When visitors walk down the main street of Beaver, PA (about an hour northwest of Pittsburgh, PA) they feel like they have stepped back in time to a simpler/friendlier aspect of life, and feel like they are at home. They are welcomed with open arms by small mom and pop store owners while walking along old school brick paver sidewalks. About two city blocks off this fun, warm area rests the very normal appearing and regularly updated Beaver Area High School. The school lies over the Breezewood Creek along the darkened woods covering Gypsy Glen Road. The school has never had any official paranormal reports, but the district may just want to keep these oddities at bay and out of the public’s eye. However, if you speak with employees, especially those who work and spend time in the building late at night, you may hear a different story; like we have.
While the high school itself doesn’t have a bulk of written history behind it, the area of Beaver certainly does.
Before the land of western Pennsylvania was settled, Native American tribes had a stronghold of the area where Beaver stands. They utilized the woods and creek bed to hunt, fish, and just live off the land. These native tribes didn’t always see eye to eye however, this land was rumored to hold battles and death. Over time, this land was said to be cursed and even hold negative energy. By the time that the settlers moved in, those Native Americans had already fled the land.
Serving as the Continental Army’s original fort along the Ohio River, Fort McIntosh was constructed in 1778. The fort hosted the biggest army on the western side of the United States (at the time, that’s about as far west as the United States stretched) until 1785 when the Treaty of Fort McIntosh was signed into law. This ultimately helped open the western United States into a formal settlement. During its time in commission, the fort saw minimal fighting but plenty of troops in training as it also served as their living quarters.
A short time later in 1800, the town (at the time known as the Borough of Beaver) was named as the county seat and led to the creation of Beaver County by 1802. With its’ prime location along the river, Beaver grew into a thriving community. Business boomed and allowed for the growth of mills and transportation. Along with this business growth, families moved into the area, complete with children. Even though at this time education was not on the forefront of the residents’ minds, informal school rooms were established, if for no other reason than to act as a childcare center.
Over time, the small education centers grew and allowed for the construction of a combined middle school and high school in 1899.
The school and town continued to grow and became a leader in technology throughout the 21st century. By this point, the school encapsulated the entire area of Beaver and allowed for even more growth. Come 1996, the school was renovated, separating and adding on creating two different entities: the middle school and high school.
This separation allowed for the high school to host its own events and allowed for growth geared toward older, more mature children. The auditorium holds up to 1,000 guests and commonly hosts school functions, concerts, and educational events. There were wings that were separated for the ease of communication and personal growth including a technology wing, science labs, a separate library, A/V studio, a theater holding up to 150 guests, an art wing including art classrooms and music classrooms, a pool, and two separate gymnasiums.
Currently, the Beaver High School hosts grades 9-12 and enrolls approximately 700 students. The school has been ranked the area’s top ranked school district for the last 16 years and has produced collegiate level students both academically and athletically.
Little is known and even less is shared regarding unnatural and unexplainable experiences that have occurred in the school. Just recently, some stories are coming to light and, especially those who stay at the school late at night, have begun to talk about their experiences.
There are more simple things like the sounds of slamming doors and lockers to the odd feeling of someone standing by watching visitors late at night. Some have experienced the sounds of instruments, particularly a clarinet echoing through the halls. This has even been heard early in the morning when no students are in the building. When this sound is tracked down, no one is to be found. Numerous teachers have heard this, even simultaneously on occasion, but no culprit is ever found.
Very recently, some of the office staff had physically witnessed an odd apparition. An older woman, moving slowly with a walker, made her way to a locked entry door. The staff saw this and directed this woman towards the secondary door which could be easily unlocked. As the staff ventured around the corner to unlock the door and allow the woman access, the woman disappeared from view and sight on the security camera. She turned a blind corner and was never spotted on the adjacent camera and never seen again.
It’s hard to tell why these noises and the apparition have been occurring recently or why these entities may be trapped here but if the land truly is cursed as the natives believe, there could be numerous explanations here. The land could draw in spirits from any time period where someone may have experienced something incredible in their life or something tragic. This could be something as simple as graduating high school to passing away from a sudden accident.
These strange noises may not necessarily be associated with the school itself, it’s very possible that the land has drawn some Native Americans back to the area, regardless of where the high school stands on the land, this land was still the natives’ hunting and war ground first. There have been theories that running water, and the natural energy created from it, have drawn more paranormal activity. As it is, the high school lies right over top of the creek itself, which could also help explain the unexplainable.
We were very humbled and gracious for the opportunity to spend some time in the school when no one else was around. This was all thanks to Susan Metelsky, a teacher currently working in the school who has in fact had her own experiences. We arrived at the Beaver Area High School a little bit later than anticipated around 5:15 AM. We were met by Susan and were granted access to look around and begin our set up. Once we got a feel for the areas in question, we set up our equipment throughout the school including the Auditorium, Band Room, Hallway Between the two, and the Locker Rooms by the Pool. We had four wired static cameras set up in these areas, as well as one battery operated camera by the locker rooms. We carried with us one handheld camera and ran live via Facebook the majority of the investigation. Carried with us throughout the evening included our mobile equipment including one recorder, one K2 meter, one Phasma Box, one Rempod, one Ovilus, one FLIR thermal imaging camera, one EMF pump, and finally we introduced two new pieces of equipment with: one Boo Buddy K2 doll and one SLS camera. We began the investigation a little later than anticipated around 6:00 AM.
