Friday, November 1, 2013

School Ghost!

The Buffalo Courier

June 21, 1900

Page 6, Column 4

Spooks Frighten

Crowd and Police

Light in School Causes

Investigation Which

Fails to Relieve

All Minds.

Superstitious people living in the vicinity
of Public School No. 5 are in a perturbed
condition of mind.  They have
been seeing spooks in the school building
and had it examined in search of ghosts
yesterday.  They first sought to obtain
mental relief by calling in the aid of a
policeman, but the bluecoat, they say
was too scared to investigate, and after
drawing his club and starting bravely,
tried to conceal his weakening by charging
the people to disperse while he went
to the farther end of his beat.

This occurred two nights ago when
someone passing the school at about
9’ o’ clock observed a light in the ninth
grade room at the northwest corner of
the building.  It being an unusual occurrence,
the passerby stopped and then he
noticed that the light had a peculiar
swaying motion, at times slowly waving
to and fro.

Others came along and stopped to comment
upon the phenomenon.  In a short
time quite a crowd had gathered.  It was
recalled by one man that when the building
was first opened, the children were
afraid to go on the basement because
they thought that the building is haunted
and that the basement is the  particular
abiding place of the ghosts.  

A former principal of the school, whose
name was Chamberlayne, was a firm
believer in spiritualism.   Several in the
crowd declared that Chamberlayne, in
spirit form, makes periodical visits to the

With the strength of numbers the
crowd increased in bravery and suggested
that the school should be entered and an
investigation made.  By this time a patrolman
happened along and he was asked
to lead the way into the building.

The patrolman said he thought it would
be better to wait until daylight, but urged
on by the crowd, he finally took a firm
grip on his baton and started.  He went
but a few feet, the people say, before he
changed his tactics completely, declared
there were no spirits in the building and
ordered the crowd to disperse.

The people went away, but were not
satisfied, and yesterday caused a thorough
examination of the place to be made.
No ghosts were found.  Still, the light
appeared in the window last night,
swaying to and fro as before.

Among others who had been told of the
spook light, and who went out to see it
for himself, was a man who promptly
observed an electric light nearby.  He
declared that the light in the school was
simply a reflection and the swaying
motions were caused by the light swinging.

This explanation did not satisfy all of
the people and the building is avoided by
many after dark.

Original story from microfilm records at,
 Buffalo Erie County Public Library Central Library
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY 14203

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