On Canada’s East Coast, there’s an old haunted school house.
I’m intrigued by this real ghost story as well as the school. It’s a 3 story building with a rooftop observatory and fire escape slides on both sides of the building. All grades are taught at this school — kindergarten through the 12th grade.
As you can imagine, those slides were an attractive nuisance for school personnel. Of course the kids were informed they were for emergency use only . . . but kids being kids . . . and slides being slides . . . It was only natural that the kids would sneak up to the roof and slide down the slide from time to time. No harm was done as long as no one got hurt, but one day the bolt holding the slide dislodged and the slide and passenger fell the three stories. Needless to say the child was killed on impact.
The school is still in use today . . . and it is haunted.
People claim when driving by the old school house at night they see lights or a figure moving from floor to floor with a light of some sort. Some say a candle, because it makes it spookier, but a lantern or a flashlight would cast hideous shadows about, too.
One of the more spiritually active rooms was the library. During the daytime books would fall off the shelves or one would find a pile of books on the floor. These spirits seemed quite mischievous by leading the librarian on a merry chase of dropping books — like leaving bread crumbs to a destination.
The destination was the basement that housed the old boiler.
I met Elsie quite a number of years ago. She was the librarian at that school until her retirement a couple of decades ago. She recalls on one particular day when she was retrieving books that led to the basement, she felt lightheaded and nauseous. She thought it was from bending over every few paces and picking up books. She did have a book cart with her so she didn’t have to carry all those books back into the library.
She paused in front of the door leading into the basement. She felt a cool to icy breeze coming from under the basement door.
Elsie knew she was brought down there for a reason. It wasn’t just to retrieve the books and return them to the library. There was something she needed to see. If she could help children, even children from decades earlier, Elsie was going to stifle her fear and boldly move forward.
She reached for her master key to the basement. All the locks were keyed the same except for the school administration office. She heard voices of children through the door. This made Elsie more determined to get inside and get to the bottom of this. The door opened before Elsie put her key in the door.
A dark figure stood blocking her entry.
As the door opened a bit more, she saw the figure of a man hanging from the rafters.
It was a known fact that a janitor back in the 1930’s hung himself in the basement after the boiler exploded and caused a fire in the school. Some children were killed from the blast and many more injured. He couldn’t bare working there and committed suicide when the school was empty and the repair crew was gone for the night.
Elsie was more concerned about the children she heard in the basement than the dark figure and the hanging man. She did have a book in hand, and being the librarian she was, started reading to the invisible children. She told them she would return the next day and they were welcome in the library.
Before her appointed hour to go into the basement, Elsie heard children giggling and the running of little feet.
She looked around to see if they had chosen a book for her to read. Elsie didn’t see anything out of place and picked a book she read hundreds of times to classroom children over the years.
She was getting to the good part when she heard someone shout, “Stop! Get out!”
Elsie felt little hands tugging her to her feet. She ran out of the basement and out the front door of the school, not stopping to close or lock the doors.
Once safely outside, she stood feeling a bit foolish, but that emotion changed immediately when she heard popping sounds, a crash and the alarm system going off.
She heard the siren of the fire trucks coming her way. The crew got out and immediately went to work inside the school. Elsie was rooted to the spot. Then she thought of those precious children. Were they out? Were they safe?
On the third floor, the ceiling caved in from water damage that hadn’t been repaired. The popping sound was light bulbs popping and soon the ceiling crashed to the floor, and the alarm went off when the electrical matrix caught fire.
Fortunately, students had gone for the day, but there was a janitorial crew in the building and some teachers. Everyone got out safely through the fire escape and the slides.
As teachers and janitors joined Elsie in front of the school, she heard stories of a young boy running through the school leading everyone to the fire escape. Elsie believes along with the others that the children haunting the school saved their lives. This young boy (the one who lost his life on the fire escape slide so many years ago) must have been the one Elsie heard shout at her to stop reading and get out.
It is quite comforting to know that the children who lost their lives in that old school house are still around to help future generations of children, teachers and staff. I only hope the librarian who replaced Elsie reads to these ghost children and allows them in the library to play with the books — pushing them off the shelves, stacking them on the floor . . . and leading a path down to the basement.
Thanks for stopping by!