I always find it fascinating how people become interested in ghosts. Sometimes it’s through fiction or film or perhaps it’s a direct encounter. Whatever the reason, hearing people’s stories reminds us of why we investigate, research, or become the rabid paranormal fans we are.
My interest in ghosts emanated early on when I was attending elementary school. Rumors were pretty rampant about my school that there was some ghostly activity. Most often situations where there are ghost stories you could write it off as the big kids trying to scare the little kids but there were too many incidents to ignore.
The activity mostly was in the school library but the basement was also known for harboring some paranormal incidents. The story, which I had heard pretty much from the day I started school, was that the library was haunted by the presence of an Indian Chief. Supposedly the land the school was built on what was once an Indian burial site, which could explain the ghost of the Chief. There have been some students over numerous years whom have claimed to have seen the Chief peering at them behind the stacks of books. One chilling story I heard involved a teacher who was working late one night and while walking past the library caught a glimpse of the Chief standing there staring out at her. Immediately the teacher ran out of the building. She returned to work the next day but she was very hesitant about being near the library though especially alone. This is quite understandable after such a fright.
The Chief was a legend amongst the students. Some naturally were afraid that a ghost was haunting the school and others were quite enthusiastic that we had an entity. I fell into that category of being enthusiastic, I was excited and curious about ghosts and this captured my attention. Being scared didn’t quite cross my mind that much. A few of my friends appreciated the possibility of some ghostly activity, they too were very intrigued and wanted to know the truth. Around second grade in particular, I found myself very interested in this mystery to the point of willing to take that next step. A couple of my friends formed our own little investigation group equipped with, I should add, membership cards that we created. Not only were we a little ahead of our time in developing our own paranormal group but I guess we were kind of crafty too.
One day our second grade teacher allowed some of us to work out in the hallway. Guess it was just a way to be different, give the students a little bit of freedom to learn outside the confines of a classroom. That day I was still in the classroom until a couple of friends called me out into the hallway and asked if I wanted to join them on a ghost hunt. It didn’t require a moment of contemplation from me. I was definitely in. While the teacher was distracted, we snuck off to the library. No one was in there at the time so we roamed around in hopes of seeing the Chief. Unfortunately for us, he didn’t appear and given that we knew we needed to be back to the hallway of the classroom before we would be caught we didn’t spend as much time in the library as we would have liked. Still though, the early taste of ghost investigation was influential to me. It was fun and different, certainly it only increased my interest in the paranormal.
Whereas the Chief was regarded with a certain level of esteem since no one really considered him to be a bad spirit, the basement was a different story. Unlike the library there wasn’t a particular figure that people identified it with. The best way to describe it was it just had some bad energy that just didn’t feel right. I may not have physically seen something with my eyes but one thing I do remember was being in the basement of the school and having somewhat odd experiences. What the basement was used for mostly was some art and Phys Ed activities. I do remember getting very strange feelings being there, basically like there was a presence there although you couldn’t see it. On a number of occasions I would rush out of there once my activities there were over, not wanting to be the last person there just because. Unlike the library, the basement was kind of scary to me. Where I was eager to go ghost hunting in the library, I really dreaded to be in the basement. Not sure if it was a good spirit vs. bad spirit thing or maybe rumors had an influence on my perception or perhaps it was my intuition saying that basement wasn’t the best place to be because of what was haunting it. No one really talked as much about the basement as they did the library. The message was always clear about that specific place and that was just don’t go down into the basement. Many times, I had wished I hadn’t. I never had a good feeling about that particular place. It definitely felt like there was a strong paranormal presence there.
To this day, I see the school on occasion passing by. It reminds me of those incidents and stories. I can’t help but wonder if the Chief in the library story still lives on with the students today as well as the warnings about the basement. Whenever I look at those windows, especially to the library, I think about the Chief and contemplate if he still lurks in the library. Looking at that building and knowing the history, I have to say that I do sometimes still get a little bit of a creepy feeling. I have to credit though the Chief in the library and the odd presence in the basement though for setting me on the path to being a paranormal enthusiast. Without those influential early incidents, I may not have developed a strong interest in ghosts like I have today.