Strange happenings at West Demerara Secondary School
By Neil Marks
June 16, 2002
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Many a strange thing has been reported there and pandemonium broke out at the West Demerara Secondary School last week as two different ghost stories were added to the long list that has unfolded at the school throughout its history.
The first incident took place Thursday evening as two teachers and about five students of Form 4B were washing up after baking cakes for the school's raffle draw the next day to raise money for the Home Economics Department.
According to students, after 20:00 hrs, the group of students and teachers were discussing the scary past of the school when bizarre things started happening.
First the locked windows of the Home Economics Department flung open and almost simultaneously the doors of the wardrobe flew open. That was panic time!
Reports reaching the Chronicle said the students and teachers forgot about what they were doing, dashed for the corridor, down the flight of stairs and out of the schoolyard.
The Home Economics Department is located on the second flat of the building.
The next day, Friday, everyone went to school as normal, including the teachers and the students of the night before.
At around 09:45 hrs, the five students from 4B were relating the experience of the night before to about 15 students of 4C, who had gone into the department to decorate the cakes and do other work left back from the night before.
One student remarked that if she had that experience, she would have probably caught "fits". It was not long before she actually did, or came close to.
As the students were discussing the episode, one of the students who was in the room at the time said that the door to the cupboard suddenly flew open and the shelf of glass went tumbling down.
At that point hysteria erupted as the students began screaming and a near stampede followed; they reached the door and raced out of the department.
As pandemonium set in, one student fell to the floor and bruised a knee. Another headed straight into a wall instead of through the door, while the others apparently ran over another who fell to the ground, a student related.
With all the screaming, the second flat was soon empty as the students followed those running out of the building.
Soon thereafter, it was discovered that the student who before said she would have caught "fits", ended up in a state like that. One student said that she saw the girl sitting on the floor staring aimlessly and trembling heavily.
The students, with tears in their eyes, related the incident to their teachers, who took them back to the department to check on their story.
With much hesitation, some went back, while others had to be "taken" with much struggle.
To the shock of the students, the shelf of glass that they said they saw tumble down was back in its place, except for what appeared to be broken pieces from one of the glassed on the floor.
At least one teacher doubted the story of the students and ridiculed them by saying that they were too scared and "thought" that the incident had happened.
However, the students formed a circle with the teachers and started praying.
With things normalised, the school day proceeded without further hindrances.
However, the student who ended up in a state of "fits" had to be taken home.
Some students said they would not be returning to the school.
Ghost stories have for long plagued the West Demerara Secondary School. Older folks say the Dutch colonialists occupied the area, and there are numerous ghost stories of the wealthy Dutch man Coglan, after whom one of the streets in the area has been named.
These tales have scared many students who dropped out of the school for fear of having a scary encounter.