BRAWLEY — The chill settles in. With that eerie feeling of being watched, and yet no one is there. They say ghosts love trying to communicate with the living…
While Brawley as a whole may have its share of ghosts, Brawley Union High School has been one such hot bed of ghostly activity for years, according to some who would know. Some are mere rumors spread around by students. Custodians and other staff members would say otherwise.
BUHS Maintenance Supervisor Tony Leon said he has had his share of incidents in the halls. He’s seen odd things while on duty and heard whispers in the auditorium when no one is there; specifically in the older science building and Palmer Auditorium, saying that peculiar things do happen in there.
What custodians report experiencing is a sudden chill when they are alone or a feeling of unease. There have even been reported incidents where a girl has materialized in the hallways of the main office building.
Leon received a call on one such incident with two custodians.
“I get there, and the custodian has his head pressed against the wall, unable to move, unable to talk, and pale. The other guy said, ‘He saw the little girl walk by.’”
One custodian recounted a creepy incident in the science building while working on duty in the evening with a partner.
“We were cleaning the upstairs rooms and there was a ball in a cup on a desk,” he said. “We had to go downstairs to Mr. Kellogg’s room, and while down there, we could hear something coming down the stairs. Somehow that ball made it out the door, down the stairs, then rolled in front of our feet.”
The most recent incident, according to one custodian, were a vision of feet on the Palm Auditorium stages. A pair of feet were seen behind the curtain on stage and made five paces back and forth before disappearing.
Drama teacher Jason Contreras himself has had a spooky experience in the auditorium when he was working a set for a production of “Grease” at 2 or 3 a.m. He was tired and decided to lay on the sofa backstage when he started hearing strange noises in the empty auditorium.
“I turned off all the lights, then went up on the catwalk, laid down, and said ‘If anyone’s here, come get me.’ Whether it was psychosomatic or not, I lasted 17 seconds and I booked it out,” said Contreras.
Even students have reported ghostly encounters. Some can produce photo evidence such a snapped picture of a strange blue flame outside the old junior college building, according to Leon.
Some drama students have also talked of experiences in the auditorium. Senior student Benjamin Rodriguez reported one with a friend last year while getting something from the set.
“We heard something in the audience,” said Rodriguez. “So my friend pulled out his cell phone and started recording and asked, ‘Anyone there?’ Then we heard this real loud growl from the screen. We said thank you, then left.”
Of course both Leon and Contreras admit that they do their share of spreading rumors around about ghosts that don’t exist. It is all in good fun for the staff and the students. However, there are times when it becomes too real to be considered a funny thing, they said.
“When people become terrified, that’s when it’s not funny anymore,” said Leon about the incident in the hallway.
If wandering the halls of BUHS, be it for work or reminiscing of days gone by, they advise to do so in pairs and with caution. The chill running down your spine might not be caused by the air conditioner.