If you went to Mercy in the early 2000’s, you’ve probably heard of Sister Mary Agnes. Apparently her spirit haunts our school. Many alums and teachers have a story to tell about the ghost who roams the halls. I chose to investigate this myth and see whether it is fact or fiction.
When St. Mary’s and St. John’s merged together in 1955, half of the school served as a convent to the Omaha Sisters of Mercy. Because of our rich history of in-school residents, there has been much speculation on whether or not 48th and Woolworth is home to dwelling spirits.
To learn more about Sister Mary Agnes, I visited Sister Jean as well as Mrs. Ashley Miller from the class of 2004. Sister Jean is, in fact, the creator of this myth. She said, “I perpetuated the whole story. It began in a small room near the Academic Success Center. Papers were flying everywhere and lights would go on and off. Every time that would happen, I would blame ‘Sister Mary Agnes’.” Mrs. Miller gave me one theory of who the phantom may be. She explained, “Sister Mary Agnes lived here at Mercy when it was a convent. The legend of the spirit starts in the tunnels underneath the school. Sister Mary Agnes apparently died in the tunnels and it took the authorities a long time to find her body.” So now she roams the halls, looking to be found by someone. Hmmmm….
Sister Jean gave me the second theory of who this ghost might be. Her name was Sister Mary Margaret. Sister Jean explained how Sister Mary Margaret lived at the St. John’s convent. She wanted to live in the Mercy convent, but she died before she had a the chance. So now she roams the halls of Mercy High School because it is where she always wanted to be.
Now that we know the theories of who Sister Mary Agnes might be, let’s dwell in some spooky stories that will give you the chills. Sister Jean and the teachers have seen a lot of paranormal activity at Mercy. “A teacher saw a habited nun walk by them and then walk through a closed door”, Sister claims. Sister Jean got really spooked one time on a Sunday afternoon. “I heard all of these noises in the storage room so I ran out into the hall!” Mrs. Miller told me a teacher was working late on night and they closed the blinds on their windows. When that teacher came back the following morning, all the blinds were open.
Sister Jean may have been the creator the ghost story, but the teachers and the students have added to the myth as well. The convent was taken down in 2005, so we may never know what happened behind those closed doors. Sister Mary Agnes was never a teacher a Mercy, but she definitely left an impact on our school. Is it all fact or fiction? We know for sure there is a ghost in our school, but we may never know the real identity of who or what is haunting the halls of Mercy High School.