The Milton School in Illinois is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl named Mary who was murdered in the basement. The school was built in 1904 and remained open for 80 years.
The tragic story of The Milton School began one chilly Autumn afternoon. After classes had ended for the day, the students and teachers had all left, except for one young girl named Mary who was finishing some work in her classroom.
By the time she was finished, it was growing dark outside and the school building was deathly silent. Mary knew that her mother would be worried if she didn’t go home soon, so she gathered up her school books and hurried down the deserted corridors.
As she walked down the shadowy hallway and made her way down the stairway that led to the exit, she suddenly heard a strange noise behind her.
The next morning, Mary’s dead body was discovered in the school gymnasium. She was lying on the floor of the girl’s shower room, in the basement of the school. Her clothes were torn and scattered about and her body was bruised and battered. It was obvious that she had been murdered.
The school principal called the police and when they arrived, they began their investigation. On the floor of the shower room, in a pool of her own blood, the murdered girl had written three letters. J-A-N. It was the only clue the police had to go on. It seemed as if, in her dying moments, Mary had named her killer.
The police immediately questioned everybody in the school named Janet, Janice and Jane, but it soon became clear that the frightened girls had nothing to do with the murder. The police were at a loss as to what to do. Thet were hunting a killer, but they had no leads.
A few days passed before someone noticed that the school janitor had not shown up for work lately. Police officers immediately went to his house and asked him some questions. The man lived with his elderly mother, who claimed that, on the evening of the murder, he had been sick with the flu and had been at home with her.
One of the policemen noticed that the janitor had scratch marks on his cheek. When they asked him about this, the janitor climed he had been scratched by his pet cat. The police did not believe his story, but they didn’t have enough evidence to arrest him.
For the next few weeks, the police kept the janitor under constant surveillance. At night, one officer would park outside his house. During the day, they would follow him wherever he went, waiting for him to crack.
Rumors began to spread around the school and before long, all of the students suspected that the janitor was a murderer. Girls would hurry past him down the corridors and boys wouldn’t look him in the eye. Nobody spoke to him and he heard hushed voices whispering about him behind his back. Even the teachers at the school began to talk about the janitor’s strange habits and his odd behavior.
One day, the janitor was found hanging from the ceiling of the boiler room. He had tied a length of rope around a wooden beam, looped it around his neck and taken his own life. Pinned to his chest was a scrawled note that read:
“I guess I did it…”
Was it the confession of a man who was wracked by guilt? Or was it the rantings of an innocent man who was hounded into taking his own life? Nobody will ever know for sure.
As the years have passed, new students came to the school and older students left and stories about the horrible murder were passed along from one to the other. Many of them spoke of hearing unexplained sounds, footsteps and strange shadows in the corridors of the school. Teachers dismissed these tales as nothing more than the overactive imagination of students.
Years later, the school was closed down and it was converted into an office building. Some of the employees who worked there began to notice some very peculiar things. They heard footsteps in the darkened hallways when no one else was there, items began to disappear around the office and some members of staff said they felt someone grabbing them by the hand.
One employee was frightened by the ghostly apparition of a young girl, sitting alone in the dark at the bottom of a stairwell. The ghostly figure began to make frequent, unnerving appearances in the office.
There was another presence that the employees sometimes glimpsed out of the corner of their eyes. This one was male and it was described as being very threatening and malevolent. The staff believed that this was the ghost of the janitor whose spirit was still trapped in the building.