Springfield High School, Springfield, Illinois November 2012
(See April 2005 entry)
Investigators: CAPS: Dave, Trish, Alan, and Vicki with special investigators Dan and Joe
Weather clear and unseasonably warm.
Years ago, I lived on the 500 block
of Monroe Street in Springfield; an older home that had been converted into
efficiency apartments. As I was lying on
my couch, I happen to look over to a mirror hanging on my living room wall
where I saw an image of a small boy with white blond hair sitting cross-legged
on the floor watching TV. As I was
babysitting at the time, I assumed it was one of the kids not taking their
nap. When I leaned over the coffee
table, ready to chastise the child in question, to my surprise I discovered he
was lying down sound asleep. Glancing back at the mirror I realized the specter
I elected to keep this incident to myself, thinking it must have surely been my mind playing tricks on me, but then several days later, I received a frantic phone call from my mom. She proceeded to tell me how she had fallen asleep lying on her couch and when she awoke, she saw the back of a little boy with blonde hair sitting on the floor, in front of her TV...who vanished! One thing you should know, she lived just down the block in the apartment building right next to Springfield High school. Though my old apartment has long since been demolished, that episode has always lingered in me.
Years later I learned that Springfield High School was actually built on the grounds of one of the first Cemeteries in Springfield. Hutchinson Cemetery was first opened in1846 and by 1857, more than 1,000 people were buried there. In 1866, they began the relocation of the occupants to Oak Ridge Cemetery and the former cemetery was seeded to the city where it became Forest Park, because of all the old trees.
In 1915, when they broke ground for the construction of Springfield High, it was discovered not all the remains had been moved. A story exists that when they dug ground to install an elevator they found even more bodies and a mysterious headstone without a name that read "Cut down, but not destroyed" In the 1930's, the school suffered a boiler explosion resulting in a tragic fire that caused the death of 3 people and injured several others.
With such a rich history already attached to this location, it is not surprising that the rumors of Springfield High being haunted run rampant. Such reports have been loud mysterious noises, lights being turned on and off, doors opening and closing on their own, and the elevator seemingly being operated by invisible sources. There are several people that have sworn they have seen an apparition of a little girl near the elevator and running down the halls.
When CAPS was given the opportunity to investigate Springfield High, we were all quite eager to see what we could capture for ourselves. For me it was a mixed emotion, because going back to High school has been a nightmare of mine ever since I graduated.
Our team assembled at around 5:00pm and while Alan, Dan and Joe began to unload the equipment, I got my first glimpse of the location. When I stepped into the entrance hallway on the 1st floor I immediately got a strange sensation. Dave informed me that this was where the little girl had been seen. As we followed her purported path I found myself becoming increasingly dizzy. I felt like a drunkard on unsteady legs as we traversed our way back to meet up with the rest of the team. It took me a few more minutes before the dizziness passed and I was back to normal, well as Dave likes to say, back to "Vicki Normal".
After our initial walkthrough of this immense location; Alan, Dan and Joe went about setting up their various cameras. CAPS (Top Cat) Dave gave Trish and I leave to go about our investigation knowing that our skills with electronics would not be necessary or appreciated. Throughout the night the various investigation teams had a number of personal experiences. These seemed to be focused in a few locations in the building.
On the 3rd floor, there is a storage room they call the "Book Room". When Joe walked out of that room and down the hallway alone, he thought he heard a male voice then saw a light in a locked room that suddenly turned off.
When in the Auditorium, Dave and Alan detected EMF spikes and experienced significant battery drains, only to have the batteries come back to full power when the spikes subsided.
It was the Art Room where we had most of our experiences. This was an amazing loft-style room with a staircase that stretches from the second to third floor. Both Joe and Trish seemed to get cold chills simply walking down the hallways by this room.
It was in this particular room that Trish and I kept hearing noises and saw a dark shadow flitting in front of the doorway located in the rear of the lower level. When the men first entered the Art room they thought they heard voices having a conversation, but no one was there. When they started recording they heard a loud crashing noise like something had fallen or was thrown. They were unable to determine the cause, but seemed to think it came from the northwest corner of the room where they also detected elevated EMF levels in response to questions.
Towards the end of the night Trish and I returned to the Art Room, and for fun I asked if anyone knew me from when I lived in the area. I really was not expecting any response, but when we were going through the evidence and on my audio recorder I had captured a male voice answering "yes".
As I write this and look around me, I am woefully aware of what a challenging task it is to keep any place tidy amongst the mayhem of children. I want to commend all the janitors who kept this remarkable location so well maintained.
It was indeed an honor to be entrusted with this rare opportunity to investigate such an historic location. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to those buried on these sacred grounds than to have this monumental building, dedicated to teaching the young with a proud past, present and a bright future for generations!
Here's how loud the bang was in the art room.
Caught this one in the second floor hallway by the art room.
Dave caught this child's voice while they were in the library.
Trish and I captured this laugh while in the Art Room.
This was a spirit box session in the auditorium.
Dave caught this one while they were in the old gymnasium.
Response to Trish back in the Art room.
Response to Vicki back in the Art room.
There aren't a lot of schools that can sport two gymnasiums.
A couple pictures of that amazing art room.
Dave in the bookroom and one of the auditorium.
Dave caught this light anomoly in the auditorium.