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?