Educated elysium or haunted haven?

Jenna Foster, Staff Writer

September 22, 2017

     Mariposa Elementary School, located in Redlands, Calif., is a paranormal hot spot due to a circling rumor about a haunting figure who supposedly died on school property.

     According to who tells the story, legend says that around the 1950s, a young boy by the name of Billy was either hit by a school bus or car while riding his bike, and was rushed to the school nurse. He either perished in the nurse’s office or in an ambulance shortly after the collision, but no one knows for sure. It is said that Billy’s spirit resides in the whereabouts of the nurse’s office.

     Residents say that if you go to the school late at night and knock on the nurse’s office door, you will hear Billy knock back. Some say that his apparition rocks on the swings at night, craving missed opportunities of playtime. Students have said they could hear Billy speaking to them in the bathrooms during school hours.

     Recurring paranormal investigators have prompted the school to post “No Trespassing” signs, staff to groan at the mere mention of Billy and police to install hidden cameras to snag ghostbusters.

     After researching the legend of “Billy”, I decided to attest to the tale.

     At around 10:10 pm, I arrived at Mariposa Elementary to which I found had an eerie atmosphere. I recorded notes throughout my experience. At approximately 10:16 pm as I was entering the school premises, I heard what sounded like a screech.

     Before I went on the trip, I downloaded a ghost detector app to see what ominous events I would encounter. At 10:23 and 10:24 pm, my phone detected an entity in the hallway where the administration office is, the location where Billy is said to lurk.

     At 10:27 pm, I was walking down the hallway searching for the nurse’s office. As I got closer, I was sure I heard someone walking towards me, perhaps one of the janitors. I distinctly heard the sound of keys rattling.

     Not wanting to be caught, I ran around the corner of the building. Less than two minutes later, I went to check if they were still wandering about the area. No one was there.

     Heading to the playground, I heard what I thought was chains rattling. This was later debunked as the sprinklers hitting basketball poles.

     After walking around the playground, I headed to the nurse’s office. I cautiously knocked on the door three times, but I heard nothing. I impatiently knocked a few more times, wanting to hear something or someone knock back. Again, nothing.

     At this point it was around 10:45 pm and I decided that my investigation was over. As I was getting ready to leave the school premises, I heard something running down the pavement. As much as I wanted to believe it was the spirit of Billy, I had to consider that the school was in the middle of a busy neighborhood.

     Unfortunately, I did not experience any paranormal phenomena on my short trip to Mariposa Elementary. Although I don’t quite believe in the legend, the school proves itself to possess a sinister atmosphere late at night.

     According to Kurt Smith, director of community analysis and technology for the Redlands Police Department, the boy died in a hospital, not the school.

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