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School Spirits

    In researching one of my spooky projects, I managed to dig up a list of haunted schools where ghosts, invisible entities, poltergeists, and other unexplained phenomena have been reported. This is only a partial list of the scary schools I uncovered, just to get the hair on your head standing on end.

    Please write to me if you or someone you know has seen or experienced any similar apparitions at your school! I will post the most interesting true experiences on my site!

Ectoplasmic Elementary Schools

    Washington Elementary School, Alameda, CA
    As the tale goes, when the school was undergoing some repairs several years ago, a 13 year old boy fell through a section where the floor was missing. While he was unconscious, construction workers filled in the floor with cement—covering the boy. Since then, witnesses claim they have seen the 13 year old walking through the school at night. Especially in Room 13 people can sense his presence, saying that they feel cold for no reason, and that they can hear knocking and scratching when no one else is around.

    Fallsvale Elementary School, Forest Falls, CA

    In the forest that surrounds the Fallsvale Elementary, many claim they have seen or felt the “Ghost Children.” Who they are or where they came from is a mystery. Most of the school kids seem comfortable with the ghosts nearby, and some have even claimed to converse with the ghost kids (although they might just be saying that to freak out their parents). Some investigators believe the key to the mystery might be in the old, abandoned school that still stands on the same property, a historical landmark, although it is fenced off and no one is allowed inside. At least—no one alive.

    Mariposa Elementary School, Redlands, CA
    The ghost of this school is named Billy. He was hit by a bus after school one day and bled to death in the nurse’s office. Some people claim they have heard the cries of a small child. Others say if you knock on the wall of the nurse’s office, Billy will knock back. And still others say that if you play on the playground after the school closes, the invisible Billy will want to play with you—and if you don’t let him, he will start to pick on you.

Macabre Middle Schools

    South Valley Middle School, Gilroy, CA
    The sound of footsteps in the hallway of the administration building were constantly being reported by employees working late at night. At first, the staff thought someone was playing a prank on them. But after a number of investigations, no natural cause has been found to explain the mysterious sounds.

    Virgil Middle School, Los Angeles, CA
    Many students at this school believe that spirits of dead students haunt the dressing rooms directly below the stage of the auditorium. The kids claim they have heard doors opening and closing by themselves, and low moans coming from empty rooms. There have also been reports of a figure that looks like a glowing clown.

Haunted High Schools

    Ramona Convent Secondary School, Alhambra, CA
    Over the 110 years of this school's existence, there have been many reports of strange encounters. One of the entities most often reported is a "white nun" who has been seen on several occasions serenly floating through the school library. Students have also, on many occasions, reported hearing someone playing the piano--when no one else was in the building. And the spookiest report of all: shortly after a student tragically drowned in the school's swimming pool, stories started to circulate among the swimmers that they could feel someone underwater grabbing their legs. Many students now won't go in the pool.

    Anaheim High School, Anaheim, CA
    Anaheim High is home to three school spirits. The first is in auditorium, which is reportedly home to a ghost in the balcony who can often be heard emitting deep, bone-chilling bouts of laughter. The second haunted place is beyond the fence at the edge of the football field, in the old Red Cross Building. The original caretaker apparently liked working there so much he refused to leave--even after he died. The third scary site is beneath the school, where a bomb shelter dating back to WW II is located. On many nights people have reported hearing someone banging from inside the locked steel door. Of course, when the door is opened, no one is inside--no one living, that is.

    Bakersfield High School, Bakersfield, CA
    If you go to a football game at Bakersfield High, you might see a young couple sitting at the back of the bleechers--and you might get a strange feeling about them, but you won't be sure why. So you'll turn to look at them more closely--and you still won't be able to tell what's odd about them. Well, you might notice the girl is wearing her prom dress, even though prom may be months away. But the two kids will seem pretty normal--they're watching the game, maybe making out a little. So you'll turn your attention back to the game for only a second, then look back at the couple--but they have vanished. Congratulations--you've just seen a ghost. Well, two actually. No one knows who they are, or why they are haunting the football field, but they've been seen by many, many people over the years.

