McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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School spirit

Members of Warrior Student Media explored the spooky spirits in the haunted halls of the Freshman Campus at annual Ghost Hunt
Paulina Borowski
Warrior Student Media held its second annual Ghost Hunt at the Freshman Campus, a nearly 100-year-old building rumored to have paranormal activity.

Shaking like leaves, a group of students clutch their friends closer in fear as the beams of their flashlights sweep across the dark and desolate halls of the Freshman Campus. A cold draft breezed through, and the eerie creak of a squeaky door echoed down the hallway. Several kids jumped and yelped in response before all of them took off running, leaving behind only the crackling static of a walkie talkie dropped in the shuffle.

With the Freshman Campus nearing its centennial anniversary, its building is rich with town history—and supposedly, hauntings. Tales of supernatural experiences and even rumors of deaths makes the school the perfect hub for a paranormal investigation.

This year, Warrior Student Media held its second annual Ghost Hunt on Friday, May 3, from 5 to 10 p.m. This event is a tradition where students involved in MCHS’s Yearbook, Broadcast Journalism, or Newspaper can investigate the dark and uncovered corners of the Freshman Campus’s spooky corridors after school hours.

Students and advisors met in the Freshmen Campus library to fuel up on pizza before dividing up the rooms in the school among different groups to investigate. Many had flashlights, lanterns, cameras, and even walkie talkies at the ready to amplify the experience.

Although it is difficult to capture proof of paranormal activity, some students reported having suspicious, unexplainable experiences while exploring the building.

“We had a couple of creepy, odd things happen throughout the night. There was a weird airflow, almost like wind gusts, in the main gym track, when the windows were closed and the A/C was off,” said freshman Sarah Zawedde. “The vibe in the mechanical room was [also] really disconcerting, and so I left the room pretty quickly after that.”

Students inspected many areas of the school and attempted to communicate with any otherworldly presences that could be lurking at the almost 100-year-old high school.

By the end of the night, many of the attendees were sharing encounters with odd sounds and various eerie classrooms scattered throughout the campus; one student alleged that they had felt something touch them.

While the event serves as an opportunity for students to seek out paranormal experiences and collect evidence of hauntings at the Freshman Campus, the main purpose of the Annual WSM Ghost Hunt is to celebrate the end of the school year and bring in new recruits.

The event is a rare chance to bring together all of the separate facets of MCHS’s journalism in an interesting and unique way.

For upperclassmen, the Ghost Hunt is a fun and unorthodox way to wrap up the year. For underclassmen, it gets students to consider joining one of the journalism classes next school year and get excited about it.

Although students went into the event knowing nothing about each other, they all left closer than they were when they arrived, with the shared experiences of the night. There may still be spirits and secrets hiding within the ivy-covered brick walls of the Freshman Campus, waiting to be uncovered by any soul brave enough to look for them.

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