Haunted Mansions of Albion opens its doors October 1st.
Stepping inside the cool darkness of McMurray Hall on the old abandoned campus, one of the first – and last – things guests see is the original turquoise tile floor before being led up a stairway into an abyss of fear.
In its fourth season the Haunted Mansions have hosted over 20,000 guests since its debut in 2008. Thrill seekers line up for blocks to catch a glimpse of the past and the supernatural.
When Normal College closed its doors in 1951 it cast a dark and brooding shadow on Southern Idaho’s mountain community of Albion. Troubled by economics, World War II and a political move, the campus fell silent after six decades of service and several aborted attempts to revive it.
Seasons passed as the college’s elegant theater, dorms, classrooms and gymnasium slowly deteriorated behind boarded windows and doors. Its darkened rooms and halls filled with dust, mystery and the supernatural.
Rumors of spirit and phantom visitation in the abandoned buildings and underground tunnels connecting the buildings haunted the small community of Albion bringing thrill seekers and adventurers. Vandals and extraterrestrial communicators broke in seeking destruction and visitations.
After nearly 60 years of decay and darkness, the campus is revealed. In 2007 the Mortensen family from Boise purchased the campus from a city auction. Leaving much of the campus in its original state, the Mortensens add to ethereal sensations with ghostly scenes in Axline Gymn, Bocock Hall and McMurray Hall. Real black bats hang from the ceiling of the underground tunnel that’s on tour.
For the first time this fall, Comish Hall, the most haunted building on campus, opens to the public. Using highly sensitive research equipment, paranormal investigators agree there are supernaturally charged areas in the former women’s dorm on the southeast corner of the old Albion Campus. Unlike the three other haunted mansions, Comish Hall is left in its original state the day its doors and windows were boarded shut.