home esoterica Original binnallofamerica.com Audio the United States of Esoterica merchandise contact

Bookmark and Share


School Spirits from the Past

In the fall of '96, I was a converted Californian. The laid back, sunny side atmosphere of Long Beach, California held its sway over my fast-paced, tunnel-visioned East Coast mentality. I was at the beach most days of the week. I started clubbing at Gay clubs where the music was best and the Drag Queens in full regalia was better.

But soon all the light was replaced by a pervasive darkness. My dorm room was haunted.

Before I get into the goings-on of my haunted Season at the school that shall not be named, I have to back track to the reason I feel like sharing this small moment in my personal history. The SYFY channel has a new show (BIG GASP!!!) called SCHOOL SPIRITS. The program re-enacts haunted dorm days of various individuals, using actors that look nothing like them, but since it's the new paranormal kid on the block I will reserve all criticism.

Two episodes in though and I started to recall my days spent resisting the urge to pack my bags and leave Long Beach altogether. How it all got started I don't know. I used to theorize that the spirit that manifested at my best friends house (during an Ouija incident in our High School days) followed me 5000 or so miles cross country. But that takes a whole lot of hypothesizing.

The fact of the matter is something lived in my dorm room. Something that didn't want me there and it made it clear day and night that I was an intruder. I can't say what my (1st) roommate felt about the place but given that we had a falling out and she wanted to “STAY” in the room says a whole lot. Either she didn't experience anything or she was just as evil as the thing itself. I'll leave it at that.

The first experience I had came shortly after a reluctant experiment with the Ouija board. Mind you, I already screwed with, learned about and walked away from an Ouija experience with the knowledge that Ouija boards are fucking evil. Done and done. However, when you get to college you tend to do stupid things just for the sake of doing them. No need to elaborate. I played with the Ouija board, again, and I paid the price.

My friend who had joined me for our teeny-tiny 2-person séance asked the spirit to knock in the closet to signal its existence. I don't know if anyone has caught on through my writing that I am a “skeptical-believer”. I believe only what I can confirm, either scientifically or tangibly. Sounds strenuous, I know, but it keeps me somewhat sane.

Persistent knocks in the closet sent us on a quest to see if the girls in the dorm room next door were in on a prank. No one was there. But the knocking was nothing compared to what was to come.

I sometimes wonder if anyone from my days in Long Beach will come forward with tales from my dorm room. Like the one friend I had who agreed to stay the night to keep me company, only to burst out of my room after she encountered a female entity who stood over her as she slept.

But I am moving too far ahead. When it comes to hauntings everything starts small. And when it comes to my haunted dorm room, even small was too big. It began with the disembodied female voice. She never spoke so much as hummed or sighed. Loud. As if she were standing in the doorway, watching you and the feeling that you were being watched never went away. Even using the bathroom with the doors closed and locked felt uncomfortable. Someone was always there. Someone unseen.

The fact that it was female was evident in the experience I recounted earlier about the female form hovering over my friend. But it goes back farther than that to the spirit my best friend encountered at the Cavalry Cemetery. The very same spirit that hovered over my own bed, nightly. The floor boards would creek, a heavy breathing would issue forth from an invisible source. But it was a strong, dark force that gave you the sense that something physical was actually standing over you, watching you.

One night the presence decided to make itself know. I took to sleeping with all the lights on. This was shortly after my first roommate moved out and my new roommate had yet to move in. I was fast asleep which was normally difficult, considering how brightly lit my room was. Suddenly I was awakened by a violent thud on the end of my bed. Something had either jumped on or pounded the end of my bed.

My heart never beat so fast.

I surveyed my room. Nothing was there. No one was there. I didn't sleep the entire night. But the worst was yet to come. A particular spot on the ceiling always creaked at night as if something was hanging there. Back and forth, swinging in an invisible breeze. I used to think it was coming from my roommate. That it was her bed creaking. A few times a night I would count to ten and pull the covers from my face to see if I could tell where the sound was coming from. Every time I did this the sound stopped. My roommate, soundly snoring, was oblivious to the noise.

When I returned the covers to my head and settled back into my bed, the noise would start up again. My second roommate said she thought she saw the shadow of someone hanging from the ceiling, swaying back and forth.

As if things couldn't escalate any further, then came the sleep paralysis. My sleep schedule was completely backwards. I spent my nights in what we called THE DOME, working on my projects and spent the mornings asleep, missing the classes I considered minors.

One particular SP experience involved a witch sitting on my back and blowing the hair on the back of my head while she cackled like a mad person. Another experience involved an alien-like entity that hid behind my bed, staring at me before smiling a smile that spread so wide it transformed into an evil, demonic grin. And still there was more. Visions of the world on fire and black, indiscernible objects floating in the sky, blocking out the sun.

It got to the point that I stopped sleeping for days on end.

There used to be stories about the dorm room in the other building. That a girl had been so frightened by something, she crashed through the glass shower door and died. They closed off the room and never put up anymore students there.

There were other stories still. That the school was once a mental hospital and that all mental hospitals back in the day (circa 1950) were shaped liked “H”s from above. I don't know if any of this is true, but the fact that something was haunting my dorm room is an absolute fact.

Eventually the school year came to a close and when I returned the year after that I stayed in a dorm in another building. A quiet building where nothing much happened. Nothing pounded on your bed or hovered over you as you slept. No disembodied laughs or sighs. No dark, hanging visages. Nothing. Not even a roommate, given the fact that the one the school stuck me with ended up rooming with her best friend for the entire year. I wish I could say I solved some great mystery about some headmistress whose ghost went up and down the halls, searching for her lover who hung himself in my room, but that's the kind of shit you find only on a tv show.

What I do know is the girl down the hall experienced paranormal events she never cared to elaborate on. And my friend who ran off on me in the middle of the night, she was Native American and very in tune with her spiritual side. “It's a woman and she has a bun in her hair,” she said. Echoing the same description my best friend gave me of the entity that chased her out of Cavalry cemetery.

Did that same ghost follow me all the way to California? I can't say. All I know is if she did, I left her there and I've been “ghost” free ever since. Knock on wood...

Contact Tina Sena

Esotericana Archive

Tina Sena's blog : YUFOlogy