Built in 1903 as a high school, the Old Lincoln School in Jacksonville, Illinois, was converted into a junior high school and closed its doors in 1984. The school, named after Abraham Lincoln, was built in the Gothic Revival style and had spiral staircases, stained glass windows, and a clock tower. Lincoln visited Jacksonville in 1858 and gave a speech there. Among its noteworthy attributes was a sizable auditorium that served as a venue for a variety of events, including graduations, concerts, and plays.
Though the school’s architecture was charming, its past was troubled. There were rumors of other deaths on the property: a student who died in the gym from a heart attack, a teacher who hanged herself in the auditorium, and a janitor who fell from the clock tower. Some conjectured that the claimed paranormal activity could have been caused by the school’s construction on a Native American burial ground.
Hauntings After Closure
The school was closed, and for years afterward it was abandoned and vandalized. Seekers of thrills, urban exploration, and ghost hunting flocked to the abandoned building, which attracted those hoping to experience the school’s haunting atmosphere.
There were other accounts of unexplained happenings in the school, such as footsteps, voices, laughter, screaming, slamming doors, flickering lights, and moving things. In addition, witnesses reported seeing ghostly images of the teacher, the janitor, the dead student, and other individuals.
A particularly unsettling incident happened in 2007 when several friends paid the school a visit. As they walked into the theater, they saw a noose suspended from the ceiling. When they wrapped the noose around a friend’s neck and it suddenly tightened, what had begun as a joke became sad. There was no service on their phones, so attempts to telephone for aid were unsuccessful and attempts to cut the thick rope were ineffective. Tragically, their companion passed away in front of them. The noose was surprisingly absent when they had first entered the auditorium; it appeared out of nowhere.
Demise of the School
After being neglected and falling into disrepair for many years, the school finally met its end and was demolished in 2014. Some people were happy that the haunted school had closed, while others lamented the loss of the ancient building.
However, detractors contend that the hauntings persisted after the demolition. They think that the ghosts of the school may still be present in the area and may even cling to guests. Some even claim that there is a dark energy emanating from the debris that can be felt by onlookers.
Whether one believes in ghosts or not, this Illinois school story is unquestionably disturbing. It tells a terrifying story of death, mystery, and terror that will definitely chill you to the bone.