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 Haunted Schoolhouse

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PostSubject: Haunted Schoolhouse   Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:22 pm

Hi all
came across this little gem while looking for famous paranormal cases what do you think?



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The Little Haunted Schoolhouse
The
volunteer at the Newburyport library was sure the case had been a
hoax. Older people in town knew of the haunted house, or knew the old
story of the dead child and class tortured for month by the odd winds,
the voices and the floating arm. The children had all seen the ghost
of a boy in their classroom, but it had been disproved over one
hundred, thirty years ago. The case had been closed and the hoaxer had
become infamous, but there was still a lingering doubt.

In 1873, a twenty cent book was published entitled
Expose of Newburyport Eccentricities, Witches and Witchcraft
by someone calling himself H.P. The small pamphlet included a story
about a the ghost of a murdered boy who had come back to haunt the
children of the school, and after its publication, the well known haunt
became an open and closed case. The truth, however, tells a slightly
different story, and sometimes proving a fraud means having to ask more
questions.


By 1872, the Charles Street Schoolhouse had become a black spot of
sorts for the community in Newburyport. The building was falling apart
and should have been remodeled decades before. The heating system was
ancient and the floors creaked when students thought about moving. The
drab color stuck out against the changing neighborhood, and most wished
that it could be torn down.


The school was a weigh station for the unwanted, �untidy�, students
of the town and the leftovers from other communities. They were the
wayward urchins and the special needs kids of their time. The
sixty-three desks were always filled, rotating as pupils dropped out to
work or because they had become bored.


Lucy Perkins, the young teacher who accepted the job of instructing
them, was known as an intelligent but sad woman. She had worked at the
school for two years, but when she was hired she was not told about the
teachers before her. The school committee kept why several teachers
had quit suddenly.


The children knew why.


�The enemy to their public peace was supposed to be in the air,
invisible, intangible and malignant, irregular but certain in its
visits, and positive in it disturbances. �


The schoolhouse was haunted. In about 1860, a child had committed
some �horrible� act in the school and had been given the appropriate
punishment. He was severely beaten and locked in the basement of the
building. He was left there the entire day and students were ordered
to ignore his cries and moans. When the school day ended he was helped
home and died later that night. The teacher, well within his rights as
a disciplinarian, suffered no repercussions.


While it is impossible now to say what the inhabitants of the
school experienced in the next few years, the rumors say it was well
known the place was haunted well before Ms. Perkins was hired. She
taught for two years without recording any negative instances, but late
in 1871 things changed.


The class was often made to suffer through 2-3 hours of knocks on
the walls. They came from the floor, from the ceiling, from the back
wall and their own desks. They often became so loud the students could
not work. A loud banging could be heard some days on the front door.
Several times Lucy tried to catch whoever was distracting her class,
but there was never anyone there. One days she opened the door and
felt a person brush by her. The children in the room also felt
something enter the room and go by their faces.


Doors would open and close by themselves. A frustrated Lucy would
lock the offending doors, but they would swing back open after she
turned her back. Clothes hanging from hooks in the back of the room
would fall off. Students suffered bad headaches and noises in their
ears as atmospheric conditions in the room would changes dramatically
from moment to moment. A large vent located in the middle of the
classroom was used to allow in fresh air. It had a manual latch so
heavy Lucy had to use all her strength to open it. Sometimes the vent
would open on its own or refuse to move no matter how she struggled.


Lucy kept two bells on her desk to announce class and breaks
throughout the day. The bells would often ring by themselves in
perfect time and in tones the bells should not have been able to make.
One time, during an outside break, one bell rang so loud all the kids
lined up to reenter the building. Lucy, outside and confused, unlocked
the schoolhouse door to find the bell still on her desk and the room
empty. The children laughed, and she decided to start telling people
what was going on.


The school committee refused to hear her and most of the people in
town believed she was crazy. The story, however, was starting to
attract attention to the town.


Things intensified when the lights started. While Lucy was
conducting her class, a bright yellow light would appear through the
window and remain shining �like the sun� for hours. The light would
come through almost everyday, even when the sky was overcast and there
was no way the sun could be reflecting into the room.


Once while Lucy was conducting her lesson, there were loud rappings
from the attic. She armed herself with a stick and took one of the
young boys up with her to investigate. The rapping was replaced by
laughing as they climbed the stairs, but when they reached the top they
found nothing. As they searched the attic, they began to hear the same
laughter below them on the bottom floor. Running back down the stairs
to try and nab the culprit, they found no one nearby and again heard
the laughing upstairs.


