Some Interesting Leads About The Collingwood Arts Center
When you come across a location as allegedly active as the Collingwood Arts Center, one of the hardest parts of your research will involve trying to identify the spirits which are said to be there.
Part of any successful investigation relies heavily on sifting through mountains of historical documents, reviewing years upon years of oral traditions, and documenting as much eyewitness testimony as possible.
In 1999, I received some interesting leads towards identifying a few key aspects concerning the legends of the Arts Center, most notably information about the nun who is said to haunt the theater and the possible identity of the shadowy entity that has been seen in the basement.
In May of that year, Cathy* sent me an email about her knowledge of the Arts Center. In her email, Cathy said she had attended school there in the late 1940s. She remembers a young man who had lived there, in the basement. She said his name was John and, in exchange for room and board, he took care of the grounds and drove the bus. He was given an old cloak by Sister Mary to wear during the winter months. Perhaps the dark, shadowy figure people have claimed to see in the basement is actually the spirit of John, still wearing the cape he was given to keep warm.
Cathy goes on to say that the ghostly nun who has been seen in the theater is most likely the spirit of Sister Marcella. According to Cathy, Sister Marcella was often seen sitting silently in the theater when she was alive. Perhaps, she continues to find some kind of solace there even in death.
In February of ’99, Sally* sent me an email relating much more sinister details concerning the early years of the building. Much of what she shares are similar to stories I have heard over the years. Here is the content of her email in its entirety:
“Years ago, this building use to house, what they called way back then, freaks of nature. These unwanted children were kept in the basement. This is not a tale. With research you will find what I write to be very true. They were children of unwed mothers and some of the most grotesque things I had ever seen.
They were secretly protected by the old order of Nuns. One case was a poor child, with an enormous head. One of the families who would look after these kids, was named Antoine. They had a daughter by the name of Patty and she was made to watch this child when her mother went out. One day the child’s head became so big that it burst, like a balloon.
This could be very well the reason for disturbances there. You really should investigate this. I knew the family in the 1950’s. They lived in the north end of Toledo. This secret was well guarded so that shame would not come to anyone involved.”
Could these leads hold the clues to the mysterious tales that surround the Collingwood Arts Center? Are they based in fact or are they just further examples of the rumors and stories that have spread over time about the strangeness that haunts this historic building?
The Collingwood Arts Center is a registered historical site and is located at 2413 Collingwood Boulevard in Toledo, Ohio.