The Organ Ghost

This story is told by a girl who used to go to Holy Names Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school in Seattle, Washington.


“They [the school teachers] told us this story once. There was a girl that used to go to Holy Names – all-girls school, right? – and then she wanted to um…she, like, found a guy. She was gonna go get married. And they were gonna go get married at the chapel that was in the school, right? But her husband left her at the altar. And so, she became a nun, because she couldn’t get married to her first love, so she became a nun, and she was working at the school. And she would play the organ – cuz she could play the organ, right? – so she would play it for the different weddings and things like that. And, you know, when you’re playing the organ, you’re not facing anybody, you’re just facing the wall and the organ, right? And one day, she looked back during one of the weddings, and she sees the guy that she was supposed to marry marrying someone else. And she got really upset, and so she committed suicide. But now it’s like rumor that sometimes you can hear the organ being played throughout the school – like in the chapel, when there’s no one in there. I’ve heard it before when no one was supposed to be in the chapel and wasn’t sure what to make of it, but turns out the janitor was just messing around with us.”


I was surprised to collect this story from this girl. She claims that she “does not believe in ghosts, but is still scared of them”. She told me this story on the evening of Halloween, so the atmosphere was apt for the story. When telling the story, she seemed fascinated by it and expected me to share her fascination (as is indicated by the various times she asks “right?”). It seems interesting that although she claims to not believe in ghosts, she still is scared of them (especially during 3am, which she believes is the ghost hour), and is somehow still fascinated by this story. She even for a second wondered whether a ghost had actually been playing the organ instead of the janitor. This indicates that perhaps she is too scared to admit that she believes in ghosts, perhaps for fear of being made fun of or for fear that then the ghosts will be more apparent to her.

The narrative itself seems like a very typical ghost story, with the motif of a forlorn lover and a bride left at the altar who now haunts the place where her lover betrayed her. Furthermore, the fact that the teachers of the school tell this story and pass it on suggests that this story and this ghost are a part of that school and its community, which can bring the students together.