Ghosts, Haunting, and Legends
Home Archives Desks in a Pile

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Witness: Tom Ferguson
Location: West Bend, Wisconsin
Date of Encounter: Fall of 1999

I was a custodian working for the University of Wisconsin, Washington County back in the fall of 1999 when I came face-to-face with the ghost, or at least one of the ghosts that haunt the place. 

There was always speculation that the place might have been haunted. One would hear noises such as bangs, as if something had fallen ,or noises as if one of the doors was being slammed shut. However upon investigating the noise, there was never anything there. After a while it got to be where you would wonder if it was worth your time to even check it out. It made you stop working for nothing, and you would start to think, now what if it's someone breaking in? I should check on it. But you also thought it could be a ghost. So every time you would think these things, but they were so common that you actually got used to them. Hearing one of these loud noises would not even startle or scare you after a while working there.

Another puzzling thing was at the time I worked there occasionally we would find a classroom totally trashed the next morning. It was thought that this might be caused by kids breaking into the building after hours. Yet, myself and a couple fellow custodians thought that this might be the work of a ghost. We would discuss this later during lunches. To stop this, security was stepped up to the point of security checks like the kind one would come to expect in the military. Every place there was to check in the building was double checked, bathroom stalls, library stacks, you name it. Every door was locked then checked twice more. Still there were occasionally rooms trashed. And doors that were supposed to be locked and were checked by three people, were being found open. We had stepped up security ten fold from what it had been and were being reprimanded by those at the school for something we knew we were doing everything to humanly prevent.

Now with this in mind we come to the night in which I came to face the spirit that haunts the school. I was cleaning my area which consisted of the union and gym part of the campus. I was working with a fellow custodian, Mike that night and a guy named Muckerheide was working in the administration section. Our boss, Ron was off that night so we had to clean his section too, which was the bookstore and library. The plan was to all do our own sections and when we were done we would do Ron's area.

Mike finished first and started in with Ron's area. I was just finishing up my area and told him that I should be done in a half an hour or so, but if he needed any help to just come and get me. Mike was gone no more 15 minutes and he was walking back to me. He told me to come with him, so I followed him back up toward the library. On the way he asks me if Howard mentioned if a light switch in a room might be broken or that he did something with it. I said, "No," and what Mike had just said made no sense to me at all. We get to the classroom and Mike tells me that he would shut the light off in the classroom to the left of the library doors as you face them, but every time he was doing something and would look back, they were back on.

Not thinking anything, I walked in and looked around the empty classroom. I'd check to see if there was anyone hiding in there, and I checked to see if perhaps sensors of some sort had been installed that turned lights on and off like they use in the computer lab. I was trying to figure out an explanation so I could tell myself and Mike there was nothing to worry about. I did not find anything new like that, and there was a lot of work to be done, so I was eager to get back to work so I would not be stuck working overtime to get done. So I found nothing. I checked out the switch and tried it a few times, and it worked, so I shut it off and Mike and I begin to leave. I was in the doorway just a few feet from the switch, and I hear it click on and the lights are back on. Mike and I look at each other and we are both white as snow. Then the switch started flipping up and down turning on and off. We watch the switch doing this for a couple seconds, but did not see anyone doing this. Whatever was doing this was completely invisible. Mike and I slowly turned around and started to walk away. We were speeding up until when we got to the end of the hall, we were almost running. As we turned the corner, we heard the noise of desks sliding across the floor and desks crashing as if they were being thrown. As we sped down that hall I remember yelling back, "Okay, we are going home, you can have the school to yourself the rest of the night!"

Mike called Muck on his walkie-talkie and told him we decided to go home. Now Muck was the kind of guy who was very afraid of the noises. So all we told him was that we were going home and we don't want to tell him why. He looked at us and we were still both white as snow and he kind of figured it out and told us to please not tell him what happened and he would leave too. It was about midnight, so we were leaving two hours early the next day. The next day we told our bosses what happened and they said, "Okay." I don't know if anyone believed Mike and I, but that's all there was to it. They had found the classroom where it happened with all the desks in a giant pile in the middle of the room the next morning.

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