    Garden Grove High School, Garden Grove, CA
    The roof of the main building of this school collapsed during an earthquake in the 1920s, crushing and killing a student named Lizzy. Many times since then, her ghost has been seen walking through the main hall at night. Sometimes her face is seen in the window, and many times only her voice is heard. Too many teachers to ignore have reported that, while working late at night, they've heard doors opening and closing by themselves when they were sure no one else was in the building.

    Eureka High School, Eureka, CA
    According to students, two ghosts haunt this school's auditorium. The first was a workman who died while the building was under construction in the 1920s. He fell from the auditorium's balcony and was somehow decapitated. The second is the ghost of a student who killed herself in 1954 after losing the lead role in a play. She hung herself from the lighting booth, and was discovered midway through the opening night's performance. Nowadays, student actors claim they can sometimes see the girl's wide-eyed corpse still swinging from the light booth during performances.

    Franklin High School, Los Angeles, CA
    This school is haunted by a former student who died when she fell off a balcony on the fourth floor overlooking the quad. Some students claim that if you go to the balcony today and look down on the quad, you will feel the presence of someone standing next to you. If you look over quickly, you will catch a glimpse of the dead girl staring down--before she disappears.

    Chaffey High School, Ontario, CA
    Two students, a boy and a girl, haunt the west hall of this school. They mostly play harmless pranks, such as making the books fall off the racks, opening and closing doors, and causing the bells in the hall to go off at random times.

    Washington High School, San Francisco, CA
    The boy's restroom on the 3rd floor is the site of this haunting. The ghost of a 16 or 17 year old boy has been seen by several people, usually late in the afternoon or at night. No one knows who he was or why he's haunting the school. People who have encountered the spirit said at first they didn't even realize they were seeing the ghost--they just saw a young man standing near the stalls. But when they looked away for just a moment and then looked back, the figure had vanished.

    Homestead High School, Sunnyvale, CA
    This school's spirit makes its presence known on the second floor hallway. Many teachers who work at night say they have felt its presence--or even seen it. Reports abound of unlocked doors mysteriously locking, closed doors mysteriously opening, and footsteps heard when no one is there. One teacher even claimed that he felt the ghost touch him on the shoulder.

Creepy Colleges and
Unusual Universities

    Cal State University Fullerton - McCarthy Hall (The Science Building) - Fullerton, CA
    A professor who was murdered in the basement of this campus building is said to haunt the service elevator. Many people who entered the elevator on a Sunday and pushed the button for another floor have said they were taken down to the basement, where they were trapped inside the elevator--which refused to budge or open its doors--until someone came and let them out. In addition, an apparition has been photographed on the 4th floor of the building.

    Loyola Marymount University - Los Angeles, CA
    The Strub Theatre on campus is supposedly haunted by the ghost of an old woman. Many student actors say they have seen her sitting in the back of the auditorium, watching them during rehearsals. And on more than one occasion, stage managers, who lock up the theater after rehearsals and performances after making sure that everyone has left the building, have reported seeing an old woman sitting by herself staring intently at the empty stage. When the stage managers have entered the auditorium to ask the woman to leave, they suddenly found themselves all alone.
    One of the dormitories on campus, Rains Hall, is also said to be haunted. Many students have reported sightings of the ghost of a girl who died in one of the dorm rooms in 1998.

    San Jose State University - San Jose, CA
    During World War II, the old gymnasium of San Jose State was used as a temporary internment area for Japanese-Americans. Today, many students and administrators claim they have heard voices and crying coming from the gym at night, when no one is inside.

    Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
    The oldest school in the United States west of the Mississippi, much of the campus is said to be built on an ancient Indian Burial ground. There have been numerous reports of hauntings here. Some students say they have heard eerie moans and other unexplained sounds coming from the cemetary next to the campus church, and others say they have seen the figures of past Jesuits praying in the belltower. There have been many reports of the doors to the O'Connor building swinging open and shut at night, even though the facilities personnel insist the doors were locked.

Some of you have already responded to my request for your experiences! To see your spooky stories, follow these links:

Your Spooky Tales

More of Your Spooky Tales

And don't forget to check out the Spooky Morsel of the Week for more details about haunted schools from readers like you!

And remember, next time your teacher calls the roll, if a ghostly presence answers "Present!"--drop me a line! I'll post your stories on my site!



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