|The Abandoned Lambertville High School|
Location- Lambertville, NJ...just across the river from New Hope, PA
Date- Friday, June 13, 2003 (Yes, can you believe we went on Friday the 13th?)
Those Present- Kenny, Patty and Steve of PIRA and Diana and Mike of WeHaveGhosts/BCPI
Weather- Rain...constant big drops of rain.
Moon Phase- Waxing gibbous with 99% of the Moon's visible disk illuminated
Historical Background- The school was built in 1854. A fire destroyed much of it in 1926, but was remodeled in 1927. According to rumor, there was another fire in 1992 which destroyed the school for good. I could not find an "official" closing date, but my guess is that the school wasn't touched after that fire. Most of the information available on the web are simply stories from other adventure seekers. Our next trip will be to the local library to find out more.
Reported Activity- There are several things reported to have
happened at this old school. Most of which consists of strange lights and
noises throughout the school. I would wager that most of that can be attributed
to the young adventure seekers and/or kids having drinking parties.
One thing that brought out people like us were the "haunted" black boards. Several have claimed that in one of the classrooms on the second floor, the black boards were covered with drawings of children crying and burning.
Another local legend is that of "Buckeye". There is actually two versions of this story, but with the same basic back story. There was a championship football game between Lambertville and New Hope (PA). An intense game was going on. During a normal play, one of the New Hope Buckeyes was tackled to the ground. When all the players got up, this boy was left lying still on the grass. His neck was broken and his head was doing a 180. Because of this tragedy, the parents of the New Hope students had football removed form the schools extra-curricular activities. Urban legend #1- You are to stand on the landing between the first and second floors, just inside the front doors, and say out loud "I challenge Billy (or Buckeye, depending on who you ask) to a football game!" Then, out of nowhere, a football is supposed to fly straight at your head, breaking your neck. Urban Legend #2- While on the football field, located somewhere further up the hill, one is supposed to say out loud "Buckeye, I challenge you to a race!" A wind blows in, then either a mist arises or a pair of glowing, red eyes appear at one end of the field. A voices is heard saying "Run to the other end of the field or die!" Ok, most of the sites that I found this on had stories from "a friend of mine" who always swears it's true.
Investigation Report- Unfortunately, the rain and some kids
who showed up all but shot down any chance of doing any kind of real
investigation. But, there was still the thrill of exploring an old, abandoned
building. We started by taking a walk around the perimeter, checking in doorways
and windows. We found the infamous "Tombstone" Dedication Marker of Lambertville
High. Yes, the students that dedicated this to the school (The Class of 1927)
should have stepped back, taken a good look at it
then said "This
is a BAD omen".
We walked through the front door and headed to the basement. We found what we think was the shop class, as we found many tools and some sort projector. There looked to be mostly maintenance offices and storage throughout the basement. We were greeted by some local teens that were "checking if we were cops". (Note to teens exploring abandoned buildings- If you're afraid that there are cops in the building and you'll get in trouble DO NOT GO TOWARDS THEM! This will lead you to the "trouble". Although the area was NOT posted, there is always the chance you're trespassing.)
We ventured up to the first floor, pausing so Kenny could "challenge Buckeye". Kenny is still with us. I would like to note here that Diana snapped off several pictures with her digital camera. One photo, taken when Kenny was challenging "Buckeye, came out blurry. Since the flash went off, it seems odd to me that the camera was out of focus for only one photo. But, alas, it was out of focus for two photos keep reading. The team explored each room, taking their time to look into every corner and cubby hole. All of the black boards have long since been destroyed, with only the outline of where they used to be still on the walls. We didn't find any pictures of burning or crying children.
The top floor is mostly fallen through to the main floor, but there's still enough up there to explore. There is a ton of plants all over what is left of the hallways and rooms. Take note that if you venture up there, walk slowly and test EVERY step. Don't just go strutting through thinking you'll be fine because that's when you'll fall.
We went down to the ground floor and made our way over to the right-side building. When one visits the school, the first doorway they see accesses the left side, or wing. We didn't find a connecting hall in the basement, and the main floor connecting hallway was blocked by the collapse of the top floor. The left side had more of the top floor collapsed into it, as seen in each room. Most of the doors to the classrooms are still intact and the small "offices" inside the rooms are still standing (barely). We also discovered a cabinet with a felt board inside. This piece actually looked to be in good condition. We also met one of the residents, a bat that made Patty jump!
We found what we think was the Chem Lab. There was a kitchen, complete with a stove and an actual "Ice Box", the kind where one would place a block of dry ice in the bottom. We found several rows of old glass bottles in the same room, one of which is now our possession. Now, this is where we got the second blurry picture. Diana snapped a photo of the rest of us which turned out blurry, but that's not what is interesting about this photo. It seems that the camera focused on a red "orb" that is free floating in space. We've looked over the reference photos and could not find a suitable cause for this effect.
The top floor on the left side seems to have been the gym and showers for the school. Most of that has fallen through to the main floor.
Conclusion and Impressions
Kenny- Well at this time, I'd have to say this place might have something, but then again it might not. I'm not convinced it's haunted yet. This trip was a Preliminary investigation, simplified to the max. As I mentioned in the beginning, it rained. This means that EVP recordings were out of the question and pictures simply can not be trusted- this is simple science. However, the place does show potential. I plan on visiting the place again, this time with the full gear for readings and recordings. Many of the strange lights that have been reported here can easily be attribute to the kids that explore the building. If one group is up there looking around the top floor with a small flashlight, another group that's just coming up the hill could easily mistake it for "ghost lights". Poof- you've got a ghost story.
Patty- I would like to see if we could find the old football fields that were part of the school. With the local folklore, I think we should go back and do some recordings. I think that pictures will be a waste of time, unless we catch an apparition!
Follow-up Warranted- Yup, we'll go back, if for no other reason but to explore a little more.
Account Written By- KennyB. And PattyA.