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The Haunted Clock Tower


I am a textbook clerk in a large school on Long Island, it is a summer job. This job requires me to count, distribute, collect, and fix textbooks which were handed out to the kids during the school year, district wide and both public school and private school. One school in the district, Sewanhaka High school, is significantly larger and older than all the other schools.

At one point every summer I am given the master key to every room in the building and told to search everywhere for missing textbooks. When it came time for searching Sewanhaka, I was used to having to deal with summer school but this year, due to budget cuts, there is no summer school leaving the towering building completely deserted beyond one secretary and a few janitors on the first floor. I was also knowledgeable of Sewanhaka's past; the school was built during the Great Depression and is full of little nooks and crannies designed simply as an attempt to employ more workers. The school also claims to have been built on an Indian Burial Ground, and there were times, while working in the Library in years before, that I'd think I saw someone out of the corner of my eye and/or would get the feeling of someone watching me when no one was around. I did not have this in mind today when I started my annual textbook hunt.

The school is horseshoe shaped with a large clock tower on top of the third floor that I had never travelled to. I walked into the front and attempted to get into the library on the second floor while avoiding the Janitors and having to explain who I was and why I was there. Surprisingly, all the lights above the first floor were turned off and I had to use my cell phone as a flashlight to see the way. The library door was locked but I found an entrance through a connecting classroom before finding the master key in the secretary's desk and starting out with a cart to collect the books.

I searched through every room on the second floor and proceeded into the old shaky elevator, which dated back to the 1940's, to head to the third floor. The elevator was covered by a heavy wood door, behind, which was a metal gate that had to be pulled, closed before the elevator could move. Up on the third floor, the lights were off as well, but I began checking classrooms just as I had been previously. I stopped by the door, which I had never been in, the door that led up to the clock tower on top of the school and decided to try the key, just for fun. Surprisingly, the door swung open and I proceeded inside and up the decrepit stairway. I left the book cart and observed how high I was able to go through the chocking dust and excessive filth. I reached the landing on top and saw the tiny ladder headed up to the clock tower which I declined climbing since it did not look all that sturdy. I headed back down the stairs and out the door, which I closed and locked before proceeding on.

From this point on, weird things began to happen.

My 'master key' did not work in the next three or four rooms, which was surprising since I'd been in all those rooms with the key before. I finally gained access by getting into one room and travelling to the others through connecting offices.

I then proceeded up to the science labs at the end of the hallway only to find that one door was completely unlocked; this is unusual because every single other door was locked. I got inside and travelled through the back closets for fun to reach the other rooms in the head of the horseshoe. As I travelled however, I heard the distinctive sound of footsteps behind me and I paused, ready to explain myself to a Janitor. As I listened, the footsteps got louder and eventually stopped where, in my opinion, I should have seen somebody. I remembered the Indian Burial Ground and my past experience with ghosts (I had once lived in a haunted apartment) and I began to grow cautious. I scanned the room quickly and headed back out to my waiting book cart and down the dark hallway.

As I rode down the hallway I heard the footsteps again from behind me and finally assumed that this had to be a janitor. It then occurred to me that the school's three stairways were all being re-done and that the only access to the third floor was that elevator. I had also remembered that I did not close the gate on the elevator, which means that no one would be able to call for it unless they were on the third floor with me. And when I arrived back at where the elevator was, I found that it had been successfully called down and not back up; since I didn't recall anybody walking ahead of me and the gate was open, there had to have been someone else on the third floor that sent the elevator down.

I still had to check half the floor though, and I began down with my cart. As I got to the far end of the third floor, and the last rooms, I approached the cosmetology lab and found myself, again, unable to open the door. I got into the neighbouring room though and then proceeded inside to a large closet in between the rooms. I saw a door in the distant back of the closet, which I knew connected to the other room so I proceeded to move the heavy carts and cabinets around in pursuit of the door. As I moved stuff, I heard a loud noise come form somewhere either behind or in front of me so I crawled back out of the closet to see the room was still empty. I then proceeded forward and got to the door. I turned the knob and pushed it out only to find that the door didn't budge, so I reached for my key which I assumed must open a lock above the doorknob. After finding that there was no lock, I pushed the door open again and got it open about an inch before it was slammed back closed. I pushed again and put all my force into the opening of this door finally getting it to loudly swing open. The lab felt eerie, as if someone was in there with me, and I was not able to explain the door's stubbornness, especially after reopening and closing it several times.

