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True Ghost Stories: A Haunted Elementary School


Santee, CA

By Dennis D.


We had a contract job to work on an elementary school, but it was during the school year, so we had to work at night.

We were supposed to be onsite at 8pm, and the shift went until whenever we were done, as long as it ended before the next school day started. We figured we would be working well into the wee hours of the morning.

I drove onto the campus and pulled my work van into the empty yard. There was nothing around me except for a 2 foot tall retaining wall directly in front of my van, about 20 feet away. My headlights shone on the blank wall, and I parked, turned off my lights, walked around the side of the van to grab my tools, then went inside to wait for the other 3 guys.

The job involved having to climb into the rafters, each of us in separate rooms to gain access to the piping we needed to replace or repair. It was pretty spooky in there, just because it was nighttime, and most of our light came from our flashlights. We didn’t turn on every light in the place–just in the rooms we were working. The four of us got busy quickly, hoping that the project would be completed sooner rather than later.

A little while into the production, I started to hear muffled voices. Thinking it was two of the guys chatting below, I called out to them, saying hey, can’t understand what you’re saying. No response. So I got on the radio and repeated, “Hey, can’t hear you guys. What did you say?”

All three of them called back independently, “I didn’t say anything”.

“Come on guys, ” I said back. “I heard two of you talking”.

The three guys all said they were alone in their respective rooms, and weren’t talking with anyone.

I jumped down out of the ceiling and walked into the hallway. About halfway down was the janitor’s closet, and the door was open with the light on. I walked down and did a quick look-see into the room. It was empty. I turned off the light and closed the door, and went back to the ceiling. About ten minutes later, I heard more muffled voices. Again I asked the guys to repeat themselves, and again, they all responded that they were alone and it wasn’t them. I came down out of the ceiling and walked  into the hall—and the janitor’s closet was open, with the light on. I walked down, much more hesitantly this time, and looked in. There was still nothing out of the ordinary in there. I turned off the light and closed the door, and went back to my work area.

About 15 minutes later, I heard the same muffled voices, and I was adamant about catching the guys screwing around with me, sure they were trying to scare me (they were doing a good job). I ran into the hallway—and the janitor’s door was open and light was on. I walked down, turned off the light and closed the door. As I walked back towards the job, I felt a rush of cold sweep through me. I turned around and looked down the hallway, only to witness the door open slowly, and see the lights turn on right in front of my eyes.

Needless to say, I decided the job was over for the evening.

I yelled out to the guys that we were done, grabbed my tools and ran as fast as I could out to my work van. I unlocked the driver’s door, put my keys in the ignition and turned on the headlights so that they illuminated the wall in front of me. I ran around the front of the van between it and the retaining wall to get to the side and load in my tools. I closed the door, and ran around the back of the van and jumped into the driver’s seat so I could get the heck out of there ASAP. As I sat in the seat to drive away, I looked at the wall.

There were what must have been 20-30 lunchboxes stacked atop the wall, in perfect formation. Lunchboxes that had not been there 30 seconds previously. I threw the van into reverse and screeched out of there like a bat out of hell.

Rumor was that the school had been built on a graveyard, but I never found out for sure.

We finished the job in the daylight the following weekend.