One of the creepiest facts the Gorlok Guides leave out during Webster University tours is the ghostly nun that haunts Loretto Hall. Although ghost stories are seen as fiction, the ghost of Loretto is a thing of fact according to one Webster alumnus.
Picture this in your mind: You are waiting on a friend in a dark, deserted hallway on the 4th floor of Loretto Hall and get the chilling feeling that you aren’t alone. You glance down the hallway see a dark, ghostly figure of a woman floating down the hall. She stops to gaze down at you and then vanishes, leaving only a trail of goosebumps on your arm as proof.
This is similar to Development Officer William Ratz’s first experience meeting the ghost of Loretto Hall. The one-time skeptic Ratz has seen the ghost twice since 2006 and is enthusiastic to meet her again.
Ghostly Haunts Around Loretto, Webster, and Maria Hall
Rumors and books on ghosts in St. Louis say the the spirit of a nun haunts Webster University’s Loretto Hall. The legend tells of a
nun who got pregnant and either threw herself off the 4th floor of Loretto Hall or was pushed out the window.
The story gets more complicated with the suspicion that the woman was pregnant with another priest’s unborn child. The decade at which this event occurred and the name of the nun is still a mystery. However, the haunting stories that have followed throughout the years provide testimony that Loretto, Webster, and Maria Hall are all haunted by the wandering spirit.
Loretto’s ghost has been seen throughout Loretto’s connected buildings: Maria and Webster Hall. Residents living in the Maria Hall dorms have various stories of hearing voices late at night and seeing dark figures by their beds in the middle of the night. Also, students in Webster Hall have reported lights going on and off on their own from outside the building.
Why the Ghost of a Nun?
So why would these connected buildings be haunted by a nun?
The Sisters of Loretto is a Catholic religious organization that helped lay the cornerstone for Webster University on Nov. 1, 1915.
The campus was known as Loretto College, one of the first Catholic women’s colleges west of the Mississippi before the school was named Webster University. The college eventually changed its name to Webster College to avoid confusing the campus with Loretto Academy.
This brief history is a way to make some sort of connection as to why the spirit of a nun would be involved with the hauntings of Loretto. Read the full history of Webster University here.
First Hand Ghost Stories
Some faculty and staff working in the Loretto building have reported things falling off shelves, feeling a presence in empty rooms, and actually seeing a dark robed figure during the day or night.
William Ratz graduated in 2002 and began working at the alumni office in his 4th floor Loretto office space in 2006. Ratz was always a skeptic towards ghost until he met the ghost for the first time.
“For some reason, it always seems like she shows herself to the men who work on 4th floor. The women just feel her presence sometimes.”
Remaining a Mystery…
The only facts that go hand-in-hand with this legend are the stories from Webster faculty, staff, and students. No one knows if there was an actual nun who died in Loretto, however there are many who will testify that there are many unexplainable and spooky things that happen around Webster University.
Check out The Galaxy’s video of Maria Hall residents’ personal ghost stories here.