Back in the early 1990s my primary school in Benoni, Gauteng province, like virtually every other school out there, had its fair share of ghost stories. Nothing really stuck around for more than six months, however, since older stories would be changed considerably or replaced by something brand new by kids with vivid (if at times completely silly) imaginations. The story I am about to relay to you here does not align with any of these stories, however.
In the early 80s our school decided to expand due to a larger number of students, and built a few more classrooms, and during this time several prefab rooms were also assembled as temporary classrooms. Once the permanent classrooms were ready for use, the school kept the prefabs as storage rooms, where old broken desks, chairs and the like were stored. Others were used for the music room, a science lab and a wood workshop.
The actual event happened in 1992. It was my last year of primary school, and we were taking part in a school play on a Friday night. My friend, Charles, myself and three other students were finished with our scenes in the play, but couldn't go home yet since all of us were obligated to stay until it was finished. We had changed out of our costumes and decided to walk around the school grounds and chat until we could go home.
We were walking, chatting and joking around as kids tend to do, crossing the sports field towards some of the prefab buildings at the back of the school grounds. We came to a stop in front of one of the storage units, chatting about a television series we missed due to the play.
I was slightly distracted by the strange clutter in the one window of this unit, though. Several old desks and chairs were haphazardly stacked up against the dusty, grimy window, along with some old textbooks. I couldn't recall ever seeing this clutter before, but eventually brushed it off, thinking that someone might have moved stuff around to use some of the things stored in there as props for the play.
I turned my back on the window and rejoined the conversation, Charles standing beside me, also facing away from the window. The boy in front of me was in the middle of a sentence when he abruptly stopped talking. His face drained of all colour, and he had a look of sheer terror. He was staring at something behind me.
I apprehensively turned around, looking towards the window. At first it didn't register what I was looking at exactly. Then it became all too clear.
Pressed up against the window was a grotesque, bloated, yellowish face. Its eyes were swollen shut and its mouth was slightly open. It felt like my heart jumped into my throat. Then I chuckled, thinking that it was just a mask left in the window that I hadn't noticed before. Then it opened its mouth wide. This was no mask.
We got out of there as quickly as our legs could carry us. I can safely say I was screaming like a five year old girl as we were running, but luckily I was not the only one.
We nearly gave our poor music teacher a heart attack as we almost barreled into her in the dark of the sports field, but to be fair, she scared the heck out of us as well. She had been on her way to the music room to fetch something when she heard our screams, and came to investigate. She demanded to know what was going on. We all started talking at once, but eventually got the message through to her that we had seen a face in the window. She told us to take her to the prefab building and show her, even though she also looked pretty frightened at that moment.
We reluctantly approached the building with our teacher in tow, but found that things were not as we remembered them. The clutter in the window was gone, there were no smudges on the inside of the window, and there definitely was no yellow face in the window either.
Our teacher was extremely mad at us, and actually burst into tears, scolding us for playing such a mean trick on her. She said that we would definitely get quite the talking to on Monday when we were back at school, and she stormed off.
We were all in quite a state at that point. Not only had we been scared out of our wits, but also got into trouble with a teacher. We hurried towards the classrooms where the other students were gathered, and none of us spoke about it further that night.
On Monday we didn't get the stern talking to that we dreaded, luckily. During recess I spoke to Charles and one of the other boys about what happened that night. Charles had actually not seen what the rest of us had seen and only got spooked because we got spooked.
By the end of the school day the story had somehow spread, starting new school 'legends' about the ghost in the prefab, each back story more ridiculous than the previous one.
Many times I have wondered if this was just a very elaborate prank, but if it was, the pranksters had some skills worthy of Scare Tactics.
Firstly, the door was securely padlocked, and the music teacher was the only one who had the keys for those units that night.
Secondly, the face was in an area where no person in a mask could possibly be, since the clutter in the window was far too tightly packed to allow anyone to crawl into such a small space without any of us hearing or noticing it.
Thirdly, said pranksters only had about three to four minutes to remove the clutter, pack everything back in its place, and get away before we returned with the teacher.
All I can say is that it was not a fun experience, prank or not!