Springfield, Illinois, High School Was Built on Cemetery and Haunted by the Ghost of ‘Rachel’
Springfield, Illinois is known as the home of Abraham Lincoln and his final resting place. But there's a ghost of a little girl who is most on the mind of those who grew up in the capital city of Illinois. The city's high school was built on a cemetery, and students over the years say the school is haunted by the ghost of "Rachel."
Hutchinson Cemetery was decommissioned after an 1856 ordinance outlawed burials within city limits. Bodies were moved to nearby Oak Ridge cemetery while the land was used for the city's high school.
Even though the cemetery was removed, there's still a gravestone in the school's boiler room. Yes - they built the school around an intact tombstone. The stone was discovered in 1983 when construction was being done to add an elevator. As crews were digging the shaft, they struck stone only to discover it was a grave marker.
The stone does not bear a name, just "Our Daughter" and an inscription, "cut down but not destroyed."
After the discovery, the stone found a resting place in the boiler room.
Would it surprise you that stories of the paranormal only began in the mid-80s after the stone was discovered and moved?
A student film explores the ghost of Rachel with interviews from students and staff at Springfield High School as well as historians and ghost hunters.
The link to the film was shared on the Haunted Illinois Facebook group, and it generated comments from those who experienced "Rachel":
I was in scholastic bowl in high school and we had a tournament and several matches here every year. I always got really weird vibes at the school. Never went to the bathroom alone there.
I attended Springfield High in the '70s, there were stories even back then before the so-called "elevator pit" was dug. Creepy hallways, even during school time in the daylight, even creepier at night. The library, book room, music rooms, and art rooms seemed to be hot spots. There's more than just a little girl there, that I am pretty sure of.
I have read that they believe that about 150 bodies were left behind from the cemetery because they were too decayed to move or the families didn’t have enough money to reinter their loved ones or couldn’t be located.
And, for what it's worth, this is a quality 30-minute documentary. I challenge you to find a more professional-looking film from high school students.