The Ghost of St Mary's University

According to the Huffington Post, there is a ghost haunting one of the buildings on the St. Mary's University campus. in Winona, Minnesota.

Supposedly haunted Heffron Hall St. Marys Winona - 1940 MNHS
Supposedly haunted Heffron Hall St. Marys Winona - 1940 MNHS

"In 1915, Bishop Patrick Heffron was shot to death in a chapel on St. Mary's campus by a bitter Father Lesches, who was later institutionalized at the Minnesota State Hospital for the Dangerously Insane."

Is it true? Could it be true?

Again, according to the Huffington Post...

St. Mary's students believe that Heffron hall has been haunted by its slain namesake since it was built in 1921 -- they say the ghost of Bishop Heffron has been spotted on the third and fourth floors of the residence hall and that he is responsible for unexplained drafts.

But Is It True James?

Bishop Patrick Richard Heffron of the Winona Diocese circa 1885
Bishop Patrick Richard Heffron of the Winona Diocese circa 1885

According to St. Mary's

A little digging on the internet machine, and I found a blog entry from Minnesota Public Radio's Alex Friedrich from November 2010 called Death of a St. Mary's University Ghost Story.

St Mary's Spokesman Deb Nahrgang said to Friedrich,

"Officially, there isn’t a ghost. It was made up as hype for the college paperback in the ‘60s. That doesn’t, unfortunately, stop the story from spreading. Everybody loves a good ghost story."

So that's that. Or is it?

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Patrick Marek, Publisher/Advertising Director at Winona Post, has researched and written extensively about this topic...

The story of the Heffron Hall ghost is layered with anecdotal urban legends, like the skins on an over-ripe onion. However, when you peel away all of the embellishments you find two incidents at the heart of the tale that are historically accurate.

Read all his articles here if you want the full story. He's a wonderful writer and you'll be swept along for the ride.

But if not, you may leave knowing the OFFICIAL story is, "There is no ghost."

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know:

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