Erskine College in Wellington built from 1905 by the Society of the Sacred Heart, is a collection of Class 1 recognised historic buildings which include the Chapel of the Sacred Heart and the Main Block Convent. The premises served as a Catholic girls’ boarding school; Convent of the Sacred Heart at Island Bay, until its closure in 1985.
With a similarly named, Sacred Heart College, in nearby Lower Hutt, a decision to rename the building in the late 1960s eventuated. The name was changed to Erskine College, after Mother Janet Erskine Stuart, the 5th Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
A few potential buyers have surfaced through the years though none have settled, due to the building’s positioning and its current decaying condition. The sad state of Erskine makes it a serious earthquake risk, which these days, with most historical locations is an unfortunate death knell.
The Chapel has been described as “an example of French Gothic architecture with German stained glass windows, an Italian marble altar, and valuated ceiling.”
Erskine was used in Peter Jackson’s 1996 Horror Comedy movie, The Frighteners; which starred Michael J Fox.
So, is the place haunted? Well, there are plenty of rumours and theories abound about the place.
Apparitions have been witnessed. Voices are heard, fleeting shadows are glimpsed and odd bangs and taps can be heard. Mediums have spoken of the building being haunted by both children and adults.
Some firmly believe that Erskine is haunted by the old Mother Superior
There are rumours about a mysterious blood stain on the chapel floor that allegedly reappears soon after being removed, apparently as a reminder of a young girl’s untimely passing.