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Washington High School was built in the mid 1930's about a block south of the Wolf River in New London, WI and was the city's high school until about 1969, when a new one opened a block to the west and it was converted to a junior high school. No one knows for sure or can explain it, but over the years, we picked up a ghost (who we have yet to name). I have felt its presence and others have seen it or heard it as well, especially at night.
During the 1940's and 1950's a series of tunnels was built under the school to access the heating plant and various areas of the basement that have been added on. Students were not allowed in these areas except the main hallway in the basement and once in a great while in the boiler room. There are also a lot of Indian burial grounds in the area and other sacred land for native American rituals. To date, I have recorded many encounters with the band ghost. One is from myself, another from a fellow student, and two from the staff.
This first encounter happened during a band rehearsal in what used to be the auto shop classroom (converted to the band room) that contains many nooks and crannies. The band had stopped to count out some difficult rhythms in the music. The teacher would clap out the rhythms and then the students would clap them back to her. Well, that one particular day in rehearsal, when the band clapped back, there came a clanging on some pipes in an empty storage room connected to the band room that was the same thing that the teacher had clapped and it continued throughout the rehearsal whenever the band had stopped to go over rhythms, the same thing happened. No one was in that room or able reach the pipes where the sound was coming from. This had happened several times a school year, but not when a lot of students were around.
The second encounter is my own. I was changing in the women's locker room (strangely enough almost directly above the band room) for a show choir performance and was the only person in that wing of the school. Even though it was the middle of December, the air outside was still and all of the windows in the locker room (they were high up on the walls and were not clear) were closed. I was almost done, when all of a sudden all of the doors and windows in the room started banging and rattling about making a huge noise. The main door to the room (a large, heavy oak door that was extremely hard to move) was even opening and closing about two inches at this time. I naturally freaked out, and tried to get out of there as fast as possible. All that time the banging and rattling continued. As soon as I left the locker room, it had stopped. So at that point, I ran down to the band room to put my stuff away. One of the other students walked in at that time and I told her about it (that's when she told me about the above paragraph). Later that evening when we were on stage I felt a cold wind twist around me and I could have sworn somebody whispered my name into my ear at that point with cold, icy breath. I looked over to see if the backstage door was open and it was not. Nothing normal could have caused this. I asked somebody else after the concert that was on stage with me if the felt this, and they said they felt a cold breeze for a split second, but that was it.
When I went to talk to the band teacher about this, she told me her own encounter (my third story). One night she was working really late and realized that she had to leave before 11:00 pm so that she wouldn't set off the security system. So, at about 10:55, she gathered her briefcase and trumpet and left. After she locked up and left the building, she looked up to a window above a nearby entrance where she saw a woman wearing a white dress. She looked back down and headed to her car. When she got there, she looked back at the window, and nothing was there. She has also heard clanging on pipes late at night matching rhythms in music that either she was playing on her trumpet, on the radio, or and ensemble played during the day.
The fourth and final one comes from the chief custodian of the building for the last ten years. She only heard the ghost who she called a "protective ghost" that often looked over the building and the custodial crew late at night and early in the mornings. She would try to keep people out of the building or areas of the building where no other people were by scaring them, which she did an effective job of. Our chief custodian also told me that the ghost would often try to scare her at first, but after a while became used to the night staff. Our custodian also confirmed that the ghost's favorite haunts were the basement (including the tunnels between classrooms, the band room, and the tunnel to the heating plant) and sometimes the second floor of the building.
That is all that I know about the band ghost at this time. The building that it haunts is no longer used by anyone and just sits as an empty shell in the middle of the city. I did not want to tell any of the names of the staff and students to protect their anonymity, and I wish that if this is published, that I be kept anonymous as well (most people do not believe me when I tell this story ever). I've looked into some of the history of the building and have found nothing other than blueprints, but more does exist with further investigating to find out who the ghost actually is.
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