Until now the ghost had seemed playful and taunting but never
really caused anyone harm. It was a nuisance, but the class pressed
on. Then in 1872, the ghost finally took form. The children began to
see an oddly dressed boy standing outside looking in at them. No
matter how many times Lucy ran outside, she could never catch him. The
boy�s arm then started to appear inside of the room. No one ever
touched it, but they could see it floating in midair; the hand, arm and
upper shoulder of a boy their age.

In October things reached their peak. The boy had already made
several appearances to the children, but Lucy was finally able to see
him for herself. She described him as a boy of about thirteen with
blue eyes and a sad mouth. His clothes were of an older style and were
brown and faded.

Later that winter, the school committee finally decided to do
something. The whole town knew of the boy who had died fifteen years
earlier and there was no silencing Lucy or redirecting the attention
the town and its dilapidated schoolhouse was receiving. They held
s�ances over the next few months to try and contact the murdered boy
and put him at ease. The hauntings stopped, but most doubt it was
communicating with the dead that caused peace to fall to the school.


Historical research can be a tricky feat. Old words can be
translated and slang can be made understood, but euphemism is sometimes
harder to nail down. A prostitute becomes a woman of ill repute.
Alcoholism becomes a blackening of the gall bladder. Lost to history
is what people really thought of Edward De Lancy and his family.


Edward lived near the haunted schoolhouse and his family was
described as being eccentric and of �retired habits.� He was said to
be unsociable but with a good sense of humor and of �little sympathy
with his local associates.� Edward had received as a gift from a
family member living in Europe some type of glass projection machine
that could throw object far distances by catching the sun and then
shining the trapped light. He fiddled with smaller object before
hearing of the odd noises in the school and the murdered boy. He
decided to project the image of a desolate schoolchild directly into
the classroom, all the time laughing at the children down below.


When the news came to light, Edward would entertain anyone who
arrived at his house by throwing ghosts into the classroom and
explaining the methods behind his practical joke. The town considered
the haunting solved, and as the author of the pamphlet writes, �Thus
has Science given the world another proof of its power over the
superstitions of the day.� Nothing is said of what happens to the
children or sad Lucy Perkins, but the case was lost to a locked file
cabinet in the Newburyport Public Library. The school is now a private
residence and the latest owners report no loud noises, no odd laughter
and no arm of a murdered boy hovering in their dining room.

Questions still remain, however, and while Edward�s antics explain
the most intense aspect to the haunting, they do not clarify all that
happened in that schoolhouse. While the atmosphere of the old building
could have easily activated the imagination of the more undesirable
students of the town, there was still Lucy Perkins and the other
teachers who had quit the post. There was no way Edward could have
faked all of the haunting and never admitted to ever going near the
school. Rather the legend of the ghost and the murdered boy already
existed and acted as his inspiration. Someone might have been outside
pounding on the walls when they heard it, but what about the laughing
in the attic and mysterious bells that rang behind a locked door.

What happened in the schoolhouse will never be fully explained.
Since the first unexplained cold spot, the town swept things under the
rug and kept the truth locked inside the building. People of the time
did not want to face what might have been left behind by a boy beaten
and left to die, but the story remains. The school was once described
as �dismal at best, and if built by the spectral-loving fraternity
themselves for their special accommodations, it could not answer their
purpose better.� But the schoolhouse was more than just a prop or the
backdrop to a story of tragedy, and if tragedy never rest, the murdered
boy of the Charles Street Schoolhouse may never truly find peace.
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Ian
Administrator, Founder & Lead Investigator
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Number of posts : 1802
Age : 46
Location : Plymouth
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PostSubject: Re: Haunted Schoolhouse   Mon May 03, 2010 8:28 am

Hi Phil

Thanks for that article , its very interesting and a very good read , we could do with something like that as well .

regards
ian

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Robb
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Number of posts : 348
Age : 34
Location : Dorset
Registration date : 2008-09-07

PostSubject: Re: Haunted Schoolhouse   Mon May 03, 2010 11:01 pm

Is this place in america?

Looks cool.
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http://www.robbleech.com
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PostSubject: Re: Haunted Schoolhouse   Tue May 04, 2010 6:03 am

Hi Robb
Sadly yes it is there is a link in the forum i posted yesterday there are other cases there if you want to take a look?
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Robb
Technical Manager & Investigator
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Number of posts : 348
Age : 34
Location : Dorset
Registration date : 2008-09-07

PostSubject: Re: Haunted Schoolhouse   Wed May 05, 2010 10:06 pm

Yeah thanks Phil!
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