I had also realized, as I searched for textbooks in the lab, that one English textbook laid on the floor about six feet in front of the closet door I had entered through. Seconds later, I noticed a stack of these English books sitting on the desk closest to the door and I grew a little scared. I thought that this falling/thrown book was probably the sound I heard. It had occurred to me that I probably wasn't alone in the room and I calmly grabbed the books and started out the door to the hallway.

I put the books on the cart and walked, rather fast, to the elevator before putting the key in to call it up. As I stood waiting in the dark hallway, something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye and I glanced up in the direction of the science labs on the other end. I thought my eyes were playing a trick on me, it had appeared that the door to the tower was wide open, at least for that second in time, and as I stood there waiting, it had also occurred to me that I'd be stuck on the third floor if the last person to use the elevator left the gate open, like I did (this would be likely also because no one knew I was around). I stared into the distance at what looked like an open door and thought, just as the elevator arrived. I pulled open the heavy wooden door and slid the gate to the right when suddenly a loud slamming noise echoed through the hallway. This time I knew my eyes weren't playing a trick on me, the door I thought was wide open was and it had just been slammed closed as now what I saw in the distance was clearly the closed door. I quickly rolled my cart onto the elevator; jumped in, pulled the gate closed, and hit the button for the second floor.

Whatever it was behind me in the hallway and/or holding the door closed, I assumed, was probably invited when I opened the door for the tower. Soon after, I called my boss and told her about the event and she was shocked saying, "If that was me, I would have left the second I heard footsteps." I then spoke to my co-worker who had done this school with me the previous year. When I told him about getting into the tower room, he replied by emphatically saying, "the master key doesn't open that lock, I tried. You can't even get a key in that lock, it is painted shut." Whether or not he's telling the truth is beyond me since I am 100% positive that I was in that room today.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, steveheydaljay, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
15 years ago (2009-07-20)
Very creepy story! I wish I hadn't read it right before going to bed. Thanks for sharing this and I look forward to any more tales you might have.
jmreyesiii (1 stories) (3 posts)
15 years ago (2009-07-20)
Very well written! Even though there was a great deal of detail, I was able to follow your story and could even picture myself in the building with you. What an experience!
huendchen (49 posts)
15 years ago (2009-07-20)
This is one awesome account. The way you told it, you had me hooked the whole way through. Very interesting observations. I think the moral of this story is that some doors should always stay closed!
sher2164 (3 stories) (31 posts)
15 years ago (2009-07-19)
Thanks for sharing your story. I agree with princess123. I would have ran for it too. No ones there the books can wait until it's almost time to start school.

If this thing can send the elevator back down imagine if it can open the elevator door and you were stuck upstairs with it with no way to go down. It's best to be careful and thank you for sharing. Just from reading your story it's pretty scary.
princess123 (7 stories) (186 posts)
15 years ago (2009-07-19)
I am seriously scared, other stories just "freak me out" but this one is really scary.

I agree with your boss I would have ran! What is scary is that I am going back to high school, and I am now afraid with all of the doors at night which may be open and closed.

Stuff like that. Ha! Anyway brilliant story.

Princess123 x ❤
JamesRobiscoe (419 posts)
15 years ago (2009-07-18)
Steveheydaljay--Since re-reading your experiences with Matthew in Stroudsburg a couple of months ago, I am less surprised that you became a lightning rod again for an invisible person. You write thorough and well-reasoned accounts, and in this latest, your sense of duty to your work does you credit. Too bad this day was not documented as well; it's once helluva creepy story. I understand you're returning to school in the fall. Stay with us in the months ahead, okay? ~ James

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