In 1922, an unlikely friendship was born in El Paso. The first Bishop of the town, Bishop Schuler became friends with Mother Praxedes Carty, Superior General of the Sisters of Loretto. Both agreed El Paso was in need of a new Catholic-based school.
Loretto Academy: An El Paso Roman Catholic School
With the necessary funding acquired, buildings quickly began. The school opened its doors in September, 1923. Not only did the school include a top Roman Catholic education and church, but it also had boarding facilities for students who lived quite far.
While boarding closed in 1975, Loretto Academy is still active to this day, and educates young women, grades 9 – 12. Not long ago, a rumor began to circulate that Loretto’s bell tower is haunted. Some locals and students alike have claimed to have seen the apparition of a nun, pacing back and forth around the large bell.
Ashley, a former student, was dared to go confront the ghost one day shortly after school got out. Believing the ghost was real, but not wanting to appear to be a chicken, Ashley agreed to the dare. “I feel like I’ve matured a lot since then, but at the time I just wanted to appear cool in front of my friends,” she laughed.
“I had no desire to go up there, but nevertheless I did. I remember feeling like my heart was going to hammer completely out of my chest as I climbed up the stairs. I was relieved to see that nobody was in little room when I got up there,” she said.
“My friends and I agreed that I would have to stay up there for twenty minutes by myself to complete the dare. So I just took out my phone and started playing games, thinking it would be easy. But that’s when I started feeling like someone was watching me from the opposite side of the tower,” she murmured, looking pale.
“I looked around one more time, but I didn’t see a single soul up there with me. Still…it felt like wherever I was, there was someone standing behind me at all times. And that’s when I began to hear whispers.
“They were faint, but distinctly female, and they seemed to carry on the wind that swept through the open windows. I concentrated on the sound, and I thought I heard the word ‘go’ said over and over again. It started to really creep me out.
“I tucked myself into a corner and put my head in my hands, just waiting until it was over and I could leave. As I sat there I felt a presence begin to hover over me. It felt cold and very still, and I was just too scared to lift my head to see what the thing was,” she whispered.
“I figured I would just blindly feel my way to the stairs again, but all of the sudden I felt this sharp pain in my shoulder, as if someone had put a knife to it. I cried out in pain, and knew that I couldn’t take being up there a second longer. Sobbing, I ran to the stairs and practically flew down them.
“My friends were all about to make fun of me but the moment they looked at my face they shut up. One of them said that she had just seen the nun peeking out from behind the bell as I reappeared. I still live in El Paso, and to this day I still hear rumors about the ghostly nun up there.”