Tuesday, November 10, 2015

El Paso High School

The school’s track team had just traveled back to El Paso from Austin where they had won the State Championship. The team was in the locker room putting their gear away when the coach heard the sounds of an enthusiastic pep rally in the High School’s 2nd-floor Auditorium—this would not be unusual except for the fact that it was 2:00 a.m. in the morning . . .

This high school is considered the most haunted building in El Paso, Texas.

El Paso High School nicknamed
The Lady on the Hill sits on a
mountainside overlooking the city.
El Paso High School was first built in 1916, so it has a long history. The school has been enlarged several times as the city has grown. With this growth sections of the school have been updated, torn down or even walled off.

According to Tobias Tovar, a math teacher at the school, in the winter of 2000, a group of teachers and students were trapped at the school during a snowstorm.

This group decided to explore some of the mysterious areas in the school. While in the school’s basement they found a couple of the older classrooms that were blocked by a brick wall.

This brick wall was crumbling, the students crawled through the small opening. They discovered one of these classrooms still intact. The original desks were there and on many of them were open student notebooks—as if the students had left in mid-lesson.

There were Baby Ruth candy wrappers on the floor from the early 1900s, and the group even found a love note that had been passed to one female student. It was apparent this classroom had been abandoned quickly, but why?

School lore states this area is haunted because this basement was used as a makeshift morgue during the Spanish Flu Epidemic in the early 1900s and during WWll.

Many other sections of El Paso High School are also haunted. Tovar shares his own experience—early in his teaching career he coached the 8th-grade basketball team.

During afternoon practice one day in the gym below his classroom two large doors that led into the tunnels swung open violently and hit the outer walls. At first, it was felt this was some kind of freak draft so the latch was locked and a heavy bench was placed in front of the doors.

But when these doors once again slammed open sending the heavy bench flying these basketball players who were all gang members quickly left. Tovar exited the gym so fast he forgot to turn out the lights.

Yet another haunted area that has been closed off for years is a hallway with a stairway at the end. This staircase leads to a locked balcony. Witnesses have seen strange mists and fogs in this hall. Others report seeing a gooey substance dripping from the ceiling.

It was on this balcony in the mid-1970s where a distraught teenage girl slit her wrists and then jumped to her death off the platform. Many witnesses over the years have seen the ghost of this female teen jumping from this balcony.

One of the most intriguing stories about El Paso High School involves a student yearbook. This yearbook is displayed in a case near the school’s entrance.

It is open to a page that shows a picture of the graduating class of 1985. All the students and teachers in this photo are in focus except for one young lady wearing a white dress. Her features are blurred and fuzzy.

Click to enlarge.
This figure stands at the end of one row. Two other female students in the picture are looking at her—in puzzlement. It’s as if they know-- no one else sees her.

Closer view of the blurred figure.
This girl was not a member of this graduating class. No one has been able to identify who she is. Many of the students in the photo have stated they do not recognize her.

Her figure does not appear in the original negative of this photo—it is only in the printed copy in this yearbook.

In yet another recent yearbook an old photo taken in 1916 is displayed. It was taken as the school was being built. In this photo is the figure of a young woman in a white dress. Again no one knows who she is and why she is there. In the original negative she does not appear—she again only appears in this yearbook print.

Photo taken in 1916 during construction.
Strange young woman is in the lower left corner.

Angelo Plechuda who teaches Journalism at the school had his own eerie encounter one night. He and a group of his students had stayed late at the school finishing the layout for the yearbook.

He sent his students home around 9:00 p.m. but he stayed until 11:00 p.m. to finish up some loose ends. As he went to exit the school, he spotted a young teenage girl wearing a 1940s style blue chiffon dress standing in the red glow of the exit sign.

Thinking she was a student he asked her what she was doing there when he got no response he told her she best go home. She looked over at him with a sad expression.

He walked toward her but stopped when it dawned on him that she was transparent and she was not standing on the floor but instead was hovering in mid air.

As he approached, she floated down the hall and disappeared into the darkness.

By far, Coach Danny Mckillip and his track team experienced the most compelling paranormal activity to date that has occurred at this school.

As mentioned above they returned to the school late one night in the 1980s after winning the State Track Championship in Austin. As members of his team put their gear away in the locker room, the Coach heard very specific sounds that led him to believe many other students were in the school—but it was 2:00 a.m.

He heard many footsteps rushing down the hall above headed in the direction of one of the school’s auditoriums.

He heard laughter and cheerleaders cheering. He heard many voices singing the school’s fight song. Was it a pep rally? Had the school arranged a surprise welcome to celebrate his team’s big win?

He rushed to the 2nd floor to find out what was going on. The sounds he had heard all continued—that is until he drew closer to the Auditorium’s entrance doors. Then all the noise abruptly stopped.

He checked the doors, and they were locked and everything inside was dark and quiet. He quickly went to his office to retrieve his master key. Back in the locker room he and his team heard the distinctive sounds of the Tiger Fight Song as well as clapping and cheering.

2nd floor Auditorium
He told his team to stay in the locker room as once more he went to the 2nd floor—again as he approached the Auditorium the sounds ceased. With the key, he entered the large room. He searched the Auditorium but found no one there.

Later he discovered no one was in the school that early morning except him and his team.

This high school is so haunted that they do not have night custodians-- despite the size of the school. These workers refuse to be in the building after 9:00 p.m.


Unknown said...

Why was the hidden classroom block and what happen why they just left the class room

Virginia Lamkin said...

Good question. When the school added a wing to the school --this part of the basement with two classrooms was sealed off. The mystery is why were these two classrooms bricked up at the end of the tunnel--without removing the debris in these rooms first, which included--desks, textbooks, and personal items that belonged to former students.

One theory is the workman were just lazy. Another more scary theory is there was something dark and unnatural down in this tunnel and they just wanted to seal it up and move on.