There are few places on Earth more terrifying to some teens growing up than their own high school. But what if your high school was more than just a place of cliques and tests? What if it actually was host to a paranormal entity that terrorized you from the moment you entered the school? And what if on top of that you were appearing in the school play? This is just one nightmare scenario outlined by the legend of Sister Mary Carlos of the Mother of Mercy High School.
It’s opening night, the lights go up, and you’re about to step onto the stage in an attempt to explore Shakespeare’s Hamlet. But it’s not just the audience you’ll be reciting lines in front of. Before every show the students involved in any given production are said to perform a ritual to appease the spirit of Sister Mary Carlos. If the ritual is not performed, the nun from another realm will wreak havoc on the production causing equipment to fail, sudden distractions to result in flubbed lines, and chaos to erupt throughout the show. But if the ritual is performed properly, she will appear in the audience instead. So if it’s so important, what is this dark ritual intended to appease her spirit?
It’s actually a bit simpler than it might seem. The students are said to light candles and invite the spirit over to enjoy the show. Over the years inviting her has become no different than any other school tradition passed down through the decades. Only this one seems to have a profound effect on the school’s performances.
The school, built in 1923 once had a teacher there going by the name Sister Mary. As time went on, however, Sister Mary passed away. The auditorium later named after her and also the site of her paranormal activity was given power by something, but no one is quite sure what.
She has been blamed for a few rough opening nights, and her legend lives on largely fueled by the regularity and predictability of her presence when the ritual is not performed. Of course some teachers may frown on the idea of a ritual that invites a disembodied spirit into the auditorium, but it’s not actually unheard of. Throughout the years there have been several schools to adopt similar rituals to attract or repel luck in their dealings whether it be by communicating with ghosts or simply chanting prior to a game. And of course one need only speak the name of the “Scottish Play” on opening night to know how superstitious actors can become backstage.
This doesn’t seem like quite so terrifying a legend, however, since it’s hard to imagine a teacher staying behind to watch her students practice plays unless she genuinely cared for them. And maybe the “curse” is just her way of saying even after death the show must go on.