The Ghosts of Gunnery’s Past

4 mins read

by The Highlander Staff

Photo Credit: Ava Lee ’21

The Gunnery School has been in existence since 1850. In those years, people have had close calls with occurrences some may consider supernatural. The Highlander is examining The Gunnery’s haunted past by asking our community to share stories of ghostly encounters on campus. The following is a collection of supernatural experiences as told by those who have lived through them. Here are their stories: 

The Invisible Friend

as told to Savannah Popick ‘20

In one of The Gunnery’s oldest buildings, Bourne, the experiences that have occured to some have been more than just ordinary. Bourne was bought by Frederick Gunn in 1849. The building was sold a few times before it returned into the hands of the Gunnery in 1958, making Bourne 170 years old and a part of The Gunnery for 61 years. The amount of individuals, living and dead, who have crossed paths with Bourne cannot be counted. Since the building has been in this world for so long, there may be far more than just the living calling Bourne home.

Before Bourne Room 12, I did not believe in ghosts. But since my year in room 12, I know ghosts are real. Everyone always said Bourne is haunted, but I chose to ignore those rumors in order to ensure a good night’s sleep. I should have listened. 

My experience with Mindy, the Room 12 ghost, all began the week of the three fire alarms. October 1st – the fire alarm went off at 10:30, on October 2nd the alarm rang at 10:45, and on the third and final night, October 3rd, the alarm sounded at almost 11:00. It was on the third night when I had my first run in with Mindy. 

It was past midnight by the time I had finally fallen asleep, and, by my roommates’ accounts, I began to sleep-talk. Now, the talk was incoherent and pure gibberish, but this was the first night of many where I conversed with Mindy. Mindy, who communicated her name to me in one of our first exchanges, wanted to wreak greater havoc on my room but I kept her at bay by simply having conversations almost every night. Often, we would wake up and notice pencils and binders have moved on our desks or papers now strewn across the floor. Again, I allowed, through our gibberish conversations, Mindy to move items only slightly and helped her to resist her urges to do greater damage. 

Mindy and my relationship continued past the week of fire alarms and continued throughout the year. You can ask my roommates, sometimes our conversations would be so intriguing I would sit up in bed during my sleep to talk. Over the course of my year in Room 12, Mindy and I became close with each other. I would consider her one of my roommates too!” 

A Draft? A Mouse? A… Ghost?

as told to Harry Harwood ‘20

Like Gianna, Carmine Andranovich ‘21 has had eerie experiences in Bourne. Carmine considers Bourne dormitory a “hot spot” for paranormal activity. Carmine described in a Tuesday, October 15, 2019 interview three ghostly encounters he experienced roughly a year ago.

In Carmine’s first paranormal experience, he illustrates exactly what happened as he describes an uncanny incident involving his bedroom door opening and then closing around 2:00 in the morning:

“Last year I was in Bourne dorm, the room right next to the single bathroom. My roommate fell asleep and I was trying to fall asleep. All of a sudden my door opened, then shut. It was like 2:00am and the door opened and closed but didn’t slam. I was banking on that it wasn’t a person, it was literally 2:00am. There was something there.” 

He then proceeds to describe a similar experience later on in the year:                       

“Bourne is a hot spot. I was in the quad to the left of the stairs. Me and my friend were looking out towards his door because, once again, the door flew open, and this time me and my friend got up and went and looked up and down the hallway, no one was there, we were checking for open windows, maybe a draft… No draft.”

Carmine’s third creepy experience in Bourne was later in the Winter after he and his roommate came back from a hockey game. Carmine explains how he was sitting in his room talking with his friend and suddenly his shoe flipped upright from its side:

“People were trying to convince me this was a mouse. But me and my roommate came back from one of our games, and we were just sitting there during study hall around 8:00. Me and Mark were just having a normal conversation and his shoe was sitting there on its side, propped up against my dresser. It was sitting there for like 10 minutes. We both heard it fall. We looked at it and said, that must have been a ghost. We ripped our room apart after [looking for a mouse]… No mouse.”  

No matter if you believe in ghosts or not, it is undisputed that Bourne dormitory has been the source of many spine-chilling tales. When asked for a statement on the dorm’s abnormal incidents, former Bourne resident Aris Papathanasiou ‘20 stated, “That dorm is haunted; you feel things.”

Responses to the Gunnery Ghost Story Survey

reported by Juliette Gaggini ‘20

The Highlander Newspaper staff also sent out a survey to the whole school asking about their ghost encounters on campus. Out of the 27 responses to the survey, 13 people said that they have seen and/or felt the presence of a ghost on campus. Although some people said that they have never seen a ghost on campus, some of the spooky responses were as follows. 

“I’ve seen a ghost in the grotto in front of the dining hall, all the time. It moans and groans and cries out for beets and cauliflower. It seems dreadfully unhappy and has a wispy look about it, as if it is perpetually displeased.”

Another response had to do with one ghost in particular, the ghost of the late Frederick Gunn. 

Dead Fred is ubiquitous. He has his nose in everyone’s affairs. He’s crepuscular. The sun bothers his thin skin. Dead Fred seems disturbed by certain trends at his school: the breakfast cereal choices and a certain moral vacuousness. He’s said to haunt those who choose the wrong cereal or the wrong words.”

Finally, the survey revealed physical evidence of a ghost sighting on campus. One student reported that they had video evidence of a ghost in Bourne basement. Although we cannot confirm the veracity of the photo, we offer it here for your own judgement. The photographer requested  to remain anonymous.

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