Located on Staten Island in New York, St. Augustinian Academy used to be a high school for boys. After it closed in the 60s it was re-opened as a religious retreat, which also was deserted in 1985. Wagner College took over ownership and plans to use it for student housing. It is said that what happened in and under it was not as normal as you would think.
The monastery sparked many bizzare stories, which attracted a host of people in search of chills and thrills. It is now covered in overgrown weeds, vines, and tangled trees. Vultures add to the air of dread as the fly above it and often perch on the roof of the bell tower.
Since its closing in the late 1960’s and again in the mid-1980’s, the St. Augustine Monastery on Staten Island, NY as it was originally named, has become a hot topic of interest for both paranormal investigators and urban exploration.
The monastery was once used as a school house before being converted into a spiritual retreat in its later decades. Activity reported from those who have entered the abandoned building range from hearing moaning echoes and loud noises as well as extreme temperature drops, all closely associated with the paranormal.
The urban legends which have come to surround this decaying landmark remain closely related and share similar aspects in their telling. Agreed upon by most of the monastery enthusiasts is the fact that the structure, though only rising a few stories from the ground, in fact continues for many levels beneath the surface where horrible atrocities were believed to have taken place. Some say that there was a great fire back when the building served as a school house, trapping a number of children underground in the lower levels,. However there is no sign of fire damage nor city record of such an event.
Additionally, it is said that in the time where the monastery was used for spiritual recluse, there was a monk who was driven insane and would drag his fellow spiritualists down into the basement to torture them and eventually murdered them. The exact number of underground levels is not known for certain, though it has been rumored to descend for 20 or so sublevels.
First hand accounts of the structure in its modern standing state that the main basement level is flooded, leaving no possibility for further exploration.
Stories from this place found on Internet :
Tale from CP112
“The story of the monastery goes like this: About sixty years ago a bunch of monks lived there in solitude and silence. But one monk went on a killing spree, massacring all the other monks and dragging their bodies down to a secret sublevel. (The Monks slept underground people say the sublevels go down thirty floors.) There he mutilated their bodies. People say if you want to see the monks’ ghosts you have to go down to the last sublevel at night.
One summer night we went there. It was so dark inside that if we shut our lights off we couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces. The building consists of three stories, two wings, and whatever is below. We went upstairs first. It was dark and creepy, and there had to be at least thirty rooms on each floor. The roof had caved in, and there were holes in the floor that dropped down two stories. Hanging from the ceiling were bloody animals wrapped in cloth. We really didn’t want to go on…every now and then we heard the sounds of chains dragging and banging and the opening of a door behind us. But a kid with us kept pushing us farther. So we followed him down three flights of stairs to the sublevels. The stairs were wooden and shook as we were walking down. At about the third sublevel we found the monks’ quarters. They were very small and cramped. The walls had scratch marks down them that looked like fingernails were imbedded in them.
Then we came to a room blocked by wood. Behind the door were small steps that looked like they went on forever. We followed these shaky stairs down about ten floors and entered a room with what looked like jail cells. It was getting a little too scary, so we left.” -CP11 2
Tale from Dale N.
“The abandoned building in Staten Island has tons of graffiti in the higher levels, but as you travel lower and lower underground, signs of life become less and less evident. The underground hallways are a maze that travels to God-only-knows how low beneath the surface. On one trip to the flooded seventh level below the surface, we found a giant stone in the middle of a room where the ceiling was not at all caved in and neither were the walls. In the same room we found candles and something that made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck: marks on one of the ancient wooden doors as if it been locked from the outside and someone had tried to claw their way out of the room.
What happened in the ancient abandoned monastery? I have heard many stories, but I only know one thing for sure. If you make your way to the last underground chamber, all your questions will be answered” -Dale N.
Tale from Roadkill
“I attended Wagner College on Staten Island in the late 1980s, and since the monastery was only a short walk up the road from our campus, the huge abandoned grounds were irresistible. Prowling around there was always an adventure, due mostly to the decrepitude of the building itself and the debris surrounding it. The place looked as is demolition had been halted before the job was even halfway done. Many of the rooms inside had been gutted, but occasionally we’d come across one that still had a desk of chair in it, as if the occupants had just left one day and never returned.
I especially remember how creepy the abandoned chapel and its choir loft looked. The Stations of the Cross sculptures set into the walls all around the room had been heavily vandalized. There was at one time an eleborate mural painting of Saint Augustine on one of wall facing the front door of the builing. Unfortunately, it was later defaced with satanic graffiti. Around the back of the building were numerous abandoned cars some upside down nearly hidden in the tall weeds and grass that choked the entire property. Rumor had it that if you popped the truncks on some of these cars, you’d find the remains of Mafia hit victims. I never felt brave enough to investigate this for myself.
I tried to explore the basement areas, nut we could only go so far before being blocked by water. Maybe down there in the depths is where the mythical ‘mad monk’ hid the bodies of his slaughtered comrades…” -Roadkill
Tale from Ted B.
“I was postulant at Augustinian Academy from fall of 1964 through spring 1965. This is the same building that’s known as the Staten Island Monastery. In 1966, the postulants were moved to Malvern Prep in Pennsylvania and the school was shut down.
The monastery was indeed a strange place. I felt I was being taken over by evil spirits before I ever heard the word ‘possession.’ I was fifteen years old at the time, and I kept asking the Father Prior if I could leave, but he would not notify my family. Incoming and outgoing mail was censored, and it was hard to get a message home that was not intercepted. Many of the fathers and brothers laughed at my strange behavior, as I was well into a mental breakdown�and to this day I have not completely recovered.” -Ted B.
Tale from B. Hirsch
“I grew up and still live down the hill from the St. Augustinian Academy on Staten Island. I’m twenty-four years old now, but when I was fourteen, I practically lived there. About fifteen of us played manhunt in the monastery almost every day for about a year. We knew the place like the back of our hands. On the second floor we used to climb up a ladder to get into the bell tower. That was scary because there were always crows in the tower, and they used to fly out when we were coming up the ladder, and if you fell back you’d land on the first floor. The second floor was really kind of empty…it just had a lot of broken windows and holes in the floor.
The basement floors were filled with crawl spaces that we went through, but they never seemed to have an end. We once went in a room in the basement and saw a baby carriage surrounded by candles. Inside the carriage was crucifix with Jesus’ head cut off. Another time we saw a sacrificed animal. There were bones, cups filled with blood, hanged cats, and crazy-looking writing on the walls.
The last time I went, I was with a couple of friends and it was at night. While walking up through the woods to the back of the monastery, we saw something move by the entrance. The next thing I remember is a man chasing us with an axe! It was hard to run because the grass was so high, but we managed to get out. That stopped me from going back there.” -B. Hirsch