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, ranging from preschools to university buildings, appear frequently on lists of haunted places. In his 2003 book, Haunted Schools, A.S. Mott suggests several reasons why schools may be rife with spiritual activity. Some activity can be linked with the land upon which the school sits, while others have been the scene of deaths, accidental or otherwise, that may contribute to a haunting. Students who pass on away from school, may return to the place where they spent their formative years, or devoted faculty or staff members may continue their duties in the afterlife.
Some of these stories are simply urban legends that flourish within the school community. They bear the hallmarks of oral storytelling as each teller adds their own flourishes compounding the exaggerations and inaccuracies, though there sometimes remains a kernel of truth.
Among haunted schools in the South, there are some very notable haunted schools including C. E. Byrd High School in Shreveport Louisiana; Airport High School in West Columbia, South Carolina; Bristol Tennessee High School in Bristol, Tennessee; and 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 prior to construction, it’s possible that some were missed which might account for some of the activity.
I always wondered if my alma mater, LaGrange High School in LaGrange, Georgia was haunted. The school’s main building dates 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. While anxiety and procrastination marred that project, I believe all that work was really ramping up for the debut of this blog.
This is 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, occupies 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.
- Butcher, Lucy. “Fike High School under investigation for paranormal activity.” The Carolina Mercury. 14 March 2013.
- “Paranormal team visits N.C. school after strange events reported.” Wilson Daily Times. 11 March 2013.
- Ralph L. Fike High School. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 19 March 2013.