The Arcane Abbey

The Arcane Abbey 

Father Michael Heinlein of the German Arch-abbey of St. Ottilien founded this abbey in the rural countryside of northern New Jersey on March 15, 1924. Just a few years later the monastery's property was developed to include a Christmas tree farm. The sale of Christmas trees became quite a popular event during the holidays, and the new monastery located across the street still participates in this endeavor today. The monastery grew rapidly during its early years, and on May 2, 1936 it was large enough to be promoted to the grade of 'conventional priory'. A decade later, on June 9, 1947, it was again promoted, this time to the grade of 'abbey'. 

The abbey continued to operate well into the 1970s, but as time went by its high-arched windows found themselves looking across the way to new (and infinitely more mundane) squared windows of the newly constructed monastery building and retreat house. The newer structures began to take on more and more of the abbey's functions, and by the end of its life the ornate facade decorated what was in fact little more than a storage shed.

Why have you forsaken me?

The old mess hall.

Fake flowers in a basket sat on the last step of the master stair.

The second floor was almost exclusively composed of small simplistic bedrooms. 

This poor guy made it in and never figured out how to leave.

There was a small library at the far end of the building. 

Was there once a door here? Even the floor molding has a seam.

It never fails to amaze us how different a place can seem just by visiting it at a different hour. It's as if there is some sudden transition, to an alternate state of being, when the sun dips below the horizon.

This is an older video of ours. When watching, you may notice that it has a different "feel" to it than our current-day films. This is because the style of our cinematography has progressed over time, and our equipment has changed and improved throughout the years. We have chosen to leave our older videos available for viewing online to illustrate the evolution of our work.