Cheryl Lynn Carter, Noted Author and Paranormal Investigator, Encounters The Unknown At The Collingwood Arts Center in Toledo, Ohio
Written By Guest Contributor, Cheryl Lynn Carter
Imagine if you will a hundred year old mansion just like any other old dwelling, rich with precious memories; a place where young children used to laugh and play. This grand structure with angelic undertones and artistic renderings begs to be understood. Imagine if you will spirits that have refused to meet their maker; restless souls that continue to wander aimlessly throughout this incredible structure. … This is Collingwood Arts Center.
This ominous building, a registered historical site of the old west end, is Toledo’s oldest and largest structure. The six-floored brick building based on 14th century Flemish Gothic architecture has steeply patched gables and rows of pointed dormers. The premises include the Gerber House built in 1872, a 600 seat theater, and a studio wing.
Later the property was in the charge of Sister Angela Merici founder of the Ursuline Order of the Sacred Heart. She was canonized by Pope Pius VII on May, 24, 1807. Sister Angela was born in a small town in Italy. She spent her life promoting family spirit and welfare to the community. She was most concerned about educating young girls. At the age of 60, she founded the Ursuline Order. She named it after St. Ursula whom she greatly admired and had learned about in stories her father had read to her.
Ursula was the daughter of a Cornish King, Dionotos of Dumnonia. According to custom, she was to be betrothed to a prince in marriage. But he was a pagan and neither she nor her father approved. Ursula said she would agree to his proposal if he would agree to her conditions. She asked that he become a Christian. She also asked both kings if they would provide two ships so that she and her ten maidens might journey to Rome to see the Pope. Her wishes were granted, but on her return journey somewhere near Cologne, Germany the ships were attacked by the Huns who were afraid Christianity would spread and everyone was killed.
As I wandered around the building, I was in awe with her beauty and then quite surprised to find a large statue in the stairwell. It seemed to be a rather strange place since this area was so secluded. The statue represented a nun sitting with an open bible on her lap and a young boy listening intently as she read. I was told it was the statue of St. Angela Merici. There was something eerie about their eyes. It was almost as if they were looking at you. And then … I was told that the statue talks.
Now upon hearing this, most people would be skeptical. However, since I’ve been investigating the paranormal for twenty years I was quite intrigued. Immediately we began to ask the usual questions, but to no avail. So we continued our way up the stairs wondering if it was only folk lore. And yet, something made me stop, turn and look at her again.
But this would not be my only encounter with Sister Angela because something about her kept luring me back to Collingwood. A few months later, I took a friend to the stairwell. As I set the recorder on the base of the statue, I looked down at the open Bible. “Is there a verse you would like us to read?” We listened, but there was no response. I walked over, retrieved the recorder, and played it back. Much to our surprise we heard, “34”
For a moment we both stood there in disbelief. Quickly I put the recorder back. How foolish of me not ask what chapter. When I did she responded, “John … 13.” Upon returning home, I looked into my Bible for John 13:34 which read: “A new commandment I give you. You must love one another as I have loved you.”
I have returned to visit her many times and each time she spoke. Perhaps it was only a few words, but she responded when I mentioned the Bible or the rosary. And I know it sounds crazy, but I couldn’t help but look into her eyes and the eyes of the boy; eyes that seemed to look deep into your soul. Perhaps in a way she wants to know you as much as you want to know her. And even though there are no EMF readings, electromagnetic frequencies, anywhere in that stairwell, the statue registers on the meter.
When I was there on New Year’s Eve with my friend Denise, we watched as the temperature on the EDI meter dropped twenty degrees within a half hour. That was also the night we heard a child’s voice come over the recorder. Had the little boy been trying to communicate with us as well? What more does Sister Angela want to tell us? I for one can’t wait to find out.
You can learn more about Cheryl’s investigations, books, and projects at the following links:
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