Are they real or are they imagined, these ghosts, the ghost tales connected to Park Street School. Some say they are very real and others claim it is just folk lore but folk lore and legends always begin with something, some happening that peaks the imagination and as the story is told over and over the scene and the characters often become larger than life and live on for a thousand generations, give or take a few.
I know Park Street School. It has been a part of my life since I was a child and I have worked there for several years. I know the building and the grounds around the building as well as I know my own home and can walk through it in pitch dark with no problem. I know the tunnels and the false walls and the secret places and I have seen and heard strange things, sights and sounds I cannot explain but is Park Street School haunted; maybe and then again maybe not. I don’t know. What I do know is that the building has a very strange and eerie presence late at night when you walk alone through the darkened corridors but maybe it is all imagination.
They say Park Street School in Springfield, VT is haunted. I worked there at night as a custodian for several years and during the day as a substitute teacher or a reader and page in the school library. I’ve never seen the ghost that supposedly haunt the place, a little girl that walks across the stage, is sometimes seen in a back stairwell or the auditorium balcony. Supposedly there is also a man who is sometimes seen down around the old coal bin and boiler room or in the alley between the old and new building, even the new part is over one-hundred years old and the old building nearly two hundred years old. A young girl was raped and murdered there supposedly by a school janitor. The original building, before it was a public school burned and I’ve heard a woman died in the fire. I don’t know. I have not seen any such documentation.
There used to be a bell tower on top of the building that was destroyed during a hurricane and it was never replaced but the old stairway is still there and some say they have seen the image of a man walking down the stairs and through the door into the hall without opening the door. Others say they have been pushed, touched, had their hair tugged on. Several years ago a janitor fell down a flight of stairs and was killed. Some say he was pushed down the stairs by the ghost. Some say they can hear footsteps walking behind them when they walk through the building in the dark. Others say they have seen ghostly images appear and disappear at the far end of long corridors especially down near the music room and in the stairwell leading from the music room to the auditorium.
I fell down some stairs while I was working there; the stairs by the auditorium stage. Several times the school superintendent, the principal and our office personnel asked me if I was absolutely certain I had not been pushed.
Supposedly a ghost has frequently been seen in that area. No, I was not pushed. I overreached while trying to repair a hinge on a door and I lost my balance and fell. It was my own fault. I was not pushed by a ghost or anyone else.
However, the stories of ghost in Park Street School persist and there are those who insist it is haunted. Maybe it is just my over-active imagination and all the stories but on several occasions late at night and alone in my wing where I was working I thought I say something move by me, just a peripheral glance of what appeared to be a woman dressed in early 1900’s apparel. I’m not sure what I saw or if maybe it was caused by the reflection of car lights passing by the school late at night.
Once and just once, when I was doing the final walk through and setting the alarms, turning off all the lights I felt like someone walked right up to me and touched my arm and a heard what sounded like a woman’s voice distinctly say, “help me.” It freaked me out for a minute and there was one other time when I was doing my outside grounds check late at night before I went home that I looked up to the third floor at the back windows of what would be room 113 and I could have sworn I saw a man standing in the window. I was alone and did not go back in to check.
If there was a man in the building made of human flesh and blood he wasn’t going anywhere without setting off an alarm and the police could respond. I was not about to go back inside. After I had crossed the street to go home I looked back at the front of the building and though I saw what appeared to be a faint glow move across the windows of the gymnasium balcony. I don’t know what would have caused that. There was no traffic around at that time.
I will say I felt uncomfortable working alone in the building. Even locked down the best it can be locked down there are ways to access the building if you know about them. I told my boss about it. He laughed but I noticed after that none of us male or female were allowed to work alone at night.
Do I think the school is haunted? I don’t know. I doubt it. I think it is a combination of a very old, creaky building with an old spring type floor that you can still hear your own footsteps as the floor springs back when you are standing on the floor below where you just walked and a lot of imagination stirred up by the folk lore that has been being passed down from generation to generation for well over one hundred years. It is possible there are ghost in the building. It could be so. Ghosts are real enough.
The school is very old and has a lot of history both good and bad stemming from even before it was a school. Who knows? I don’t but I like the stories and there could very well be some truth to it.
There is something strange about Park Street School but is it paranormal; there are just too many other possibilities for me to be convinced that it is but I would still feel uneasy being alone in the building late on a dark night with no light to see.