Theme: The Idea: Abandoned Monastery on the Hill The Aspect: Haunted Monastery The Face(s): Steven Gomez (Wagner College Campus Cop) Description:
History tells us that the St. Augustinian Academy, located in the Grymes Hill section of Staten Island, was once a boys’ high school that closed in the mid 60’s, and later became a religious retreat, which was abandoned in 1985. Wagner College, which is adjacent to the school now owns the property and is thinking of using it for student housing.
Better known in area lore simply as “The Monastery,” the school has been the inspiration for countless chilling tales and the chosen destination of a generation of late night thrill-seeking adventurers. Now surrounded by neighborhoods of suburban houses with manicured lawns, the all-but-forgotten fortress is shrouded by a tangle of overgrown weeds, vines and gnarly trees. Turkey vultures circle lazily overhead, occasionally landing to roost on the Monastery’s crumbling bell tower, where they keep a watchful eye over the long dead institution.
For years, kids have been going up to the monastery near Wagner College, throwing up graffiti and partying, but not too many have been to the sublevels. A short walk around the building reveals an out of commission fountain, which seems to be in the shape of a cross, but now is chipped and the home of dozens of weeds. Naturally an abandoned building in Staten Island has tons of graffiti on the higher levels but as you travel lower and lower under the surface, signs of life become less and less evident. The underground hallways are a maze that travels God only knows how low beneath the surface.
Rumor has it that the sublevels were the sites of satanistic rituals, performed by the monks, or under their noses at least. Others speak of summonings of demons and even outsiders deep within the monastery.