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10 Haunted School Stories That Made The News

by Estelle
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Going to school is something most children wish they could avoid. Add to this the terrible cafeteria food and compulsory sports activities, and you’re bound to have a bunch of miserable kids on your hands. Some pupils and teachers can count themselves lucky, though. At least when they go to the bathroom between classes, there’s nothing sinister awaiting them in the stalls. There are no cold spots or unexplained breezes as the spirits of past students pass them in the hallways.

Those attending or working at the schools on this list are not that fortunate. While dealing with difficult classes or pupils, homework, or horrid teachers who “just don’t get me at all,” they have to keep an eye out for the supernatural as well.

10 Lee Williams High School

In 2013, the principal of Lee Williams High School in Kingman, Arizona, Steve Elwood, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the multitude of ghost stories surrounding the school. Many of the people in town believe that the campus of the school is haunted and have reported seeing specters of women in prairie outfits and men kitted out in their best previous-century wear while attending graduation events.[1]

Along with the usual phenomena of flickering lights, phantom footsteps, and alarms that go off for no reason, there were also reports of a man dressed in a long coat and sporting a bowler hat who roamed the halls of the school as well as a tiny girl making herself heard at night about wanting to play outside. Lee Williams High School is situated partly on what used to be the old Pioneer Cemetery. In 2013, during construction of the new school building, eleven graves, seven coffins, and a multitude of artifacts were uncovered on the premises.

Skeptics attribute the ghostly reports to wild imaginations, but the janitor of the school insisted that the stories were true. He claimed to have heard footsteps entering the bathrooms at night when no one was there but himself as well as voices coming from some of the classrooms.

9 Sophie B. Wright Middle School

In 1912, Sophie B. Wright High School was the first public all-girls school in New Orleans. It eventually became a middle school. When Hurricane Katrina hit the area, teachers and learners were evacuated from the school, and the building was used as living quarters for National Guard personnel.[2]

Amid the chaos, ghosts came out to play. Sergent Robin Hairston reported seeing the apparition of a girl in a doorway. Specialist Rosales Leanor saw a shadow of a young woman in the school’s restroom that terrified her. A staff member who did not want to be named opened a closet to find a ghostly girl giggling at him. The volume of paranormal incidents being reported during that time resulted in a chaplain performing a cleansing of the building.

After this, reports drastically reduced, and the school is now known more for its academic excellence than for its ghostly inhabitants.

8 Julia F. Callahan Elementary School

In 1952, Julia F. Callahan, founder of the school in Lynn, Massachusetts, named after her, died. Teachers and pupils alike soon became convinced she never left the school grounds. From eerie whistling heard in the hallways to strange sounds emanating from the attic, Callahan’s presence has become a familiar occurrence at the school.[3]

Pupils have reported doors being slammed in the library, while others claimed to have seen the ghost of Callahan entering through an access door. In 2008, a fifth-grader named Rachael Felice claimed that while she and her friend Nicole were in the bathroom down in the basement, they heard high-heeled shoes clicking over the floor. She and Nicole were the only ones in the bathroom.

There is some dispute about exactly how Callahan entered the afterlife, with some claiming that a bookcase fell on her and crushed her. Other variations of her death include that she had a heart attack in her office or fell off the roof of the school building. The principal, Ed Turmenne, wouldn’t be drawn into commenting on the stories and whether he believed them or not, but he did state that his view on Julia’s ghost was a positive one and that all was well, as her spirit was most likely watching over the pupils in the school.

7 West High School

Even a very skeptical teacher had to admit something strange is happening at West High School in Anchorage, Alaska, when several sightings of a lonely-looking lady in white roaming the premises were reported.[4]

The lady in white has been seen standing backstage at the auditorium or standing dead still between the seats inside the massive room. She also apparently runs through the corridors at times or hides in the halls of the basement. A student stage manager once saw a girl opening the backstage door of the auditorium during a closed dress rehearsal and ran toward her to tell her off. Only when he got there, she had disappeared into thin air. Even a security guard saw something white dash past him in one of the corridors behind the auditorium balcony.

Another ghost that seems to not want to leave the West High School grounds is that of a janitor who died a long time ago. People have reported seeing a man sweeping the lobby when there should be no one there, while others claimed to have heard footsteps echoing through the empty halls and seen lights flicker on and off by themselves.

6 Mgotjane Primary School

A female teacher at Mgotjane Primary School in Swaziland refused to return to the school in 2013 after claiming that evil spirits attacked her there. Another teacher vacated his living quarters at the school after reportedly feeling unsafe.[5] Thulani Dlamini reported hearing one of his colleagues shouting that four short men were trying to strangle him. Shortly after this, the men entered Dlamini’s room, and finding that they couldn’t strangle him, they kicked him and tried to press his face down on his bed to keep him from breathing.

