College kids and ghost hunting seem to go together — especially with a media assignment.

I was at my local coffee shop when some college kids came in all excited about an assignment they had to film something. They could have done a political ad or some documentary about just about anything. They decided to go on a ghost hunt to a local elementary school. People have said that at night the swings are swinging and some claim to have seen ghostly children at play. They decided it was better than being in a spooky cemetery or in some other known haunted area.

My friend Barbara and I were invited to go along, but we passed. We thought the kids should enjoy the experience on their own. They were a little nervous about it, but they possessed that youthful enthusiasm I had to admire. I did encourage them to tell me about their experience the next morning.

The next morning they came in tired and a bit down.

They recorded or tried to record the swings swinging, but the cameras wouldn’t work. I looked at one of the cameras they offered and noticed that they did get something.

“Look, off to the side,” I pointed out. “It looks like a ghostly teacher on yard duty supervising the ghostly children.”

“Oh, I see it!” One girl squealed. “Let’s go again tonight and see if we get anything else.”

They were off to class to share what they found with their instructor.

Once again a tired group of college students came to share their ghost hunting experience.

The children on the swings didn’t appear, but the swings were swinging. They captured a little boy with a bat resting on his shoulder as he walked out in the field. They also captured girls jumping rope.

It seemed like a success for their first ghost hunting experience, but they were going out again to get the kids on the swings.

Barbara and I didn’t see the kids the next morning. As a matter of fact we didn’t see them again for about a week.

These students were so determined to capture ghostly children on the swings that they got a bit carried away and decided to have a séance in the playground near the swings. They did this on their own without having a psychic or someone who knew about holding a séance. They believed they could do it on their own from all the movies they’ve seen. They did want to capture it all on tape for their media assignment.

Once they got their candles in place and got themselves seated they began. It didn’t take long for the swings to start swinging. They needed to move out of the way, but they remained where they were not to disturb the spirits and what the camera was capturing.

It didn’t take long for the swings to begin attacking the students and they went running off leaving their candles and cameras behind.

They began seeing spirits wherever they went. They felt as though they were being watched. They decided to stay away from each other and places where they usually went. The problem was going to class and also going into the dorms.

They came in the coffee shop with their personal experiences to share.

“We opened up something,” one remarked.

“How do we make it go away?” was the question on their minds.

“I can’t sleep,” another explained. “There’s something at the foot of my bed watching me.”

Barbara told them to seek professional help and gave them a list of people to call.

One of the college students was sitting off by himself at another table. He had vacant eyes. He was carrying on a conversation with something we couldn’t see.

It wasn’t long after the college students left that something fell in the back room. Several coffee shop personnel ran outside. Barbara and I decided to join them. When we inquired what happened, one young woman remarked that something was in there. “It kept touching me,” she said.

Great, now my favorite coffee shop was haunted.

There are spirits around us all the time. We have been warned about Ouija Boards and calling on spirits when we don’t know what we’re doing. Ghost hunting looks like fun when we’re in the comfort of our own homes watching it on television or YouTube. The big difference is that these programs are documenting events as they happen, not calling out spirits.

That, initially, was what these college students were doing, but as they admitted they got carried away. They wanted to see the ghosts of children on the swings. That was the purpose of the media assignment. They discounted the ghostly apparitions they did capture on film.

The thing is, ghosts don’t appear on demand. They may be there, but it doesn’t mean we’ll see them, hear them, or be able to record them. We should be grateful for what they allow us to capture and not demand more — it could cause trouble as the college students admitted to experiencing.

I didn’t see that college kid who was sitting off by himself and conversing with something we couldn’t see in the coffee shop again. Hopefully, he got some professional help.

I haven’t been by that elementary school where the kids were recording in years — it’s a bit out of town and admittedly creepy to go out there. I remember hearing about the place and going out there when I was in high school.

The swings did swing for us … we did hear faint sounds of running feet and children laughing. At the time I didn’t know if it was real or my imagination kicking in … but when I did see the marks in the dirt of where a jump rope had been turned and small shoe prints, I became a believer. And also a bit sad to realize the number of small children who died young … At least they have this old playground …

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this Real Ghost Story.