Late at night when most people are asleep, there are those of us who are wide awake with insomnia. Tonight’s episode of Syfy’s School Spirits is based on actual events and relived, re-enacted by those who survived to tell their nightmarish tales that kept them awake for many sleepless nights.
Night terrors, horrible dreams, torment, dangerous spirits and poltergeist take on a girl’s school. Sweet Briar College, Virginia (Class of 2007) is haunted beyond belief as Elise Stine recalls her first intense experience with what could possibly be a ghost. Elise was heading back to her dorm after going to the gym and was thinking that “something was not right and something was making my skin crawl.” She snapped her head back to look and saw something.
It was inches away her. Two years later Dani Humpreys (Class of 2013) was accepted into Sweet Briar and was ecstatic as she was drawn to the school. According to Professor Lynn Rainville, Sweet Briar was founded in 1901 as an all-women’s college. At the time, most of the existing all-male universities would not accept women.
Chloe Day and Laure Herzog (both Class of 2014) spent time with Dani and Sarah Fletcher (Class of 2013), and all decided to room together on campus. What seemed like a nice situation would soon turned really badly, really fast! During the first month they moved in, Dani had to use the bathroom at around 3:30 in the morning and headed to the bathroom.
Dani witnessed the sink turning on by itself and was in a stall nowhere near the sink. She began hearing noises and the faucet turned on again. She knew she was alone in the bathroom, but felt a strong presence. This is why people should do everything in groups! She finally had enough and burst out of the stall screaming “Who is it?” There was no one in the bathroom with her and no water in the sink. Dani decided to stay quiet about her nightmarish bathroom experience.
Sarah was unsure what was going on with Dani. One late night she also got up to use the restroom. Again folks, go in groups; take a flashlight! It helps! Sarah heard footsteps other than her own right behind her. Of course, she kept walking! In the hallway window, she saw her reflection and the reflection of a young girl standing right next to her.
If Sarah would have not been alone, or if she would have told someone, maybe they could have stopped this sooner. Her look of terror as she tells the story over again says it all. She saw the reflection of a young girl in a white nightgown and realized there was someone or something standing next to her and freaked out. She turned and ran back to her room as if she were running a track meet.
Sarah finally fessed up and told Dani what she was experiencing. Dani became very serious and worried. Sarah did not believe in the paranormal. Dani thought about what happened to her in the bathroom. She felt a certain amount of comfort knowing that she was not alone.
Dani decided to show Sarah some photos. While they knew about some of the ghost stories on campus, they thought it was just a joke. Sarah stared at the photo for a minute and recognized the girl instantly. It was the ghost she saw in the window.
Sweet Briar College was founded by a successful plantation manager, Indiana Fletcher Williams. She had a child named Daisy. The girl was given an elite education. She had foreign language tutors, loved to draw and paint and play piano, and had a very luxurious childhood and a well-rounded education. She loved reading and was very well off compared to the students today at Sweet Briar.
Dani’s sister decided to come and visit her, and they decided to go visit one of Dani’s friends. They took the elevator, which was rather new for the building they were in. As the elevator headed to the third floor it began to pass the floor, as you need a skeleton key to go beyond the third floor.” The elevator door opened and there was a chair facing the elevator door. It looked to Dani as if someone was sitting in the chair on the fourth floor facing the elevator.
Okay so elevators and bathrooms are now on the list in which you should go in groups. Dani and her sister realized that whatever it was, it did not want them in the elevator. They panicked and tried to push buttons/ Dani decided she was going to face her fear and realizes it might be Daisy. She called her name a few times and the chair began moving frantically. Dani yelled “Daisy, stop” and the chair stopped.
Daisy had suffered from an inherited liver disease that was not treatable, and it caused her death on January 22, 1884, despite the money that Indiana was pouring into treatments. Indiana was devastated with grief and never recovered from Daisy’s death.
Cathy Gutierrez, a Professor at Sweet Briar, says that Indiana turned Daisy’s death into a promise to found a college and give money to young girls and young women. Daisy is buried on the land around the college which was the former plantation under a monument called Monument Hill. They have an annual tradition walking up to Monument Hill together and placing daisies on Daisy’s grave thanking her for everything.
The girls felt that Daisy was not there to threaten anyone or hurt anyone. Cathy said “the purpose of the school is to give every girl a chance to finish school and do what Daisy could not.” She was there to watch over the girls of Sweet Briar.
Chloe woke up the next morning and left her dorm at around 5:30 a.m. for morning swimming practice. She wanted to hurry and was walking behind the athletic center when she heard a whistle. She didn’t see anyone, but heard the whistle. She believed it was someone playing a joke, but there was no one around. Spotting a six foot tall dark black shadow figure, she turned to run, but then stopped because she just had to look again!
