There was always something majestic about Cardinal Brennan.. And something eerie.
Even more so on a dark and chilly night in October..
I graduated as the century turned in 1999. The school would end up lasting less a decade more.. it was closed by the Allentown Diocese for good in 2007. It was purchased by North Schuylkill a few years ago with the hopes of creating a middle school. And now, without renovation, a new temporary purpose has been found: A haunted mansion.
The beneficiary of the haunted attraction is the district’s cross country and soccer teams’ booster clubs, with tickets going for $8 for an adult and $5 for children under 10… The haunted house runs Friday and Saturday nights from 7 to 10pm..
Some friends and I went on opening night..
The haunted attraction was well done. It was vibrant and fun, alive with horror, actually..especially as I slowly walked through a darkened former chapel with blood soaked nuns smacking rulers off of their hands.. They slowly followed haunted attraction goers, causing shivers and screams to run through their spines.. Very effective work on combining an old school spirit with haunting post-closing vacant spaces…
The amazing part about this building is the size and inherent beauty. It was utilized perfectly by the haunted attraction makers and the actors inside. There are hallways and classrooms, hidden spaces and dark corners to hide in.. Each room, and each floor, had its own special feeling. The former science lab was my particular favorite, with crazy chemical reactions and bodies convulsing from whatever concoction they may have taken. For me, in the back of my mind, knowing I dissected my first frog in that very room added to the magic.
What I especially think some people will love is that they are back in their old Alma Mater–not only did I smell the same scents as existed back in my time there, but the building looked virtually the same. The spirit of the location is not gone, despite the lack of furniture inside.
There are some real stories–as real as you can get–of hauntings at Cardinal Brennan.. I personally never much had much of an opinion on them.. There is the famed ‘ghost nun’ idea of the third floor–no sightings of her ever happened for me.
Years ago not only did friends and I love violating the rules of signage erected by exploring dark rooms in the deep trenches of the school, but I was alone in Cardinal Brennan on several occasions in my youth. I never experienced anything scary.. instead there was always a warm glow to whatever spirits may exist there. There is some form of strange happiness that can still be felt inside the cold walls.
Yes, for as well done as the haunted mansion was, it is also bringing a certain form of nostalgia back for anyone who graduated or attended there.. ( I wrote about my Alma Mater back in 2015 when the school was sold. )
It is so wonderful to see this getting some great attention on WNEP, among other news.. The story was their top run last night:
There are some naysayers. No need to expound on many of their words, as you can most likely find the comments yourself.
The attraction is fun. And in good spirit. There is absolutely nothing offensive about this creation.
As a matter of fact, for its first year, this haunted house was great. It can be made even greater in the coming weeks–and years. Already, in my humble nostalgic opinion, it is making other haunted attractions in the area pale in comparison.
As a matter of fact, it was so cool that I am writing this article and telling anyone in the Schuylkill County PA region to go.. and anyone who is far and wide away in distance but still attended CB, try to get the fastest flight back to HIA or Philly and attend a Friday or Saturday at the haunted mansion.