“School Four” (Annie Lytle Elementary School) - Jacksonville, FL
If ever there was an example of urban legends run rampant… “School Four” is it! I normally save this sort of commentary for the “investigations” pages, but I can’t resist on this one… GUYS, NONE OF THESE STORIES ARE TRUE! lol…
School Four was originally a wooden-frame school house built in 1891, and by 1917 was upgraded into a full brick structure with wings spanning in all directions. Due to expansion of the city of Jacksonville -and obviously the freeways and interstates as you can tell by the surrounding bridges- it was closed in the 1950’s, and has stood as an abandoned building since then. For a period during the 1960’s and 1970’s, it served as sort of a “hippie commune” for society’s outcasts.
Now, it is in a complete state of disrepair, has been cleaned out, and it is currently scheduled for demolition to make room for condominiums.
The legends associated with this place are quite, umm… colorful. Stories of a janitor that went crazy and killed students, a principle that would kill trouble-makers in his office, and a boiler explosion that killed many children top the list. Also, this site was rumored to be the site of Satanic rituals intended to summon demons.
This location, due to the aforementioned urban legends, has earned School Four the title of “the most haunted location in Jacksonville”. Unfortunately, as I have mentioned… none of the legends are substantiated. No police records exist on any deaths or rituals that have taken place in this location. I can’t find that there was actually any provable evidence found of satan worship or animal sacrifices, either, so -given the nature of the other information- I’m going to assume that these were fabrications as well.
Many reports of a “sinister feeling” arise from this place, but I’m telling you… those are YOUR feelings. Yes, this is a scary place because it is dark, expansive, extremely dilapidated, and you don’t know if the local Bloods or Crips have taken up residence there. And yes, I was concerned for our security when we investigated it, but my concerns weren’t from anything that resides in the spiritual realm.
Actually, once you realize that the building isn’t going to come crashing down on your head and that you are alone, you are free to see that this building must have been a very beautiful place during it’s heyday. It had big windows that overlooked pretty terraces, a huge fireplace in the downstairs cafeteria, and very large, high-ceiling classrooms. The structure itself was amazing… and I get angry at such a waste of tax dollars to let this thing go to waste.
...And it was PEACEFUL. Since all of the trash from the former “hippie commune” has been long since cleared out… the rat population has as well, so no more “scurrying noises” are heard. The only sounds are from the traffic on the nearby highways. In fact, the place was quite comforting and as quiet as a mouse.
No hard feelings, but I have to say that if you think this place is scary and the “most haunted place in Jacksonville”, you are indeed either an amateur or are WANTING it to be haunted! Yes, I’m quite possibly a party pooper… but we are after credible, quantifiable evidence, and not just there for the rush of adrenaline from non-scientific ghost hunting!
Poor, poor “School Four"… Ne’r has there been such a beautiful place tarred and feathered both by Government misappropriations and teenagers’ tall tales. It’s a shame that the memory of such a great, historic, beautiful building has to be so tarnished.
Investigations we've done here...
Evidence we've found here...
Here are the EVPs and other audio evidence that we have found at this location. Please see the above "Investigations we've done here" section to read more about the context...
-“Yeah, I’d hate to do it”-
While I don’t think “School Four” is a very haunted place… this one is weird, what can I say. You can hear the sound of the highway in the background -our sensitive recorders LOVE to pick up passing cars… it seems to be right in their preferable frequency range- but the other sounds we picked up are pretty unusual. It does sound like a kid or kids. It starts out with barely audible sounds, and then ends with something that sounds like “Yeah, I’d hate to do it” after I ask “Anybody that can speak with us?“‘
There is no doubt that we are stepping on a board or something during the clearest part, and the sound somewhat matches the pattern of this, but not exactly (for instance… it starts a little BEFORE the snapping sound). I can’t rule out that these sounds aren’t some strange artifact produced by that, but there is still the first part that has the same sounding “voice” without the snapping noise, and I didn’t hear these anywhere else in the entire audio. Also, those sounds were only on this recorder… not both.
You’ll have to decide for yourself on this one!
Camera beep and snap
EVP: [Sounds like younger voices saying something in the background]
John: "Is there anybody in here?Anybody that can speak to us?"
EVP: "[Yeah,] I'd hate to do it."
John: "I wouldn't mind a picture out front, where it say's 'School Four'".
This one is only border-line passable, but it does resemble “It’s creepy”, and it certainly is loud, and I had just finished saying that the light on the floor was “creepy”. There weren’t any other sounds like this, and the other recorder didn’t pick it up. Sure, there could be a logical explanation for it, but those are the reasons I chose to share this.
That light on the floor, by the way, has been mentioned in some stories and has some sort of silly urban legend attached to it I’m sure. Basically, it’s just a small spot of sunlight on the floor in a very dark, second floor room. It looks kind of like an Indiana Jones booby-trap or something! That room is EXTREMELY DARK… my flash is so bright that most rooms lit up like it was complete daylight in there, but this one was still really dark. That’s why this light stands out like it does… it really is strikingly bright!
John: "See that little light on the floor that's creepy?"
John: "It'd be creepier if it went out!"
[camera beep and snap]
EVP: "It's creepy"