Prescott Fine Arts Center

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A spirit of a Friar keeps an eye on the play rehearsals and productions; being a supportive presence, who generally loves the plays but is quick to show disapproval when needed.

Another male spirit of a priest is a positive, supportive presence who is as fun as when he was alive. He loves to get attention with some chuckles as well, while lightening the mood of nervousness.

 

DESCRIPTION

“The church is asserted to be “one of the best examples of nineteenth century religious architecture in Arizona”.

Prescott Center for the Arts is located in a former late Gothic Revival 1894-1896 church that was home to Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The NRHP explains its best features and why it was listed on National Register of Historic Places on December 14, 1970, when the Prescott Art Association owned it.

“The church is a substantial brick structure of symmetrical configu­ration about the east-west axis. Exterior features include the use of pointed arches, decorative brickwork, and a combination of rough-cut stone with brick to produce ornamen­tation.”

The original one hundred and fifteen foot steeple acted like a lightning rod and was destroyed by lightning, in the 1930s; protecting the bell tower that still stands today.

While the altar stained glass windows were removed, the stained glass interior circles above the audience area are still there, as are the metal walls and ceiling. 

“Prescott Center for the Arts is a non-profit fine arts organization; “Providing Service to Community, Entertainment, and Resources for Everything Art Related. It is the mission of the Prescott Center for the Arts to create opportunities for the greater community to engage in and experience all facets of the arts.”

The main theatre stage is in the old church sanctuary. Center stage is located where the altar once stood. Where the confessional booth was, a laddie’s bathroom was installed. Because of the 2020 Covid mandatory spacing requirements, they were able to receive a grant and a private donation to not only get updated lighting and equipment, but to make the conversion inside in the audience seating area to “Cabaret Seating.”

Equally interesting to the NRHP, is the 1915 Rectory structure that was included in the church building’s listing on NRHP.

“To the north of the church, and adjoining it by an enclosed walkway, is the rectory. It is a symmetrical structure, two stories in height, and of masonry construction.”

The old rectory building is still the home to administrative offices, dressing rooms, prop and costume storage, and a meeting room for all the theatre productions; at least until the new Stage Too structure is built in part of their parking lot behind the main theater.

This new building will enable them to expand their youth and children’s programs, that will give the youth and children their own stage and rehearsal space, freeing up the main stage in the church building turned theatre, and the old rectory as well.
It will give the younger set a place to dress into costumes and for their costumes to be stored. Administrative offices for this new structure will also be there.

Prescott Center for the Arts offers a variety of arts programs; something for all ages. They have a regular, full theater season, Children’s Theater, Youth Theatre, Family Theatre and different types of musical concerts.

They have visual arts shows and exhibits on the lower level of the original church building, directly below the main stage in the sanctuary. This lower level was probably known as the original Fellowship Hall during the church years.

These exhibits “cover everything from sculpture to watercolor, oils, pottery, photography, jewelry and the annual Holiday Gift Show and Sale.”

On their staff, they have hired an Executive Director, a Development Director, a Technical Director, “three part-time administrative employees, and several other part-time ticket sales personnel.  Everyone else involved in the year-round operation is a VOLUNTEER!”

 

HISTORY

Built during the years of 1891-1894, this lovely brick structure and the adjacent two story building originally was the home of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Rectory. This church building was designed by architect Frank Parker, under the direction of Friar Alfred Quetu, who came to Prescott to minister to the Native Americans. The first service that was held in this new, beautiful church was in 1895.

In 1895, Fr. Alfred Quetu, wanting to expand his staff of God’s servants, invited Fr. Edmond Clossen, a young Father Michael and another local priest to join his ministry and to stay in the church’s wooden Rectory. 

Seven years later, Fr. Clossen died and was supposedly buried under the altar of the church by his request; but he wasn’t for some reason, and no one made a record as to where he actually was buried. Uh Oh!

By 1915, the original wooden 1895 rectory was a bit creaky, so it was torn down and a new rectory was built to last; of masonry construction that would persevere through the eras of time. It was more modern than the 1894 wooden rectory, was a lot more cooler and offered more comfortable accommodations for its priests who stayed there. I’m sure that the priests appreciated the difference!

