Friday, March 13, 2009

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

Last night, I headed over to the wee ones' preschool after I finished work to have Little Miss's conference and then help close up and break down the book fair. It wasn't hard work, but it still took us until almost 10pm to finish.

Near the end of packing things up, the principal came in to help me and the other woman finish. She's quite a gabby lady, and it's easy to get her off on a tangent. We had some leftover posterboard that belongs in our PTO room. I volunteered to take it down if someone showed me where the room was (yes, the PTO has a storage room in the school, I'm the PTO president, and I've never seen it -- I'm a mobile worker, what can I say?).

The principal told us that we weren't to go down there. The PTO room is in the basement of the school, which they don't use because preschool and kindergarten is legally required to be on ground level. When I inquired why not (thinking it might have something to do with the inhabitants of the rough neighborhood the school is located in), she explained that Gus the Ghost was down there and that we weren't to go.

I laughed it off some and told her it would be nice to meet the ghost. She refused, but she did spill some of the ghost stories that she knows about our building.

Our nighttime custodian was in the teachers' lounge one night eating his snack when he heard a noise like someone with a huge key ring trying to open the office door. He kept eating, and the rattling continued. He realized it was probably either the principal or the assistant principal coming back at 9:30pm for something. He never locks the doors until he's leaving for the night, and he suddenly felt badly that he'd locked them out. He shouted that he was sorry and he was coming to let them in. The rattling persisted though. Until he got to the door, where there was no one on the other side. And the rattling of keys suddenly stopped.

The principal was working on evaluations alone in the building one summer night, fairly late, and she suddenly heard a loud crash. She assumed it was an easel set up in the front hallway that had come crashing down. She came out of her office to investigate, but the easel was still sitting on its table. None of the corkboards on the side had fallen either. Curious, she continued to search for something that could have made that noise, but everything was in its place. The more she thought about it, the more it had actually sounded like someone throwing a metal chair against the wall, and she decided it was time to skeedaddle. Gus the Ghost was tired of her being there.

Another day, the principal was walking down the therapy hallway (meaning there isn't much traffic during non-school hours), when a shadow crossed her path. She stopped abruptly, as the way the shadow moved indicated that the person was about to run into her. She assumed it was the speech therapist coming out of her office. When she turned around, there was no one there. In fact, none of the therapists were in that hallway at all during the time the shadow went through hers. No one was there at all.

The one that most creeped me out about our school was the story of a very autistic girl who was in the gym one day playing with her class, as they do on days when the weather doesn't cooperate for going outside. She refused to join her class, however, at one end of the gym. She was simply staring into one corner of the gym, not moving. When the teacher asked her why, she said she didn't want to go near the ghost. He's right over there, she said pointing to where she'd been staring. Can't you see him? He's jumping up and down on the trampoline. He's right there. The teacher could see nothing, but the girl insisted. No one had ever talked about ghosts to her, nor said anything about the school being haunted. And if you know autistic people, they tend to not have the best imaginations. Things either are or aren't. They don't make them up.

The last story of the night was one from a different district that involved our district's maintenance supervisor. He worked in a building where writing would periodically appear on a chalkboard. Don't leave me alone. A single desk would sometimes be pulled out from the others and placed in a different fashion. They found out that the school had been built on the site an orphanage from the early 1800s. It included a graveyard where they buried children who died while in their care. When the site was cleared for construction, they moved the graveyard. Except for one little boy they left behind. They eventually moved that grave, as well, but apparently the spirit of the boy stayed behind.

I don't know if you believe in any of this or not, but at 10pm last night in an old building, alone except for two other women, the stories gave me goosebumps. What good ghost stories do you have to share?

17 comments:

anymommy March 13, 2009 at 5:04 PM  

Ack! This kind of thing really gets to me. I'd never be able to go back into the school again, except maybe in broad daylight with LOTS of other people.

septembermom March 13, 2009 at 9:39 PM  

Now your story gave me goosebumps too! Make sure you walk around in groups after school hours. Too many weird happenings. Those kind of things can freak me out :)

Megan March 14, 2009 at 12:10 AM  

Eek! In that situation, yes, I'd be pretty freaked. I'm not always afraid of the dark but my senses are certainly heightened.

Mama Kat March 14, 2009 at 12:20 AM  

I have goosebumps now too!!!! Oh my gosh I SO believe and I would SO be looking for a new school to teach at. ;) Wow!!

Jill March 14, 2009 at 12:23 AM  

OKay I am in the DARK at my sister's house... a new house that i have never been to before and you got me totally freaked.lol ! I just got up to put the closet door light on and as I did my sister's cat pushed open the bedroom door and I jumped 10 feet.. I jumped so hard I almost fell through the floor.. lol..

I have a great/true ghost story but you will have to wait till i blog it!
Have a great weekend.. I love stories like these...love them..

MaBunny March 14, 2009 at 4:29 PM  

lots of good ghost stories - and for some reason, Nicole is into watching A Haunting when shes home during the day - but I will say this - I was brought up with a very open mind, and I'm led to believe soetimes those knds of stories r real

Michelle March 14, 2009 at 7:23 PM  

anymommy - Now now, I was told that Gus is a friendly ghost. The old maintenance guy who treated the school like it was his home. I actually wanted to go find him, but I wasn't allowed.

septembermom - It's not that bad, is it? But hey, at least I wasn't the only one with goose bumps!

