| This happened
to my son, the infamous Erich the Aweful, last December, when he was
back in Texas on leave. Now some of you
know about Erich, and his equally infamous sidekick, Teddy the Turd...
They're both sargents in the U.S. Army, and stationed in South Korea…
Both of them are"lifers" just like their dads... grand dads... great-grand
dads... back about six more generations in both cases... But in case
you don't the "rest of the story", Erich got his nickname from a Ray
Stevens song about a Viking that came out about the time he started
to walk. Teddy... Theodore Nicholas Martinovich III, is his best friend...
who couldn't pronounce the word "third" until he was around six years
old... The two boys grew up together, and their fathers are best friends
of long standing. I'm not sure who came up with the names, whether
it was me or Teddy's dad, Walter... but... Unfortunately the two nicknames
stuck, and equally unfortunately, they are said, by some, to be fairly
appropriate... By the way, I'm proud of both my boys, and so is Wally.
In any case, this one bit me in the rear end… Not a good thing to
happen to a professional Paranormal Investigator… but it happens…
. Like I said… Erich was in on leave last December. He went back to
Texas to visit my mom. Anyway, one night
about two o'clock, our time (it figures...) he called me, and asked
me what was on the second floor of the High School (there in our home
town) when I was going to school. I told him that there wasn't a second
floor, that the old two-story school had burned down several years
before I started high school, and I went to the one that's there,
now, which is built on the same foundation, only one story, with two
"wings" added. He said... "Dad, you're not going to believe this...
but... I was on the second floor. I went to visit some of my teachers,
and friends (he's got one or two friends who graduate, this year,
younger than him) and as I walked in, things kind of went "goofy"
and changed. There were staircases on each side of the auditorium
doors. I went up one of them and was on the second floor".
My natural reaction was "Bull**t, and we both know it". He went on
and on, and the tone of his voice was such that I began to believe
him. Erich is "sensitive", all of the men in my family are... but...
this is something new. I told him that I had no idea what was there,
but would find out. I called a friend who is older than me by a few
years, and asked him about it. He described the second floor, just
before the fire, and it matched what Erich told me EXACTLY. He even
saw the class photos lining the wall and a trophy case full of football
trophies. He even told me, correctly, where the bathrooms were, and
that the Principal's office and Janitor's closet were there, in exactly
the right place!
That school burned almost to the ground in 1964. I didn't start High
School until 1968. Keep in mind that Erich had no way of knowing anything
about the lay-out of this building, at this time, let alone how the
actual second floor looked. There is, as far as I know, only a handful
of photos of this building, all are exterior shots. There is no possible
way that he could have had access to any photo, or any information
about the physical appearance of this building, on the inside. I even
emailed the Historical Society and the newspapers. That kind of thing
just doesn’t exist, or if it does, no one knows where.
Erich then told me that he had been in the basement. That wasn't strange,
because there are two basement rooms, one on either side, and underneath
the stage of the auditorium. They used to be shower rooms for an atheletic
dressing room that was connected, to the front of them. There was
also a boiler room underground. I knew about this, because the basement
rooms were used as classrooms when I went to school. The dressing
room and boiler room had been filled in. Now... here's where THIS
gets strange. Each of those basement rooms have their own entrance,
now. I thought that they always had. Erich said that he had gone downstairs
through a central stairway, that was under the the right hand stairway
going to the second floor, and opened into what he called a "fieldhouse".
At the time, I didn't know it, but before the fire, that was exactly
how you went downstairs. The two seperate stairways to the rooms that
they use, now, were built after the fire, becuse they had to fill
in the old dressing room and boiler room to make the new foundation.
The ceilings on both of those rooms had collapsed in the fire. The
roof over the two shower rooms hadn't.
The fire was started by a couple of boys with some "stomp balls" or
"torpedos". You know, those things that you can throw down, and when
you step on them, they pop. They tossed out a couple of boxes of them
durring an assembly, and one of them set fire to the dreapes and curtains
in the auditorium. The school was almost thirty years old, and the
stuff was dry. The fire took off like mad, and spread to the wooden
stage and seats. It was a total loss in less than two hours. Two kids
died in the fire, and the two guys that did it (I'm serious) just
got out about five years ago. We always had the idea that the school
might be haunted. One or two people that I know of actually saw an
apparition, and I sensed them on several ocassions while I was in
school. I didn't say anything, because anyone who has my "talent"
was considered "weird" back then. It's not so bad now, I've heard,
but it was then. The hauntings aren't active. People generally don't
see them, just sense them there, and ocassionally the common "weird
thing" will happen, like something being moved and then reappearing...
Things that would be easy to explain, if you didn't already know the
As far as I know, no one has ever had this... what Erich experienced...
happen. Now, I'm really anxious to go to the school, the next time
I'm in, and do a proper investigation of it. I don't think what happened
to Erich can be duplicated. I have no idea what could cause it. I
am interested to see what kind of EMF readings I get, and what some
IR photos would show, especially of the exterior of the building,
at night. I'm almost willing to bet that the second floor is still
there, or somehow phases in, from time to time, and is simply not
noticed, unless you are in the... exact... right place, at the...
exact... right time. It has to be a random occurence, or at certain
times of the year.
I asked Erich if anyone else had been in the building, at the time.
He said he didn't thnk so. He had gone after school was out, hoping
to catch some of his teachers. It was mid December, and the schools
hadn't let out for mid-term yet. His friends were all in band, and
were in the band hall, which is a seperte building. He told me he
figured that the custodian had stepped out. It was a Friday, and none
of the teachers were still there, or at leat not in the main building.
There are several new buildings on the campus. The main building is
too small for the student body, now. Since Erich told me about this,
I've talked to several friends who went to school in that building,
and one or two retired teachers who actually taught in it. I didn't
tell any of them what I was doing, just asked them to describe the
second floor of the old school. Evey single one of them have described
it just as Erich saw it, apparently the way it looked immediately
before the fire.
© James L. Choron
July 29, 2004