Sacred Heart Catholic Church served the people of Prescott; never wavering in support. By the mid 1960s’, the congregation had grown in numbers and was too large for the original 1896 building. So Sacred Heart Catholic Church built a new place of worship and placed their beloved structure onto the real estate market for sale. Their new church home is going strong at 150 Fleury Avenue in Prescott.

The building was sold in 1967 to Norma Hazeltine, who then donated it to Prescott Fine Arts Association as a full-time performing arts facility. Prescott Fine Arts Association found that the buildings would suit their activities nicely after some renovations, modernizing and remodeling.

Before they took possession of the church property, it was then discovered by the people hired by the church to move the grave of Friar Clossen, that he wasn’t buried under the altar, and there was no record as to where he was laid to rest. OOPS.

In 1968, the Prescott Fine Arts Association was formally chartered as a non-profit organization, so they could take advantage of the perks of doing so; making it easier to get grants and have fundraisers. “After extensive remodeling, PFAA held its Grand Opening in August, 1970.”

In 2011, they decided to change their name to Prescott Center for the Arts; a more modern name that better described their mission to the community. 

In this location, much like Sacred Heart Catholic Church, they have experienced growth in the participation and support of their programs for families, youth and children.

They are planning to build a brand new theatre, called Stage Too, in their large parking lot for their youth and children’s programs and events. Besides a stage and auditorium, there are rehearsal areas, dressing rooms and office space as well. They look forward to expanding what they offer in the arts for the younger generation.

Apparently, Prescott Center for the Arts programs have drawn some former servants of the Lord back to their favorite structure in this world who are mostly pleased with what they see!

 

HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS

People whose remains are lost can cause the spirits of these folks to be restless indeed.

Liberty Hall, KY (One of the reasons that the spirit of Mrs Margaret Varick is restless is because the living dolts forgot to put a marker on the grounds where she was buried, so it was forgotten). 

St. Louis Cathedral, LA (Three men who were buried in unmarked graves in a cemetery that eventually moved the marked graves to another cemetery are still in their unmarked graves under a building).

Sacramento Cemetery, CA (The mass grave of epidemic victims is underneath the cemetery itself without any marker at all).

Prescott Fine Arts Center, AZ (In 1967, it was discovered that Fr. Clossen’s remains were not under the altar as tradition had said they were. Yikes! His corpse is still missing!! After promising to bury Fr. Edmond Clossen under the altar, failing to do so and losing his remains altogether, his spirit is restless but tries to be productive by soldiering on in faith and dedication).

Restless spirits sometimes put their restlessness to good use, trying to do their old jobs and /or finding new jobs for themselves to be occupied with in this world; using the skills they had developed while still alive.

Montauk Manor, NY (A restless spirit of a Native American chief whose bones were among the other Native American bones that were ground up and mixed into the mortar that was used to build this massive structure, decided to become the spectral protector of the people who stay here).

The USS Hornet; Sea, Air and Space Museum, Alameda, CA (Some of the spirits of Navy men who died in the hot action they participated in during WW2 have given themselves new duties aboard this museum; supervising the youth groups who spend the night).

Brumder Mansion and Theatre, WI (The spirits of Sam Pick’s old Speak Easy Crew now are the spectral security force in this structure; keeping an eye on theatre activities, ghost hunters, wayward guests and act as spectral bouncers to negative spirits who may try to wander inside).

Prescott Fine Arts Center, AZ (A restless spirit of Fr. Edmond Clossen has found a way to use his restlessness to good use in his mind; coming out of retirement since he can’t rest anyway. He likes to be in the positive energy of the thespians, as well as offering his own encouragement. He also finds ways to point out things that he doesn’t like).

People who love their forever structure where they found peace through the work they did there, sometimes chose to stay there.

Loveland Castle, OH (The spirit of builder Harry Andrews has decided to spend his after-life in his labor of love, Loveland Castle).

St. Louis Cathedral, LA (The spirit of Spanish Monk, Pere Antoine boldly continues to serve and pray for the people of New Orleans, those who visit the cathedral and most of all for the parishioners of St. Louis Cathedral).

Presidio Chapel And Rectory, CA (Some servants of the Lord are still serving, even in their after-life phase).

