Paranormal team visits N.C. school after strange events reported
2013-03-11T14:22:00 Monday, March 11, 2013 Updated 02:22PM
The Wilson Daily Times
Abby Daughtridge was sitting in class last fall when she noticed her classroom door close on its own.
What became even more odd was that the door opened about six inches and a projector head flipped downward. That’s when she started asking questions.
Daughtridge, who believes she had a paranormal experience, has heard several accounts of similar activity at Fike High School.
“Nobody really talked about it at Fike until I started bringing it up,” she said. “People don’t want to hear Fike is haunted. I would call it paranormal because hauntings are more that they’re out to get you, and paranormal sparks your interest about, ‘What could that be?’”
Daughtridge and a paranormal investigative team plan to determine whether any of the stories they’ve heard are true. They also hope, in some way, to explain some of the things people have seen, heard and felt throughout the years.
A paranormal investigative team set up recording equipment, placed trigger objects designed to attract paranormal activity and spent 12 hours inside the halls of Fike Saturday night. They plan to reveal their results sometime this week.
What started Daughtridge’s interest was her own experience that led her from one story to another. The classroom where she saw the door close was in an area of the school where others have had similar experiences.
She interviewed her math teacher, Andy Jenkins, who told her about a white figure he saw one night in the same hallway. One night while he was working in the main office, Jenkins heard what sounded like a metal dustpan hitting the floor. The sound got closer and then moved away. Jenkins didn’t see anything and he was the only one at the school at that time of night, around 8:30 or 9 p.m.
“It was kind of freaky,” he told Daughtridge, during a recorded interview. “It just started in the hallway and got closer and closer and then went away.”
He decided to check the cameras from the main office and noticed that motion sensors were flashing along a hallway on the second floor. He looked at the end of the hallway and saw a white figure.
“He’s not the only one who’s seen something in that same spot,” Daughtridge said.
Wanda Etheridge, Fike’s assistant principal, was on the same second floor of the school in 1974. Etheridge, who was a senior at the time, was skating up and down the hallway at night with friends.
“When I turned and saw it, I gasped,” Etheridge said, during a recorded interview. At that point, she ran out of the school.
Etheridge, who will not go to the school alone at night, has said that areas on the second floor make her feel uncomfortable. There is a drop in temperature in some areas and just an overall eerie feeling.
“They are cold beings,” Daughtridge said.
The investigative team set up sensors and video cameras in the Fike hallways. They also split up and watched for activity in different areas of the building. A laser grid, which detects movement, and K-II meters, which pick up electromagnetic energy, were used. K-II meters are used because ghosts are said to absorb energy, which leads to people being able to see them manifest, said Shane Etheridge, with The Paranormal Detectives of Fremont.
“Ghosts have a lot of energy,” Daughtridge said. “That’s how they turn on the TVs and let the lights flicker.”
Other stories at Fike include sightings of a black figure at one end of the second floor hallway and a white figure at the opposite end. A coach was walking along the hallway one day and noticed all the classroom doors closing behind him. No windows were open at the time. Daughtridge has also heard stories of people who have seen something floating in the hallway.
“There’s really no explaining it,” she said. “It’s really unreal.”
Daughtridge decided to take on the investigation as a senior class project, which she’ll present before graduation. Part of her work has involved researching the property where Fike is located in an effort to determine if any tragic event occurred in the area. That information may lead to some information about what figures people are seeing in the school, she said. Daughtridge wonders if a tragic death occurred on the property, if a high school student died before graduating or if there’s any link to a neighbor disappearing around the time that the school opened in 1958.
“It might be students who died before they graduated,” she said. “I would say they’re lost spirits or depending on what happened, they may be tormented.”
Her research revealed that the Fike property was previously owned by W.O. and Emma Harrison but conveyed to the Wilson County Board of Education in 1956. Daughtridge found that an old farmhouse was once on the property, in the 1920s, where the Fike parking lot is now located. The farmhouse was torn down and a two-story farmhouse was built in the 1930s or 1940s somewhere near where the high school building is now located. The farmhouse remained on the property until it was torn down for the construction of the high school. The rest of the property was primarily open and undeveloped land, she said.
“I need to keep digging to find out if anything traumatic happened,” she said. “Doing an investigation is a lot more than just showing up. It involves a lot of background history and figuring out what causes the spirits to be there.”
Fike’s principal Steve Ellis has heard stories and seen things on the high school’s camera surveillance system late at night. He says the nighttime janitor has also had strange experiences.
“We always get these little lights that keep moving back and forth,” Ellis said.
Ellis said that Daughtridge was surprised to learn that other people had unexplainable experiences at the school.
Daughtridge hopes that some of the stories will be confirmed during the investigation. The investigative team set up in the main Fike High School building, the school’s first building that opened in 1958, where all of the activity has been reported.
She also hopes that her involvement will lead to accounts of other experiences at Fike High during its history on Harrison Drive. Messages for Daughtridge can be left at the high school at 399-7905, ext. 5111. The results of the investigation will be reported in a follow story in the Wilson Times this week.
“If nothing happens, I was proved wrong,” she said. “I think we’ll come out of there with something. With all the things I’ve felt and others have felt, there has to be something.”