As Chloe was looking, her body froze and the figure appeared behind her. She was still standing there frozen when she should be running! Look behind you! She felt like she was going to pass out and could not move as the figure was behind her. He sang a tune that someone would sing to a little girl. Yeah the creepy guy in Poltergeist did that, and it didn’t turn out to well.
Chloe finally ran after about seven minutes and told Dani what she experienced. Dani said there was no way a male could have gotten onto the campus without checking in. Chloe believed that whatever she saw was coming to get her. She felt unsafe even in daylight. This was not a joke or a prank and was serious. Dani decided to do some research.
Dani discovered there was a man named Lucien who was Indiana’s brother and Daisy’s uncle. Indiana was one of four children, Sidney, Elizabeth, Lucien. While each child inherited a plantation, Lucien was left out! He was the bad seed apparently. Lucien was disinherited and apparently was making his anger known. Indiana had left $750,000 to found the college, and Lucien did not get a penny. He was furious. Now Dani understood why he would want to drive everyone away.
Sarah decided to have a friend stay over. There was a blow up matress in the middle of the room. Sarah was having a dream that she was being choked; she said it felt like a board or plywood being pressed against her throat.
Sarah instantly shot up in bed and was in pure panic mode. She noticed a figure and was terrified. She said it had looked as if someone was sitting at the end of the blow up mattress. She wanted to get away but did not want to move. She screamed for Dani to wake up and kept asking, “Do you see it?” Dani looked and saw the same dark black figure sitting on the mattress. They were petrified.
Okay now I take a moment to check in my closet and look under my bed and maybe grab some holy water, you know just precautions. Some families usually have the crazy, funny uncle, but this one had the psycho killer ghost uncle.
These girls had thought this was just a little girl, but now it was much worse. Neither one of the girls could move or turn on the lights. Every time they spoke, the figure’s head would turn in the direction they were talking. Chloe turned her back to the figure. and it suddenly started moving directly towards Dani. Their dorm neighbor came in and asked, “What is going on in here?”
The figure was gone, but the mattress was partially deflated where they had seen someone sitting. Dani had immediately thought of Lucien and his anger. Lucien was angry at his sister and was troubled and known for his outlaw behavior. He was accused of killing two different people on two different occasions.
Lucien was angry that Indiana had inherited money and he was disinherited. He was furious and full of wrath and had plans to take what was his. Lucien threatened to kill Indiana, and she was so scared she had bars put up to protect herself from him. When Lucien died, Indiana refused to allow him to be buried on her plantation.
Dani said it made sense to them why Lucien decided to show himself to the girls. He was angry that it became a women’s college. Everything was becoming more dangerous, and Dani and the girls could no longer protect themselves.
Dani decided that she and Sarah could no longer live together because so much would happen. They decided to separate and part ways but remain friends. Dani was now living with Laure, and they tried to start over.
Dani’s body had given out completely. She was dreaming about being shaken. Two hands were wrapped around her arms and someone was rapidly shaking her. Someone was screaming at her, and she could not look at his face. She felt a hand wake her up and noticed the curtain blowing. There was no fan on and the windows were shut.
Dani looked over at Laure and something was very wrong, Laure looked as if someone was choking the life out of her. Okay now it is time for the exorcist! Someone call a priest! It is amazing what people must go through before they really start to consider trying to understand what is going on and how to stop it.
Dani looked at Laure who was choking and in fear. She was dreaming when a man suddenly whispered, “Well hello Laure.” She couldn’t breathe. There was another presence in the room and Dani tried to figure out what to do. Nothing like getting up and turning the lights on and screaming for help!
Laure was gasping for her life and was trying to look around to figure out what was choking her. The figure looked at Dani and placed his fingers to her lips to gesture to Dani to be quiet. The figure looked up, and the little girl was standing above Laure’s head board. He finally backed off and Laure was able to take a few breaths.
Thank the Lord they finally got up! Dani arrived at the pool the next morning and took her jacket off and discovered a massive hand-shaped bruise wrapped around her arm. They had thought she had hit her arm or hurt herself swimming, but Dani said she woke up with the bruise that went around her entire bicep. They took a photo of Dani’s arm.
The scariest part of this for Dani was the knowledge that someone could do something to you and that you have no control. The girls believe Daisy sticks around to help keep Lucien at bay. She may do some things as a warning to help them. Dani feels she is in a place she should be, even if bad things happen. The girls remain at Sweet Briar, and the creepiness continues. We wish them all the best and safety. Remember buy flash lights folks, lots of flash lights!
Don’t miss next week’s all new episode of School Spirits on the Syfy channel at 10/9c and may your nightmares inspire you. Happy Hauntings!