Little Boy Ghost
Sorry, this is a long one
I am a social worker by trade. I earned my BSW in 1979 and worked many years as a social worker. A couple of my jobs were working in correctional institutions as a case manager. My first 'ghost' experience was when I was working one of these jobs.
When I was around 27 I took a job in Chelmsford, Mass. as a case manager in a maximum security juvenile detention center. The complexes on the grounds were built circa late 1800's as a state run orphanage. They were abandoned in the late 1960's and purchased by the RFK Action Corps. in the late '70's. The Corps renovated the main building as a detention center and housed teen offenders that were deemed to violent to be in conventional correctional institutions. The main building was used by the orphanage as administrative offices, chapel and recreational activity rooms.
When I was hired I was last one in so I was stuck on midnight as a 'night time case manager' or basically a care taker! I was one of three and one of our responsibilities was to vacuum the second floor which was used as a recreational center for the kids, class rooms and administrative offices. The rec room comprised half the second floor and had a vaulted ceiling with 12 windowed eves. The first floor was the reception area, case managers and teacher’s offices, shower and rest rooms and the kid's individual cells. The basement housed the kitchen, dinning hall, laundry, utility rooms and storage. It was a large building. All the windows were covered by heavy steel mesh screens to prevent cutting or prying. Every room was securely locked and needed a key.
I was assigned to vacuum the second floor. Well, how much vacuuming can you do on an 8 hour shift? I usually ended up playing video games in the rec room until it was time to get the kids up, showered and off to breakfast. This was fine at first but then I started getting 'uncomfortable' while up there. I always had the 'sense' that someone was watching me. I even could tell where this 'person' was, in one of the window eves. I would feel like someone was watching me and when I would turn to look it was like I just saw someone duck into the eve before I could see them. I don't know why but I sensed that it was a boy and that he was 'playing' with me. After awhile things would happen. I would be vacuming and the vacuum would just stop. Defective vacuum right? It only did this in the rec room. I did have to do hourly security checks and as I was walking down the hall I could hear the sound of someone walking behind me, taking steps when I did, stopping when I did. I could sense sadness but also the mischievousness of a kid. I finally told these feelings at one of the weekly staff meetings. The two other night shift workers laughed and said 'we were wondering why you never said anything' which had me totally confused. My supervisor took me aside after the meeting and told me that when renovations were taking place many 'weird' things happened. The lights would go out then come back on. The electronically locked cell doors would spring open. Foot steps without people would be heard. They were all dismissed because it was an old building going through renovation. She said she didn’t believe this and did some research on the orphanage. She found that it was a terrible place. The kids were abused, mistreated and housed just for state funds. The place was shut down. She told me that there was a death there. A 9 year old boy supposedly hung himself in the chapel. My super asked me to show her where I felt this ‘person’ I spoke of was. I took her to one of the eves and told her that this is where I sensed the boy’s presence. She said that this was the window where the boy supposedly hung himself from.
After this I wasn’t fearful anymore. I started talking to him when I was up there. It seemed to get ‘comfortable’ when I was there. My super warned however that she feared many spirits where in the building and that it was a bad choice for the Corps. to house a detention center. She was right.
One night I reported for my shift. Not to be melodramatic but it was an eerie night. A thick fog had settled in surrounding the grounds. There is a lake near by. On report I was told that it was a rough evening. The kid’s were agitated and very unsettled. We had one kid in the ‘time out’ cell which is a cell, empty and padded from floor to ceiling. She was restless and pacing. She kept murmuring incoherently. We couldn’t settle her down. One of the other kids was beating on her cell door complaining that her room was full of big black bugs. We were not allowed to open the cell doors unless it was an emergency during the midnight shift. She wouldn’t be settled, she said big black bugs were everywhere in her room! Well, I hate bugs and would not want to be locked in a room with them. I got the other two workers and we followed procedure. We handcuffed her and backed her out of her room. The other two workers held her against the wall and I searched her room. I couldn’t find any bugs. I replaced one of the workers so they could search and they couldn’t find any bugs. We put the kid back in her cell. I kept checking on her because I felt bad. I sneaked her in a candy bar and asked that she try to go to sleep and she told me she would. Well, around 2:00 am everyone finally settled down and went to sleep. We were sitting in the office – the other two workers and I – and talking about how weird the night was. We just completed a cell check and everyone was asleep. Suddenly ‘someone’ started banging on the mesh screens covering the windows. It came from everywhere! Boom boom boom! We all jumped up. I ran to the girl’s room who saw the bugs, my co worker ran to the time out room and the other worker flash lighted the remaining cells but everyone was sleeping. The booming continued but we couldn’t figure out which room. I grabbed a spot light and had one of the workers let me out of the building. As soon as I stepped outside the booming stopped. I walked the perimeter of the building but there was no one. The first floor of the building was actually one story up so no one could have been banging on the screens of the first floor where the booms where coming from. This all happened in about 15 minutes.
I don’t know what happened that night. This all took place over a period of about a month. I was put on day shift and given a case load. I never had anymore experiences since I was extremely busy with my case load on a daily basis. Unfortunately funding was lost after a year of me being there and I lost my position and the center eventually closed. The buildings are still there. I left New England and have never returned.