway outside the balcony. This is said to have occurred directly after she saw what she described as a "molecular windstorm" appear before her and then pass through her body.

While that story may be creepy enough, it is the shadowy entity that lurks throughout the basement that is perhaps best documented. Reports vary as to who or what this apparition is. Some believe it is the spirit of a nun, whose name may have been Angelique or Anhelena, who committed suicide in the basement during the 1950s, while others believe this shadow figure is a dark form conjured by an occult group once said to have conducted rituals in the building at a time when it was vacant. Whatever the truth really is, this figure has been seen by numerous people, from Collingwood Arts Center residents, visitors, and paranormal enthusiasts alike.

Often said to dash up and down the basement stairs or hide behind pillars and doorways, there is one piece of video footage of this figure that was captured by current Phase 3 Paranormal co-founder Bobby Nelson and former team member Jeremy Dunbar. While the only existing copy was gifted to former Executive Director Tom Brooks, it has been viewed by some in the Toledo paranormal community and has astounded even some hardline skeptics. An EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) which was captured on the audio track of the video camera, however, exists and is online.

Unfortunately, the current Director of the Collingwood Arts Centers spurns the requests of many researchers to investigate it and the claims of activity themselves are also downplayed publicly. Even so, the Collingwood Arts Center remains a paranormal hotspot in the Toledo area because, much like the ghosts themselves, credible reports of their presence continue to be both seen and heard. Indeed it seems the spirits of the departed still remain.

Thanks for reading.
Comments: 0