Prescott Fine Arts Center, AZ (The spirit of Father Michael feels very happy in his old room in the Rectory, and enjoys what the living are doing there now in his church. Father Michael tries to show his support to nervous thespians dressing to go on stage by letting them know that he is there in fun ways to lighten their moods).

(Fr. Edmond Clossen also loved his parish at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Rectory, and has decided to stay, hoping to find his peace through being active in his new purpose there).

 

MANIFESTATIONS

Apparently, two spirits of former living servants of Jesus Christ; Fr. Edmond Clossen & Father Michael, are still here for different reasons. The spirit of Fr. Edmond Clossen is restless because his remains are unhonored and missing, so he uses his restlessness to go back in service to find his peace; 

The spirit of fun-loving Father Michael still likes to be in his old room in the Rectory where he can watch the living enjoying the arts in positive ways that help them grow in confidence. 

General Signs of Activity

In both the theater and old rectory building, doors have a mind of their own.

Open doors are closed, and closed doors are opened.

Electrical items are irresistible.

Lights also work independently from human contact. Lights are turned off and on by themselves without the help of a living person.

Personal Appearances

Spirit of Fr. Edmond Clossen apparently has joined the staff as the spectral overseer and encourager.

The manifestations that happen in the theatre, both seen and unseen, are attributed to the spirit of Fr. Edmond Clossen.

While checking the lighting on stage for the next scene, a volunteer saw a shadow of an entity float effortlessly in front of a painted moon prop.

Fr. Edmond Clossen was there keeping a fatherly eye on the production efforts.

He enjoys all the positive energy that is created by theatre activities and gives off his own encouraging vibes.

Quick to Express

Spirit of Fr. Edmond Clossen is quick to let the living know if he doesn’t approve of something in the play being presented.

After a performance, the stage crew were busy setting up the props needed for a bar scene in the next day’s show.

Two glasses flew up from the table into the air and crashed to the floor.

Apparently, the spectral overseer didn’t approve of the drinking scene in the show.

Spirit of Father Michael

Old Rectory Building is the forever home of Father Michael who enjoys staying in a place that he has so many great memories.

He enjoys seeing what the living are doing.

While alive, he may have been involved with children’s programs, and has always appreciated the arts as a way to be a positive influence on people.

 Perhaps he loves the idea of having the buildings used as a fine arts center; a very positive use of the old church indeed!

Programs for children, youth and adults, a variety of art programs for the community are wonderful opportunities. Plus,on the lower floor of the main theatre building the expansive offerings for visual arts shows and exhibits, and the Christmas crafts fair as well must be pleasing too.

Playful Yet Supportive

Father Michael can be playful when letting the living know that he is with them, supporting their efforts.

When theater members and performers are trying to get ready for a performance, often a rattling noise can be heard coming from Father Michael’s old second floor room.

Every time, people rush up stairs to try to find the source of this noise, which they haven’t found yet.

Father Michael gets his chuckles and some company as well as letting them know that he is with them in support.

PARANORMAL FINDINGS

Throughout the years from 1970, many people have had many personal experiences with these two spirits.

Perhaps the paranormal investigations done here will discover other spirits who may be attached to the buildings.

Prescott Center for the Arts acknowledges that they do have spirits keeping them company. They have given their blessing to outside groups coming in to investigate, if these groups sell tickets for public participation. Prescott Center for the Arts sees these paranormal classes and tours as fundraisers for their programs. Such groups as Mystic Spirits of Arizona, ahauntingexperiencetours.com and the virtual Prescott Ghost Walk bring in funds for youth scholarships, etc.

 

STILL HAUNTED?

Yes Indeed, by two known spirits of former servants of the lord, who have found ways to still serve even as spirits. Other spirits who are connected to these buildings may also still reside or visit here. Many happy memories are attached to this historic building which can bring peace to the restless, and a sense of purpose to those who are not ready to leave just yet.

 

LOCATION

208 North Marina
Prescott, Arizona 86301
(928) 445-3286

 

SOURCES INCLUDE

npgallery.nps.gov
pca-az.net 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki (Prescott,_Arizona)

 
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Prescott Haunts in Arizona