I have worked with paranormal societies a few times in my career. There are many old historic buildings which carry many a lost and restless soul. These souls have not crossed over. There are many reasons why a soul will not be able to cross over. Sometimes it’s just plain stubbornness.
This was the case in the account of the janitor at Old School Manor in Portland, Michigan. I was specifically drawn to this haunting because it was a haunting that my daughter and grandchildren were the victim of. For many months, Jewels my youngest child, had been telling me that she was having spirit activity in her apartment shortly after moving in. Her stack of cds were found in the kitchen one morning when she awoke with the children. She said, “Everything was taken from the refrigerator to the area where the cd rack was.” It was usually in the mornings she would find things that were neatly centered in her apartment the night before, scattered around the apartment or in a pile stacked in a corner. Noises were always heard by everyone in the building.
Knocking, scratching, voices, doors slamming, phones ringing in the hallways… This was an apartment building that had been a school many, many years ago. Being condemned, it was purchased and refurbished and sectioned off into areas of apartments. The old school left such a dark feel to the place. The original boiler room was still in the basement area, and the school recess bells were on every floor over the doorways.
The school bells went off randomly and everyone ran out of the building, as the owner had told the tenant’s that the bell was now being used for a fire alarm. We found that the bells were not connected to any wiring at all, and when they went off there was never any fire. This landlord knew a lot more than he was telling his renters at Old School Manor.
In our investigations we found that a small girl was killed in the late 1800’s in the gym there. The bleachers had been reported as weakening and shifting, so the janitor, who had been working at the school for many years, was sent to fix them. He never did do this job. That evening, the bleachers collapsed and it was then that the little girl was crushed to death.
It had been reported that the janitor disappeared a few months later, but the rumors about his disappearance were all centered on the father of the little girl. It was said that he killed the janitor and set the old school on fire. There was speculation that janitor was dumped in the building by the murderer and that he had been burned to ashes.
Much of the building was then rebuilt through donations from the community… but the janitor and the little girl never left. Reports of their antics started shortly after the rebuilding of the school. The little girl has been seen by many of the tenants there for years.
I only felt her following me as I walked through many of the school’s hallways in my investigation… I also heard her foot steps. The first time this happened I said, “Don’t you scare me!” Others have reported that she smacked them in the back and they flew ahead, and some fell.
Then, the janitor decided to move into my daughter’s apartment, and the activity was unbearable. He wrote sentences on her computer to tell her that her husband was cheating on her with the woman in Apt. 382, and even gave her the woman’s name. He started to terrorize my 2 year old granddaughter one day. When my daughter found her in a corner she asked her what was wrong, and why was she holding her hands over her face? She said ‘Henry wants us to move. He said this is his house.”
This was not the only communication that Henry (the janitor) had with this child. He would follow her everywhere in the apartment, and once she said to her Mother, “Wait! Wait! You just shut Henry in your room! Open the door! quick, he gets mad!”
Well at that point my husband and I decided to call some ghostbusters who had lots of equipment. We knew we had to get him out of there.
The following Friday, we showed up at the old school manor in full force. Some local ghostbuster friends came along with their camera’s, digital audio recorders, and magnetic resistance measuring equipment, and their own sensitive members in tow. Boy, we gave that place a going over, and Henry was not the only occupant of the school. Since the problem centered on my daughter and granddaughter, we concentrated on talking some sense into Henry. After a bit of persuasion, the janitor moved along to longer hallways (greener pastures). While he no longer bothered my daughter and granddaughter, a few months later they found their own greener pastures and decided to move from the Old School Manor.