Remember waking up early Saturday morning as a kid and running downstairs to turn on Scooby-Doo cartoons? We always thought the gang’s crazy and creepy experiences were amusing…until recently when our team got to experience a real-life episode of Scooby-Doo.
Our adventure took place on Bell Island, which is a small island 20 minutes off the coast of Newfoundland. The plan was to spend the night at St. Michaels Regional School on Bell Island and perform in the morning. After a bumpy ferry ride and a long trek up a steep hill, we made it to the school. Upon arriving there, we were fed a potluck dinner and enjoyed talking to the Vice Principal who began to explain life on Bell Island. One topic led to another and soon enough the topic of haunted houses came up to which she replied, “You know this school is actually haunted.” We all laughed thinking she was just yanking our chain, but as she began to describe in great detail the rolling pail of the ghost janitor, the random pencil sharpeners, and the children’s voices in the back corner of the gym, we realized she was serious and that the school was indeed haunted.
Now, I am not brave by many definitions, in fact I quite openly confess that I am a huge “scardy-cat”. So you can imagine my feelings towards staying in a haunted school overnight. The girls decided to bunk in the computer lab for the night because it was supposed to be ‘the least haunted’ room in the school. I hoped that I would pass out fast enough that I wouldn’t hear any of the spooky sounds….but much like in Scooby-Doo, you can’t escape the unusual activities! At roughly 12 AM, as we were all snuggled up in our beds, each computer mysteriously turned on, one after the other. We all freaked out! Throughout the night, the computers would mysteriously turn on and off in perfect synchronization. Needless to say, we couldn’t figure out what was causing it, and no one slept well that night. I woke up the next morning exhausted and honestly just wanting to get the day over with. We performed the show in front of 170 students ranging from grades 7-12. They seemed to respond well to the show, but the full extent of our presence was relevant after the show when we got to talk to them.
We found the students of St. Michaels to be extremely friendly and got into easy conversation. Every person I met greeted me with huge smiles and enthusiasm. I got to met students from all grades and ages and loved talking to each of them as topics ranged from the presentation to Hero Holiday to life on Bell Island to NHL teams. It amazes me how such different people from such different walks in life can form such bonds. It’s as if our differences is what makes us fit so well with each other. In high school I never ventured far outside my group of friends, I didn’t think I could find friendship with people so obviously different from me. This tour has showed me that quite the opposite is true. Audre Lorde said, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” At St. Michaels, I saw this truth unfold before my eyes. We had all made such amazing connections with numerous students that the whole team was reluctant to leave!
What started out as a scary situation turned into an inspiring day with amazing people. I never would have thought that the best day would be in a haunted school on Bell Island. I will never forget this incredible experience!
Jenna – LiveDifferent Academy Student, Team 1, 2013