Saturday, May 25, 2019

Alfred Hitchcock’s Haunted Schoolhouse

A scene from Alfred Hitchcock's', "The Birds."

In an iconic scene in the Alfred Hitchcock’s 1962 film, The Birds terrorized school children run away from their schoolhouse as crows chase and attack them.

The ominous building used in this scene, located in Bodega, California, was actually used as a schoolhouse for 86 years.

The Birds cast and crew, all felt there was something strange about this old building—several even refused to re-enter the old Potter Schoolhouse where they were filming in one of the classrooms. They felt something unseen had watched them.

As it turns out, their gut feelings were right. For this building is haunted by a variety of ghosts.

Bodega was a thriving mill town in 1873 when this school was constructed out of virgin redwood and named after Samuel Potter who donated the land. The school had two classrooms downstairs and a big community hall upstairs.

But as the years passed, the lumber mills closed down, and by 1959, the school closed.

Hitchcock rented the property in 1961, from a private owner who was about to have the abandoned school dismantled so he could sell its’ lumber for profit.

Potter schoolhouse today.
In 1966, Tom and Mary Taylor, both teachers bought the 6000-square–foot building, for $10,500. They and their children spent the next two years restoring the old school.

Today, the classrooms are a guest suite and a second family room. Upstairs is another living room, dining room, and bedrooms.

Leah Taylor, their daughter, states that as soon as they began work, the family experienced weird and frightening activity.

Leah Taylor in one classroom. She had crows
stenciled along the wall. Notice the film posters.
The first morning they spent in the house, they were all in sleeping bags on the second floor, when the whole family heard someone scream, ”it’s Sunday Morning.”

Over the months and years, they continued to hear strange sounds.

Sometimes it was a large group of people all talking at once. Other times, it is a crowd of people who sounded as if they were enjoying a rowdy party.

Renovated room.
The family also heard the sounds of children’s footsteps and laughter.

The Taylor's nicknamed one of the younger ghosts “Tricky Tom” for this spirit would stick its wet finger in their ears.

Leah Taylor and her husband, Rick Williams still live in the home. They both have seen apparitions.

She mentions that most of the spirits remind of her of “heat shimmering off the hot pavement in the summer.” They move quickly across the rooms, diminishing in size.

The ghost of a woman, dressed in Victorian clothing, has been photographed in the home.

Clavin Keithly stands in the
center with students, outside
A tourist taking pictures in front of the house captured the image of a man standing at one of the second story windows. The man in this picture looks just like Calvin Keithly, who was a teacher at the school in the early 1900s.

Taylor recounts one sighting that startled her. She spotted the apparition of a small girl levitating in the doorway that leads to the kitchen. This child offered her a resounding, “Hi.”

Taylor does open her home for special events, but the tourists that approach the house regularly often overwhelm her and her husband. Her son does not want to live in the home because of this.

They have had to build a fence around the property and they rarely go out in their front yard--to avoid tourist's questions.

The Office of Scientific Investigations and Research declared the Potter Schoolhouse an official haunted place in 1997.

1 comment:

Shadow said...

Very interesting, considering the time span of these 'events', maybe we should cede to the unknown.