Megan - I'm with you on the heightened senses thing. I used to SO freak myself out while babysitting at night.

Mama Kat - Fortunately the teachers are only there during the day -- and they leave as soon as school is over because of the neighborhood anyway, so they're fine. Of course, we're lucky they aren't frightened away by the neighborhood! There was a police blockade just before the school when I was headed there to drop off dinner for teacher conferences at 5pm on Wednesday....

Jill - Oops :) Sorry! I do want to hear that story though.

MaBunny - I haven't heard of the show you're referring to, but I may have to go look it up.

morninglight mama March 14, 2009 at 8:17 PM  

Yeah, I don't have any ghost stories of my own, but damn your stories had my heart beating fast! And for this non-exercising chick, that doesn't happen all that often!! :)

Michelle March 14, 2009 at 9:01 PM  

morninglught mama - Well, hey you've gotta make sure that heart is working every now and again then, don't you?

Cookie March 14, 2009 at 11:57 PM  

Yikes that was creepy! I shouldn't have read those right before I get ready to go to bed!

Kate Coveny Hood March 15, 2009 at 6:50 AM  

And you thought I couldn't handle it!

I have a lot of ghost stories. But the most exciting one happened to my husband. He was doing some work at a law firm in Old Town Alexandria. His friend worked there and got him the job. After his first day there he came home tired and ended up going to bed early (I was out of town on a business trip). He was reading, but realized he must have drifted off. Suddenly he woke up and found that even though he was in fact, wide awake, he couldn't move. He felt rather than saw something come in the door and knew that it was menacing. Then a series of strange words filled his head, as if he was describing what he couldn't actually see. One phrase was "pointed hat".

He then "shook it off" and dragged himself out of bed. He yelled at whatever it was to get out and then left the room to walk around the apartment. He had turned off all of the lights before going to bed, and now every single light was on.

The next morning, when he arrived at work, his friend said, "did you hear? the ghost had a fit last night." Chris said, "um - ghost?" She had forgotten to tell him that the law firm was in an old Alexandria town house that was most definitely haunted. When they arrived at work that morning, everything had been ripped apart.

Here is what they figured out. The one lawyer who owned the builing and ran the firm was a man, but every other staff person in the building was female. It may be that the ghost was being territorial about this new man showing up in "his" home.

Chris, being a bit of a history nerd, also realized that the house was in a part of Old Town that was once settled by Germans, and that Hessian soldiers wore helmets with points at the top ("pointed hat").

End result - Chris went to the area of the building where the ghost "lived" and told him that he would only be there for a little while and would then go away. He also told the ghost that if he ever came near his home or wife again - he would "burn down his house." (great honey - arson)

Anyway - the ghost never came back to bother us while Chris worked there, but I did get to hear a lot of stories about drawers opening and closing and cold spots.

Angela March 15, 2009 at 10:52 AM  

Yikes! I am not really a big believer in ghosts. I believe everyone has a spirit, but I approach that belief with a Christian worldview. I do believe there are other spirits, like angels and demons. But yeah, that certainly doesn't mean there aren't things we can't explain readily - or that aren't major-big-time-creepy.

We recently had some weird things happening in our own house. That was freaky, especially as hubby was traveling a lot there for a while. Just little (but very odd) things - the space heater in my office was unplugged from the wall (hard to imagine this happening accidentally - for example if the dog just tripped over it - the plug is stiff and the heater would have moved across the hardwood floor, before the plug came out of the wall) - and the manual switch was still turned on. That creeped me out a little. Then we had a series of random things falling. A clock fell off the wall, and a lampshade fell off our dining room chandelier. Lights I (or hubby) swore I/he had left on, or off, would be the reverse. But the freakiest thing that scared me the most was one night while hubby was traveling. The dog and I went upstairs to bed... and upon entering the bedroom she promptly started tracking some scent on the floor...for all the world looking like she was tracking a person who had walked around the room. I didn't sleep a single wink that night and seriously considered going to a friend's house. I have an overactive imagination, and this kind of thing is not good for me, LOL!

WeaselMomma March 15, 2009 at 11:28 AM  

That was really fun! I love a good ghost story.

Michelle March 15, 2009 at 4:58 PM  

Cookie - Oops, sorry :) Hope you had good dreams anyway!

Kate - Wow. You win for best story. And apparently I was way wrong about that one. Interesting.

Angela - Wow. It's always the worst when you're alone, isn't it? I think I *may* have gone to a friend's house at that point!

Weaselmomma - Me, too. And I got a couple good ones shared in return!

Debbie March 15, 2009 at 9:07 PM  

I don't have any stories but I think you were very wise not to go down there!

Karen March 16, 2009 at 8:03 AM  

Okay, that's just kinda freaky. I'd be a little skeeved to say the least.

Michelle March 17, 2009 at 3:10 PM  

Debbie - there are some fun stories though... and I'm still tempted to go down there one night :)

Karen - Oh you used one of my favorite words! I love the word skeeved, and I so rarely hear it.

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