Spring Hill College – Mobile

Spring Hill College is Mobile’s oldest Catholic school and the first Catholic college in the Southeast. Michael Porter, Mobile’s first bishop, founded the school in 1830 on a hill. He staffed it with two priests and four seminarians. He had originally envisioned the institution as a boarding school for boys under twelve years old. They would receive an education in mathematics, languages, geography, physics, chemistry, astronomy, and history. When he removed the age restriction, the campus population increased from 30 in 1830 to 130 in 1832. Jesuit priests from Lyon, France, took over teaching responsibilities in 1847. In 1932, Pres. Andrew Smith admitted nine African-American students to the college. Fannie Motley became its first African-American graduate. Notable alumni include chess champion and inventor Paul Morphy. Students are encouraged to engage in community service in the greater Mobile area. They also help others during their international service-immer-sion trips.

At least two parts of the college are haunted. The cemetery on campus contains the graves of priests who have taught here since the college was founded.

According to one campus legend, the figure of a hooded monk has been seen hovering over the graves late at night. Spring Hill’s best-known ghost story involves the spirit of a Jesuit priest, a Father Mueller, who taught in the mathematics department in Quinlan Hall. The longtime faculty member was one of the best-loved priests in the history of the school. After his death, his position was filled by a young priest who continued his predecessor’s practice of giving extra credit to any student who could solve a seemingly unsolvable math problem. The next day, to the priest’s surprise, a rather mediocre student named George slowly raised his hand. Concerned that the student would embarrass himself, the priest asked George if he was confident that he had the correct answer. George said he was and walked up to the blackboard. After George wrote on the board for a couple of minutes, the priest looked over his work and was surprised to see that George had solved the problem. When the priest asked the boy how he did it, George said that the night before, he was sitting in his dorm room, struggling with the problem, when an elderly priest walked in and showed him how to solve it. George then gave a perfect description of the priest who had just died. The old math professor’s ghost has been seen many times since then, usually in the math department.



Haunted Alabama written by Alan Brown – Copyright © 2021 by Alan Brown