Flames of the Past

August 5, 2012 at 12:00 PM
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At age 10, I wasn’t quite as developed as a lot of people were when it came to their sense of fantasy vs reality. I was all about fantasy, and I didn’t care about anything else. Every day, I would play Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! on the playground with my closest friends while the other kids played sports and ran around on the jungle gym. Bullies would always call me a baby, because I talked to my cards like they were real. I didn’t care who saw me do it, either. I was an average freak to them, and nothing more.

I heard dull stories every day while listening to the people who bullied me, seeing as they always managed to be seated around me. I would block out anything that didn’t seem like it was worth my time.

Near the end of my 5th grade year, I heard a story about something that the kids called “The Dungeon”. It was supposedly a place that was located near the old art room, and people said that if you opened the circular door in that room, you would be sucked down into a room with bright lights and construction equipment. Then, you would be gagged and blindfolded, and you would start to fall asleep. Upon awakening, you would find yourself in the nurse’s office, covered in dirt, and you would be told that you fell off of the jungle gym outside and hit your head. It had supposedly happened to 2 of my classmates/bullies, Kevin and Dustin, and they didn’t want to tell anyone besides their friends because of how scared they were.

I knew the exact room they were talking about, seeing as I was a very advanced art student, and my teacher’s secondary classroom for his honor students was right next to this room. I had always found the room odd, because it was plain concrete, the door to it was broken off of its hinges, and in the middle of the room was a circular shaft with a metal dome on top. The dome had a wheel on it, and the domed shaft as a whole reminded me of a submarine hull. I was curious, so during my after-school art class, I asked Mr. Basler if I could use the restroom. Of course he said yes, and as soon as I was out of the art room, I snuck into the dull room next to it.

I walked over to the shaft and twisted the wheel that was atop it. Sure enough, it was just like a submarine hull, and the door swung open on a hinge. I looked down into the hatch, and immediately saw the ladder that would allow me to climb down. I hadn’t been sucked in like those bullies had said, so I wasn’t scared at all. I climbed down the ladder quickly yet quietly, and soon I found myself standing in a well lit dirt room. The room had chunks of concrete and huge mounds of dirt littering it, and I soon saw the construction equipment that the two bullies had been talking about.

Jackhammers.
Shovels.
Spools of heavy wire.
Pick-axes.
Even a variety of saws.

I was starting to get scared. I asked myself why all of this stuff was here, and why this place looked nothing like a construction site. I soon found my answer as I crept over to one of the large holes that I saw in the ground. Down in the center of the hole was an ancient looking coffin, and the lid had been sawed off. I could see a bleach-white skeleton inside, and I started to cry. Why the hell was all of this here, and why were these dead people being dug up?

I decided that this was no time for questions, and I wanted to be out of the place ASAP. As I turned around to leave, I felt something hit me hard in the back of the head, and I collapsed. I guess that whoever hit me thought that I was unconscious, because they started to talk to themself.

I heard a man say “Damn kids, this is the 3rd one this month that made his way here. I need to have Todd buy a new door for the cover room…”.
I soon felt my body being lifted up, and the man placed me onto his back for the climb up the ladder. I could see the gray hair all over his face, and I came to realize that this man was Ray, the oldest of the school janitors. But why would he do this to me? I was one of his favorite kids in the school… I had talked to him since 1st grade! Why was he doing this all of a sudden?…

As Ray got to the top of the ladder, he threw my body upwards a little, and I fell into the dull concrete room. He climbed up afterwards, and I heard him say “Stupid little shit, didn’t even have the courtesy to close the hatch.” as he slammed the hatch shut. I was carried up the basement steps, and then halfway across the 1st floor of the school to the nurse’s office.
As we entered, Nurse Janet let out a whimper and said “Oh the poor guy, another one fell off of the jungle gym?.. What part did he fall off of?”

Ray replied “I’m not exactly sure, but he hit his head. Hard.”
He proceeded to throw me onto the patient’s bed gently, and he left the room without another word. When I opened my eyes fully about 15 minutes later, I thought that I deserved an award for portraying an unconcious child so well. Now, it was almost 3 o’clock, which would mean that my mom would be at the school soon to pick me up. I asked Nurse Janet what had happened, and she told me exactly what Ray had told her. Seemed as though she didn’t know about the underground, but I didn’t want to take any chances. I told her my Mom was probably waiting outside for me, and she told me that I could leave. So, I did just that.

