This is my second story about the Living Enrichment Center, an abandoned worker rehabilitation center in Wilsonville, Oregon. I had some bizarre experiences there before, which I wrote about in my first story. It actually took a little nerve to come back a second time after what happened the first time. When I told my younger brother about what happened there he was excited and wanted to go. Originally I said no way, because I was a little freaked out. He convinced me eventually to go back.
This story takes place during August of 2009. A year ago I came to the LEC to take pictures with my friend. I was hoping to capture something unusual but I just ended up with some pictures of an abandoned building. This August, my brother convinced me to come back. Here is what happened.
My little brother (21) and I (27) drove to Wilsonville the third week of August. It was a couple days after his birthday. The light of the day was failing, I think it was somewhere around 6pm. We parked a ways away from the LEC and walked through the woods to the hole in the fence. The familiar building came into view. I was still a bit apprehensive but feeling confident. First my brother wanted to check the whole place out. We walked around a little and looked at the various rooms and hallways. It's a pretty huge place. I started to get this weird feeling like someone else was there besides us. I had heard stories of squatters hanging around the LEC but there didn't seem to be anyone around. I brought this to my brother's attention so we shouted "Hello" a couple times to announce our presence. We got no response. We kept our eyes open but found no evidence of anyone being there recently. At one point we found a staircase that lead to an upper level I had never seen, so we went up. It led to a row of small offices that I assume belonged to upper management. I peeked inside a few and they were totally destroyed. There was a desk that had been broken in half in the center and papers were scattered everywhere.
Suddenly there was a noise that made us both stop at the same time. We made eye contact but said nothing as the sound gradually got louder. It was a rattling noise that resembled someone shaking a spray paint can. It started quiet and far away, like it was coming from the downstairs area of the building, but it was getting closer. Soon the noise was right on us, and getting louder and louder. I asked my brother what he thought it was and he had no idea. It sounded like it was in the hallway with us. We started to head back in the direction we came from and it suddenly stopped. My heart was racing. We shouted out to see if someone was there again but we got no response. I turned back to the direction we were heading and we found another staircase leading up. This one took us to the roof. We walked around on the roof and looked down into the skylights, hoping to see someone else in the building. There was nobody else there. We had a nice view from the rooftop; we could see the sun setting. I felt a heavy feeling as I realized it would be dark soon.
We retreated back into the main building and almost right away weird stuff started happening again. We were heading down the staircase from the upper floor with the offices when my phone started freaking out. First I felt it vibrate in my pocket so I thought someone was calling me. I took my phone out and the screen was black. It was vibrating for five to ten seconds straight, with no pauses. I pressed a few buttons but the screen didn't come on. I wrestled with the phone for awhile as it continued vibrating and finally yanked the battery out of the back. I looked over to my brother and he was messing with his phone too. His wasn't vibrating, but had turned off completely for no reason.
I told my brother we should probably leave because it was getting dark. To be honest I was feeling really uneasy at this point and had an overwhelming feeling that we should leave. He wanted to stick around for a little longer to see if anything would show itself to us. I really didn't want to see anything. I agreed to stay on the condition that we didn't go into the tunnels. We continued on to a long hallway lined with orange lockers. The floors were dirty white linoleum tile. There was a left turn into another long hallway, this time with yellow lockers. A bunch of them had been torn from the wall and were stacked haphazardly in a huge pile, blocking the way. I stood there for a moment looking at the pile of lockers. I was actually wondering how someone did this. I didn't think someone could do it on their own; it was probably a bunch of people messing around. On the other side of the heap of metal I heard what sounded like one of those office chairs with wheels being rolled across the floor. I looked over to my brother and he heard it too. We both tried to look around the lockers to see what was on the other side but it was hard to see past the pile. I could kind of see past the lockers but not on the immediate other side. We gave up and ran through the building to the hallway on the other side. It took maybe fifteen seconds to get there. There was nobody there, and no chair. I was getting a little freaked out at this point and thought it was probably time to leave. It was mostly dark outside and we were using our flashlights now to see at all times.
We started to make our way back to the exit. I heard the sound of the rolling chair again in the distance, but this time it was coming from a room that looked like it used to be a nursery, or maybe a day care area. The door frame was made from oversized plastic building blocks (you know the ones with letters of the alphabet on the sides). The brightly-painted metal door leading into the area looked like it had been pried open. It stood ajar. We decided to briefly take a look. As I approached the door I saw that someone had spray painted the door. It said "This is where the kids played," but someone else had crossed out the word "played" and replaced it with "died." Normally this would've made me laugh but this time it made me nervous. We stood at the open door and shined our flashlights inside. The room was pitch black. I could see some low maze-like walls and a kid-sized play house. "Look!" I said to my brother as I spotted an office chair with wheels in the far corner of the room. It had been knocked over. We decided that was enough exploring and it was time to leave.
As we walked back to the entrance we came through to get in, I was nervously shining my light all over the place, convinced someone else was there with us. There was nobody around. We reached the hallway that leads out of the main entrance. In the direct center of the hallway there was a metal folding chair, just sitting there. It was not there when we arrived. As soon as we got outside the building our cell phones started working again, immediately. My brother got five or so text messages all at once. I turned my phone back on and it was fine.
Was what happened to us paranormal activity or was there some tweaker or weird vagrant messing with us from the shadows?
Questions or comments would be appreciated. If you would like to see pictures of the LEC please check my first story.