One thing to also note, this extraordinary building seems to be slated for possible demolition. If you live near St. Thomas or are worried about this place meeting the wreckers ball, please contact the St. Thomas mayor's office and let them know...
Alma College was a long-established girls school in St. Thomas and one of the more grand building and opened, according to the St. Thomas City Website, the same year as the town was incorporated as a city, 1881.
Alma, being this wonderful building, had it's resident and celebrated ghost. Eileen Sonin, in her book, ESPecially Ghosts published in 1970 said that Angela's origins were "lost in antiquity" but noted that her spirit was celebrated by the students in and around Halloween. Reports dating back to the 1930's talk about the resident ghost haunting the "Ivory Tower", one of the two at the South end of the building.
Legend has it, according to John Robert Colombo in his book, Mysterious Canada, that the ghost may have roots in an unpopular music teacher who was locked in a cupboard by her students. This may be, but the school's records, dating back to 1881, have no mention of a teacher named "Angela".
Still, the legend lives on and for many, this icon is not simply a "ghost story", but an architectural and historical link to the past. The legend and the reports just add to the site's appeal.
Update: March 2005 A reader sent us the following note...
I attended Alma...
Anyway, the story as told to me involved a housemother.
Yes, her name was Angela, and she treated the girls cruelly. One night the girls devised a revenge which involved locking her up in a trunk and leaving her in the attic. When they went to let her out the next day, she was gone, and she never returned. Easily believed, because of course she left the school after that!
Each hall had a representative housemother to run to for any reason, since we were all far from home. They also did bed checks after lights out. Anyway, this might explain why no teacher was named 'Angela'.