Whenever I got out to my Mom’s car, I got in, and I immediately started crying. When I told her what I had seen and what had happened to me, she was furious. She threw out a huge amount of curse words, and then she did something that I rarely ever saw her do: she pulled out her cell phone, and she called Dad. She told him to get to the school, and make sure he had a firearm concealed on him, “just in case”.

This scared me a little, so I said “Mommy, Dad isn’t going to hurt anyone, is he?”

She smiled at me and said “Not unless they try to hurt one of us first”.

I trusted her when she said that, seeing as she was an amazingly nice woman, and my Dad was an ex-cop who anyone could trust. I knew she was telling me the truth, and so when she asked me to come into the school with her, I grabbed her hand and followed her.

Upon arriving at the principal’s office, she told me to wait outside, because she didn’t want me to hear her say any more curse words, and that she was about to throw everyone in the book at the principal. I waited outside of the door as she went in, and soon my Dad was there and he went into the room too. My parents came out about 25 minutes later, and as my Mom walked out, she turned around and said one last thing to the principal.

“I hope you enjoyed being principal here while you could, because the police are going to have a field day with this.”

A few months later, after Dustin, Kevin and I had given our statements to the police, over half of the teachers and staff at my school were having criminal charges filed against them. Turns out that over 30 members of the faculty had been in on this “underground” ordeal, and they had all lost their jobs, as well as their freedom in the end.

The reason for the secret room and the underground site was an interesting one. During a battle that happened in the area of the school directly before the Civil War, a rich family had killed all of their slaves (83 total) and set their own house aflame. Before burning their own house down, they buried all of thier riches with the dead slaves so that they could “Give them n***ers something nice that they didn’t have to steal.” ****PLEASE NOTE: I am not a racist, this is the exact quote that they gave to a neighbor that had come to see them before their house was burned down****

When these people were done with the burial of their slaves as well as their riches, they went into the kitchen of their house and ate dinner. As they were eating, the house went up in smoke and all of the people inside were burned to death. The rumor was that the family burned themselves alive on purpose so that they could atone for their sins. Why they killed their slaves was never known. But, the townsfolk took it upon themselves to unbury the dead slaves and re-bury them all properly. All 83 were buried in seperate coffins, and on top of all the coffins, the townsfolk had scattered the remains of the dead rich family. A tombstone was placed there that said “Here lies 83 people and 5 demons. The burn of Hell is stonger than that of a mere flame.”

When all of the people were re-buried, the riches of the dead white family were left in the 83 coffins as a sign of respect for the dead.
That was what the faculty was after.
Without knowing it, the school had been placed upon this burial site, and when the principal found out about this possibility, he took it upon himself to secretly excavate the area underneath the school. When teachers found out, they wanted in immediately. The principal had already collected a large amount of gold and silver jewelry from the two coffins that he had managed to dig up.

After that incident was over and done with, the city poured the hole in the secret room full of concrete, hoping to seal the hole for eternity.

My old elementary school is now an old burned out building. About a month after the burial chamber had been sealed, a fire had started in the cafeteria while the janitors were cleaning the school. Reports from all three of the janitors that were there say the same thing:

“A fire had started for some reason in the southeast corner of the room, closest to the basement. When me and my co-workers went to go get water in the kitchen so that we could stop the fire, we started to hear laughter coming from the cafeteria, and so we ran in there as fast as our legs would carry us because we thought a kid was in that burning room. When we ran in, we saw a group of people sitting at a burning table in the southeast corner, and when we yelled at them to get away, the woman at the head of the table looked at us all and smiled. Then, the table and everyone at it just went up in a huge pillar of fire. We all ran like hell, and as soon as we were outside, we used a payphone to call 911. We were all pretty shaken up about seeing 5 people go up in flames, and our workplace was on fire. None of us knew what else to do. So we just cried.”

No bodies were recovered from the scene, but when the table in the southeast corner was found, it had very old china and silverware sitting in perfect placement for a five person meal. There were places on some of the handles of the silverware that weren’t charred, almost as if someone was holding it while it was being burned.

***This story goes out to all of those people that always thought that something was creepy about their school. This story is 100% authentic, but I will not reveal where this event occured at, due to the fact that I do not want to tarnish the name of my home town any more than it already has been.***

Credit To: La’Mont

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