Pupils at the school had their own terrifying experience as well. Three girls went into the bathroom, and while two used the toilet, the other stood by the door and waited. The two pupils inside the bathroom stall were astonished and horrified to hear a voice screaming at them from down the toilet, asking them why they were relieving themselves on it. The girl standing outside by the door also heard the voice and asked her friends who was in there with them. The voice inside the toilet got louder and louder until the girls could stand it no longer and ran back to class.

Parents and other teachers were extremely skeptical, with some even saying that the girls should stop making up stories. However, not long after this incident, other girls in the junior classes reported the same phenomenon.

5 Yanagawa High School

In an incident that started out as mass hysteria, 27 girls collapsed at Yanagawa High School in Japan after seeing a “vengeful spirit” in 2014. It started out with one girl screaming at the top of her lungs that she was paralyzed and unable to move. Then more girls started displaying the same behavior, causing other students to rush to the classroom to see what was happening. The craziness carried on for a couple of hours, with people suspecting that the girls became possessed by the spirit of a headless ghost.[6] The girls were yelling, “Kill me” and, “Die,” and eventually, the school doors were closed.

Some believe that a headless girl rumored to haunt the area of Mt. Hiko and the Aburagi Dam had somehow possessed one of the schoolgirls while she and her classmates were on an excursion. She carried the spirit home with her, which then took hold of the other pupils during class.

4 Cleveland High School

Photo credit: Marcella Davis

A woman taking a cell phone picture of her nephew at Cleveland High School (in Cleveland, Texas) got a lot more than she bargained for when she studied the photo afterward. In the background were two people who most definitely were not there when the picture was taken. The couple seemed to be wearing clothes reminiscent of the 1970s. They also seemed to be translucent.[7]

The man in the picture was in bell-bottom pants and a dark-colored shirt under a light-colored jacket, while the woman was standing behind him. Her clothes were not as visible as his. The woman who took the picture, Marcella Davis, claimed she didn’t even notice this until her daughter pointed it out to her. When asked whether she used an app to alter the photo into something creepy, she responded that she didn’t even know how these apps worked and that she definitely didn’t mess around with the picture in any way.

3 Tonk Upper Primary Government School

In 2014, almost 300 people performed religious ceremonies at an upper primary government school in the Tonk district in India after three children fainted during school hours at the sight of a ghost. The specter was said to be that of a young girl who tried to push them toward a toilet. The incident caused 170 children to refrain from going to school for a week.[8]

During the religious rituals, it was claimed that one of the villagers taking part in them was possessed by the deity Tejaji, who then warned parents to perform puja on a regular basis to ensure that the school remained free of evil. The puja was to be performed at the temple on the school grounds. Tejaji also said that the reason for the evil penetrating the school barriers was because puja had not been performed in over two months before the frightening incident with the three pupils.

2 Deerpark CBS School

NEW GHOST caught on camera?

In 2017, Deerpark CBS in Cork, Ireland, made the news a month before Halloween. Surveillance cameras caught lockers shaking, papers flying around, and doors slamming with no human interference.[9]

The deputy of the school saw the footage and sent it to Principal Kevin Barry to have a look. The deputy spoke to the media saying that he didn’t understand what he had seen and if the incident were to be revealed to be a prank, it would be an extremely well-done hoax. Before the video started making the rounds, rumors abounded about supernatural activity at the school, including extreme cold spots and crying sounding up through the halls.

A month after this, another video (shown above) was shared by the school in which loud sounds can be heard in the deserted hall, a backpack flies off the top of a row of lockers, and a chair moves by itself. The deputy principal has denied the use of a green screen and editing to fake the videos, simply saying the school did not have those kinds of resources.

1 Lambertville High School

New Jersey’s Lambertville High had at one point been named the most haunted school on the East Coast. Fortunately, the building has since been torn down. Some people have reported seeing fiery eyes floating around on the sports field and a disembodied voice screaming. Others have reported seeing the ghost of a former football player who broke his neck and died during a match.[10] Previous library director Harold Dunn claimed that the red burning eyes would appear if someone went up to the field at night. The disembodied voice would ominously tell the person to run. Mysterious messages and pictures also appeared on chalkboards in the classrooms.

The school had been in existence since 1854 before being torn down in 2012. The original building was mostly destroyed in a fire in the early 1920s, and several rumors claimed that 150 students were killed in the fire as well as some of the teachers. A tribute stone at the school is said to have been placed there in remembrance of this terrible event.

Estelle lives in Gauteng, SA.


Read about more ghostly happenings in places you might not expect to be haunted on 10 Movie Sets That Came With A Curse Or Ghost and Top 10 Haunted Parks In The USA.

fact checked by Jamie Frater

Estelle is a regular writer for Listverse.