Ghostly Encounters at West

Haley Taylor, Reporter

It is to be expected that a school as old as Anchorage West High School would be surrounded by ghastly rumors of the paranormal kind. From “Ladies in White” and old janitors to semi-humanoid creatures in the basement, West is known as one of the top paranormal hotspots. However, is it truly haunted, or just speculation?

Rick Stone, the head principal of West, said that out of his 10 years of working at the school that he has not seen anything paranormal. “Before I got here,” Stone stated, “My predecessor told me that there were night crew…and there were different cultures with different beliefs and experiences with the paranormal.” According to Stone, this individual had a strong belief of the paranormal and refused to work in areas they believed to be filled with them, like the auditorium.

The same could be said by Tammie Smith-Scott, the 53-year-old Auditorium Technician for West, who has had a paranormal encounter in Florida when she worked over there as a consultant. “The only people I’ve heard talk about it other than students, believing that they’ve seen her or have heard something, is the night crew.” After this statement, Smith-Scott added, “There’s been guys who’ve said that they saw something, or that they turn and they think something was going on behind them and nothing was there. So there wasn’t anything concrete.”

However, David Block, a theater educator who has worked at West for 23 years, has claimed to have had a paranormal experience in the school. According to Block, he was in the middle of the stage in the Auditorium with five other students sewing buttons onto costumes for their next show when it happened. “All of the sudden, we heard footsteps that sounded like a woman in high heels,” stated Block, “And the sound was coming from the right hand side of the stage.” He continued explaining his experience of the phantom footsteps, how the sound continued behind him and to the left, and no one being there when he looked. He also stated that, when he looked back to the students, they all had the same expression and said they heard it too.

One can’t know for sure if there are paranormal specters haunting the school, if ghosts wander the halls in the dark of the night. But one can say that this school has a spooky history, and will build on it for years to come.