Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Newsworthy Haunts 3/19—Fike High School

Ralph L. Fike High School
500 Harrison Drive
Wilson, North Carolina

High school is scary enough. You already have teenage angst compounded by raging hormones and with modern teenage drama; it makes for a volatile situation. It’s even worse, I imagine, with ghosts thrown in.

Schools appear frequently on lists of haunted places and they range from preschools to university buildings. Among K-12 schools in the South, there are some very notable haunted schools including C. E. Byrd High School in Shreveport Louisiana, Jordan High School in Columbus, Georgia, Airport High School in West Columbia, South Carolina and Bristol High School in Bristol, Tennessee. Elementary schools also rank on the list including Matthew Whaley Elementary in Williamsburg, Virginia. North Carolina has a few notable haunted high schools including Erwin High School in Asheville, which was built on the site of a potter’s field cemetery. While most of the graves were moved, it’s possible that some were missed which would account for some of the activity. The stories—like so many ghost stories—are often rife with exaggerations and inaccuracies. Administration will often shy away from ghost tales in an effort to not scare or distract the students, though the tales persist as well.

Asheville, NC's haunted Erwin High School, 2012. Photo by
Lewis Powell IV, all rights reserved.
I always wondered if my alma mater, LaGrange High School in LaGrange, Georgia was haunted. The school’s main building dated to the 1940s with many modern additions. Parts of the building were creepy, though I never heard anything substantial as to activity. Not that I wasn’t interested, in fact, I worked on an independent study my senior year about ghosts (I should give a shout out to Mrs. Karen Hodnette, the Gifted Facilitator, and say thank you for putting up with me and my bizarre project, it apparently is coming full circle now). That’s why I’m jealous of the student named in this recent article from the Wilson Daily Times; she’s gathering paranormal evidence about her high school for her senior project.

Certainly it appears that there are some very strange things going on at Fike High School. This project got its impetus when a student watched her classroom door close by itself during class. Moments later, the door opened again about six inches and a nearby projector head flipped downward by itself. The student began asking questions which has culminated in her concentrating on the school haunting as her senior project.

Witnesses to these phenomena include teachers, janitors and the assistant principal. A coach walking along one hallway began to notice the classroom doors closing by themselves as he passed. The assistant principle saw a white figure in the hallway when she was a student while a current math teacher started hearing odd sounds one night as he was working late. He went to the main office to check the security cameras and noticed the motion detectors were alerting him to movement in the second floor hallway. When he went to look, he saw a white figure at the end of the corridor.

The student has called in a paranormal team, The Paranormal Detectives, to investigate. The results of the investigation will be publicized in the local paper.

The school, built in 1958, was built on the site of a farm, though the student has been unable to find evidence of any particularly traumatic events occurring there. “I need to keep digging to find out if anything traumatic happened.” she said.

     The Carolina Mercury. 14 March 2013.
      Daily Times. 11 March 2013.
Ralph L. Fike High School. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 19 March 2013.

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