LJHS Haunted Stories

Alizee Carey, Spotlight Editor

La Jolla High School is the second oldest campus in the San Diego Unified District, having been built 101 years ago. After many years since being founded in 1922, the school has undergone a number of alterations to fit the student’s needs and to continue modernizing at the pace of society. All the years passing paranormal occurrences have been continuous and brought up the discussion amounts students and faculty members of how one can believe and rationalize the connection between the spiritual and physical world. 

The La Jolla High School librarian, who is also one of the most experienced and knowledgeable staff members, has observed and experienced multiple blatant evidence of paranormal activity on campus. Mrs. Kelley, who is fearless and bold, and doesn’t let this particular issue bother her, recently had an eye-catching encounter in the library while conversing with another faculty member. She explains, “As we were discussing and talking, that halloween decoration candle sitting on the end of the desk, started moving and flung across to the other side.” This episode was uncalled for, she says, as it scared the faculty member hanging next to her. She continued the anecdote by pointing out how frequent tiny occurrences like this are and offering advice to avoid making a big deal out of them. 

Photo Via Zainab Hassoun

A well-known English teacher, Mr. Cisneros, decided to share a personal off-campus paranormal experience. Cisneros has been teaching night classes at Southwestern college for many years now. The college bought a satellite campus, detached from the main college campus, in San Ysidro to be more accessible to students who resided in San Ysidro and who desire to attend classes over the border. The first night of lecturing there, he recalled a familiar smell, Big Macs, which is a popular meal from Mcdonald’s. It was odd, to say the least, but brushing it off, he continued the lecture. As the night fell and the moon shimmered brighter, Mr. Cisneros remembered the vivid sounds of gunshots… boom, boom, boom! Cisneros was startled and said,  ¨I talked to someone about that. Someone, I think, one of the ladies that worked in the office. She said we hear it all the time. So between the smell of the food from the restaurant that used to be there to the bullet sounds of the activity, that was the closest I have ever gotten to paranormal activity, and it was freaky, and it just made me think.¨

Before this specific location was a satellite campus, it was a Mcdonald’s. But on July 18, 1984, a tragic event later named the San Ysidro McDonald’s Massacre occurred when 41-year-old James Huberty killed 21 people and injured 19. At the scene, the gunman was killed by a policeman. The building was laid, while Mcdonald’s thought they could never have a restaurant here again.

Another English teacher at LJHS, Mr. Essex, opened up about a paranormal encounter that he was reluctant to share for many years due to the underlying fear that people would perceive him as crazy.

In his early youth, a small kid would appear in his room every once in a while. Hardly ever did this occur, but as the moon shined blue, every once in a while, the ghostly boy would sit at the end of the bed. This seemed harmless, and provoked mild fear but never enough to discuss with family or friends. The years pass and Essex decides to attend college leaving behind these odd experiences only to return during the summer. Before the fall of sophomore year, he stayed at his family home one last time before his mother sold the home. Essex describes the last night saying, ¨That night was kinda creepy because he turned and I felt afraid and I was trying to get out of bed. I felt like he was grabbing my legs and that freaked me out. So, I got out of bed and there was this big ruckus everything fell over. My sister, who was home from the summer too, and my mother came in and they go Woah, Woah, what’s going on in here?” The dresser was knocked over and the whole room looked to be a mess. Responding to his mother and sister he said that nothing happened, seconds following they pointed out the scratch marks on the lower part of his leg. Skeptical, he advocated, saying that the cat always slept in the bed, rationalizing the cat scratching his leg. The hour hand reached midnight, he went downstairs to collect himself after it all. His older sister entered from another room and described the small boy precisely.  Essex says, ¨All the rest of it. I could explain away. The dream, the cat, but I have never been able to reconcile exactly what the deal was between my sister and me seeing the same thing other than we saw the same scary movies.¨

It’s up to debate where the energy of the soul transfers after passing.