Starting year 6 was a breeze for the most part, yeah the work was a little tougher, and especially when it came to maths but it was still an easy start. Over the following weeks everyone started making plans for Halloween, when eventually the day came that I overheard some of the popular kids planning to sneak out and go to the graveyard next to the school. They noticed me looking over and thought to invite me along, I tried get out of it but they weren’t having any of it.
The whole plan was to have a sleep over at Jacobs seeing as his was the closest to the school/ graveyard, and then sneak out around midnight, during the so called witching hour, the guys had been doing some research about the paranormal and found out between midnight and 3am is the best time to contact spirits, so naturally decided this would be the best time to go have a Ouija board session in the middle of the local graveyard, I know right sounds fun. We were all on the same page Tim, Jacob, Alex, Chris, Rob, Mike and of course me but over the week leading up to Halloween more and more people got invited, some were going to join us at Jacobs, some were going to sneak out and meet us there and well the rest of the class weren’t interested or had way to strict of parents to even attempt sneaking out or staying at others.
Finally the night came, October 31st 1999, a time without smart phones scary right, we were all having a fun night watching horror films, eating junk food and trying out our favourite wrestling moves on each other, eventually it got late, about 11pm, Jacobs parents popped the heads in to the room saying they were off to bed and for us to not stay up to late, nice people I wonder how they’re doing; we of us all waited about an hour to make sure the parents were asleep, we all got dressed and quietly made our way out to the back, now Jacobs back garden leads onto an alley way which takes us straight to the school, annoyingly we would of just used the gate but it had been locked for god knows how long considering the amount of rust on the metal so he had to proceed with boosting one another over the fence as quietly and quickly as possible.
We all made it over without alerting the parents, no idea how as we made so much noise that every dog in the area started barking but alas we were on our merry way down the well lit alley, Chris was explaining how the Ouija board worked to the few that hadn’t had a chance to find out, this ended up freaking out the 3 or 4 kids that were already a bit shaken and wanting to back out but we were all in this now, no going back, well apparently to the 6 who had originated this whole plan. By the time we had got to the school, everyone else had already been waiting for over 10 minutes. “about time” a few of them remarked in a snarky tone, “come one we don’t have all night” said one of the bratty girls, were call her Katelyn, this probably would of went a lot smoother if not for her, let me quickly explain she’s one of those princess, I’m never wrong I get everything I want, cant handle being told no types. Anyway we all made our way to the centre of the graveyard and set up the board on a large tombstone, you know the ones that are like huge stone tables which cam in very handy for this, so we all tried to gather around the board, some pushing and shoving to get closer, mind there was like 20 of us and if you’re at all familiar with Ouija boards you should know only say about 6 people can have their hand on the planchette at a time so this was a bit hectic, we all established we’d take it in turns obviously the 6 originals going first.
They tried asking questions for 5 to 10 minutes with no response, they swapped over with some others and the same occurred, nothing apart from one or 2 of them pretending to move make the planchette move. My go was next so we sat around the board and asked “is there anyone there?” no response, all the other typical questions had been asked so I thought I’d ask something different “would you like us to leave you alone?” at this point the planchette felt as is was being ever so slightly moved but that’s when Katelyn pushed me out the way having enough of waiting around with nothing happening, she angrily asked stupid questions and mocked the planchette moving until most of the group had either left or started to protest her. She finally gave up and decided to leave, we all calmed ourselves down and decided we might as well pack it in seeing as nothing was happening, just as we all agreed we heard scrapping, it was the planchette on the board, it was moving, by itself. We all looked at each other trying to figure out who was trying to trick us but no one was, no strings, no magnets nothing. We watched as the heart shaped plastic made its way ever so slowly to Goodbye. Needless to say we all bolted, none of us really expected anything to happen so when it did, my god did we run, a couple of kids even cried including Tim, there were a few jokes made at his expense. We finally made it back into Jacobs’s room and started discussing what had happened, making excuses and trying to disprove what we saw, but to no luck we had no answers.
The next week we returned to school from the half term break, we all filled each other in on what we had got up to and talking about the Halloween in the graveyard, but yet no one mentioned Katelyn’s outburst, I thought to be sure that would be top gossip but no not a word, it got to registration when I noticed Katelyn wasn’t there, everyone else was but not her, I thought maybe she was to embarrassed to come in or maybe she had moved school, that would be nice I thought, so I asked the girl sitting besides me but she gave me this look of pure vacancy, she had no idea who I was talking about, so I asked a few more kids around me only to get the same response; I thought maybe they’ve all agreed to just collectively ignore her and pretend she doesn’t exist. It was odd not one person had questioned where she was but even the teacher didn’t call out her name or give any reason to why she wasn’t there. I tried not to think much of it throughout the morning but I was just so curious, I finally decided to ask the teacher at lunch when she gave me the exact none vacant expression and answer my classmates had.
The following week the whole missing Katelyn deal had left my mind, it was peaceful not having her around, I feel terrible for saying that but it’s also therapeutic. I was in for a surprise the next day as another student hadn’t shown up to class with the same little things from last time, no one knowing who she was, her name not being called out, what was off this time though was this wasn’t a girl most people dislike, maybe even hated but the girl who had vanished, everyone loved, her name was Sarah and she put a smile on everyone’s face even if you didn’t want to smile but now just like Katelyn it seems she no longer exists. This carried on for the following weeks leading up to Christmas break, every few days or even a week would past then poof, there goes another one.
The end of the year had rolled around but by this time pretty much my entire class was missing; even the entire school population looked smaller. How many people have vanished to this unknown force? Why was I the only one to remember them? Everyone else involved with that night couldn’t remember so why was I burdened with these memories of people that no longer exist? I needed to know, maybe if I went back to where this began, maybe I could talk with what ever it was we had contacted so that was it my mind was made up, that day after school I would go into the graveyard and find some answers. The day final bell rang as we grabbed our bags, I was just about to leave as the teacher called other, “I want to know why you’ve been asking about students that I’ve never met” I got a little annoyed seeing as he had met these students, many times, “I’d like you to sit down while I go fetch your parents from the teachers lounge” I was furious at this point, he seriously called my parents in and none of them had mentioned anything, I tried to walk out of the room in frustration but the door was locked, I decided to just sit down and get this over with.
Finally Mr. Johnson and my parents had returned, they questioned me for what felt like an eternity, I explained everything the night we snuck out, the girl getting angry and every time I noticed a student had gone missing. They just looked at me with such confusion, eventually after more questioning my mother broke down into tears, she couldn’t deal with the constant lies or the fact I had gone crazy, that were the only two conclusions my parents and Mr. Johnson could come up with, I protested and protested until they had enough, my father restrained me at this point my mother had calmed down from crying but was absolutely furious. We walked home with no words spoken, when we got in we had dinner, still no words when we had finished they sent me to my room, I decided not to protest as it hadn’t gotten me anywhere so far and just excepted my fate.
The next morning I could her talking downstairs but it was only one side of a conversation, my father was on the phone so I decided to be nosey as young kids usually, my father was booking me a doctors appointment, great my parents actually do think I’m crazy, well its not like I can prove that any of those people exist not even their own parents remember them. We arrive at the doctors and he asks me question after question after question, he determines I’ve been having hallucinations and could possibly be schizophrenia, this did not feel good, they said they’d need to run some more tests over the following weeks. So this was my story, the story of why I’ve been locked in an asylum for 16 years, love you too Mum and Dad.
(Authors Notes: It may sound weird but both schools I went to growing up were either separated by a hedge line/fence or across the road from graveyards)