The old high school in Portland, Ionia County, seemed to have some bizarre stuff goin’ on.

The original school opened in 1881.

The urban legend says a fourteen year old female student was crushed when the gym bleachers collapsed on her. The janitor was to blame, as he had been told to fix the faulty bleachers and failed to do so. Not long afterward, the janitor disappeared. It was believed that the girl’s father did away with him, then burned the body by setting the school on fire. It’s thought by some that this was the fire that burned the school down in 1918. It was re-built in 1919 and re-opened in 1920. Since then, the girl’s spirit supposedly roams the school hallways and the janitor seems to have lingered as well.

From 1992 - 2008, it was used as housing, called Old School Manor. Tenants reported various household items being stacked, refrigerator items taken out and neatly centered in other rooms, slamming doors, ethereal voices, scratching sounds, and more. Old school bells that weren’t hooked up would go off at random. The girl was seen by tenants, her footsteps were heard, and some say they have been slapped on the back by her ghost.

One female tenant claimed the janitor’s spirit was causing havoc in her apartment. He would put messages on her computer, telling her that her husband was fooling around with another female tenant. Another instance, according to an article on californiapsychics.com, “He started to terrorize my 2 year old granddaughter one day. When my daughter found her in a corner she asked her what was wrong, and why was she holding her hands over her face? She said ‘Henry wants us to move. He said this is his house.’ This was not the only communication that Henry (the janitor) had with this child. He would follow her everywhere in the apartment, and once she said to her Mother, ‘Wait! Wait! You just shut Henry in your room! Open the door! Quick, he gets mad!’”

After investigators checked the place out, the building’s maintenance was ignored, and was again closed down. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016 and re-opened as Portland School Apartments in 2018.

So far, all seems to be quiet.....paranormal-wise.

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