During the time we spent inside the Beaver Area High School, we felt as though we had experienced some form of paranormal activity in one way or another. We heard phantom footsteps, the banging of drums, and even heard the sound of bells ringing. At one point, we thought we heard a locker slam, but this could not be tracked down, and all of the lockers that we had left open in the locker rooms remained open as we left them. Our still flash photography didn’t reveal anything out of the ordinary but the FLIR thermal camera showed us a few shadows concealing themselves in plain sight. Our SLS camera played a large part of our investigation, showing us figures in both the Auditorium and the Band Room. However, the majority of our paranormal evidence was captured with our recorder while utilizing the Phasma Box.
We experienced numerous fascinating and intriguing moments to say the least! After a thorough analysis and review of all the evidence gathered that morning, we do believe that there were multiple entities located in the school. These entities were both in intelligent and residual forms. Notably, the most active locations were the Auditorium and the Stairwell by the Pool. We encountered full bodies utilizing our SLS camera and captured a multitude of voices through our Phasma Box. We recorded formal greetings and particular school-related words such as “Detention” and “Technology.” To add to this, a medium we previously met during our investigation on Blennerhasset Island was watching the Facebook Live video and noted that she felt the presence of an older woman, possibly a former teacher who wanted us to “Go back to class.” We also noted the sounds of music like a drum, bell, and even a simple whistling. This could all be related to the well-known band director who is warmly remembered for his love of the jazz band at the high school. Adding to this point, we did capture a FLIR thermal image that showed what appeared to be a figure playing an instrument, possibly a clarinet. After a while in these locations, we heard threats of “Leave” and “Go” repeated to us followed by our names, “Daniel,” “Susan,” and “Metelsky'' were all recorded in these areas. It’s not to say that these spirits were malevolent by any means but imagine someone unexpectedly entering your home and just lingering; you’d probably be annoyed as well. We also experienced the drum itself pounding while capturing a figure standing behind it via the SLS camera.
Upon a thorough review of the evidence we captured during our overnight / early morning paranormal investigation of the Beaver Area High School, we have come to a concise conclusion that the building hosts multiple spirits inside its walls. We experienced intelligent and residual paranormal activity and communication via our Phasma Box. Some more physical oddities such as footsteps, knocks, and musical sounds were heard in numerous locations inside the high school. We also captured still photographs of the SLS screen as we recorded what appeared to be figures in two separate areas of the Auditorium and another in the Band Room. The FLIR thermal imaging camera also showed us the outlines of heat signatures, in this case cold signatures, in multiple locations as well. We captured a few names during our time at the school such as Palmer, which a medium watching the live stream also felt, Harrison, Frank, and a simple descriptor of the janitor. We also captured our names repeated back to us in the form of Dan, Susan, and Metelsky.
While spending some time exploring the high school, there were numerous locations which drew us in based solely on past stories and some shared with us via social media. The most active locations during our investigation included the Band Room, the Pool, the Stairwell by the Pool, and the Auditorium which, in the end, was the most active area where we received the most communication and felt the most energy and activity. Each of these locations held a unique energy. While most areas felt more welcoming and inviting, and even open to communication, they also had moments which it felt as though we were unwanted and commanded to leave the area.
We began with limited equipment in each spot moving into utilizing more equipment like the Phasma Box and SLS camera. Our MEL meter also came into play as it spiked multiple times in the Band Room and the Auditorium.
We believe we captured an array of activity which could seemingly date back to the time before the school was constructed; while the Native Americans still controlled this land. The evidence also seems to suggest that the timeframe also extends into more modern times as we captured a full body in the SLS camera appearing to play an instrument as well as recordings of a plethora of instruments. The names captured are more modern and seem to be linked to the time after the school was constructed.
There were a few deaths in the area and relating to former teachers and students which could be the reasoning behind these hauntings. In some locations throughout the school, it seems that there are events playing on a loop classifying these as residual hauntings whereas others appear to be more intelligent conversations with full phrases and names. Spirits such as the former band director, an unnamed child, an older woman by the name of Palmer all seem to be stuck here in the afterlife. Even though their reasonings are unknown to us, the Beaver Area High School unmistakably holds an intriguing atmosphere and different energies spanning throughout the facility.
This investigation was a first for us in many ways. This was our first successful investigation with our new SLS camera, our first legitimate investigation during early morning/daylight hours, and our first investigation of an active school! Running around dark, creepy places is fun, but it’s also nice to be able to see where we are walking sometimes so we don’t run the risk of becoming permanent residents. However, all these experiences were shadowed only by the engagement of our fans/followers during our live streaming and by the members of the community that reached out to us with stories and histories prior to our investigation. This is what keeps us going on all the late nights and hours of talking to empty rooms. We cannot express how heart-warming and encouraging it is to see the engagement of the paranormal community. And finally, a HUGE thank you for the generosity of the staff and board to allow us this opportunity. There is more within the walls of the Beaver High/Middle School than meets the eye.