Old Saint Mary Hospital
Two spirits from the former hospital move into this Fraternity House.
One embraced the changes and one had a startling revelation.
Built on a limestone block foundation, this turn-of-the-century, rectangular, yellow brick building is a solid, sensible structure with elements of romanesque decor. Besides having pillars in the front, adorned with romanesque style head stones on the top, dentils along the roof line, and stone inlays above the windows dress of the yellow bricks nicely.
The original part of the building has three floors and a basement. The newer part of the building is a two story rectangular addition which was added onto the back (west side), providing a rec room on the main floor and probably additional rooms on the second floor.
This building was constructed during 1907, at a cost of $24,440, which was raised via fundraisers by the Kansas State Agricultural College YMCA organization. Their new facility was dedicated in late September of 1908. The second and third floors had nine rooms, which were planned to be rented out to students. The main floor had various “parlor rooms,” a large reception hall, a library and a lecture/activity room. The basement held the kitchen, dining room, the boiler, showers and lockers.
When a $10,000 gym was built on the building’s west side, this gym was used for Kansas State athletic events until the college built its own gym. During this time, Kansas State Athletic Department moved into the 1907 original building, probably using the rooms available. Of course, when the school’s Nichols Gym was built, the athletic department moved onto campus and into the new facilities.
During World War I, from 1917-1918, the YMCA made room in this building for visiting parents, who had come to visit their sons who were participating in the Student Army Training Corps, which was part of the Kansas State campus.
In 1926, this solid yellow brick building was sold to the Parkview Hospital Company, for $3,500! For 10 years, this building was Charlotte Swift Hospital, which was an open staff hospital. They took in contagious and contact illnesses, housing these patients in the old gym. In 1936, The Sisters of Saint Joseph bought the building, renaming the hospital, Saint Mary Hospital.
In 1955, a new hospital, Riley County Memorial Hospital was opened, and Saint Mary’s building was sold once again to the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, for $32,000. In 1958, the old gym was torn down, and a new wing addition was built in its place. The Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity continued to take good care of this solid building for 40 years, making improvements along the way, adapting the structure to meet their needs.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
Both entities who have haunted this building originated from the Saint Mary Hospital era.
* Probably during the early 1940s, A night duty nurse thought the elevator was there when she opened the door. Without looking, she backed into the elevator, while pulling a cart. Needless to say, that first step backward was a lulu. She fell down the elevator shaft, which resulted in her death.
* During the process of moving patients to the new hospital, Riley County Memorial Hospital, a frail old man somehow rolled and fell between the bed and the wall, disappearing from sight.The people in charge of moving patients missed him. When the nurse looked into his room, and didn’t see him, it was thought that he was already moved out. The man died during the night.
Spirit of The Nurse
The gentle, quiet entity of the dedicated nurse was seen for many years, silently walking/floating down the hall on the first floor, carrying a medicine tray and a candle, going about her rounds.
Spirit of George
The active spirit of the old man, named George, is no longer frail and sick, but full of energy, and makes himself known to the fraternity, becoming an unofficial, unseen fraternity member.
He likes to do what sounds like bowling on the third floor hallway, making a big pounding racket.
Like many entities, he is fascinated with electricity, and likes to play with lights, turning them off and on.
He likes to lock and unlock windows and doors.
He is handy at fixing broken clocks in the building.
He enjoys TV, especially Star Trek. When an ice storm knocked out the electricity in the neighborhood, the electricity to the building, but not to the rest of the neighborhood, would unexplainably be back on from 4 to 5 pm, during Star Trek.
Yes and no.
Yes – The spirit known as George is still an active spectral member of the fraternity. He probably enjoys being around young men, and isn’t ready to pass on just yet, perhaps harboring some resentment about the incompetent nursing staff who left him to die.
No – around 1968, the entity of the nurse realized that the hospital was no long in the building, so she passed on to the other side, relieved of her earthly responsibilities.
1100 Fremont Street
Manhattan, Kansas 66502
- Kansas State University page on PrairieGhosts.com
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr