The Ghosts of Poly’s Past


Alexandra Nava-Baltimore

Poly’s century-old campus appears to be haunted by a ghastly entity.

For decades, Poly has been plagued by numerous ghost stories. While many blame Poly’s mercurial temperature on ghosts, most are unaware of the full extent of the school’s haunting history. Neither of us has seen these ghosts before, but from the lower school’s bathrooms to the smell of the pool deck, we all have heard or felt the presence of something. Wanting more information, we set forth on a journey to uncover the hidden mysteries that might lie on this one-hundred-year-old campus.

Home to Poly’s elite swimmers during the day, the pool deck becomes home to mysterious activity at night. After speaking with members of the Poly staff, such as 5th-grade science teacher, Marie Corkhill, middle school history teacher Anne McCartney and Juan Carillo, the head of grounds crew, the existence of the enigma on the pool deck was clearly proven.

According to them, one day after the school was closed for the night, a security guard made his daily rounds. While crossing the pool deck, he heard a splash— but when he looked over the railing, nothing could be seen but the ripple of pool water. Shaken, he quickly made his way to the door until suddenly, a young boy ran through him. By the time the guard turned around, the boy had disappeared. While Corkhill, a longtime member of the Poly faculty, admitted that she never saw any strange activity herself, she has heard of a delivery man who was so spooked by something he had seen on campus that he immediately fled the scene.

Following our conversation with Corkhill, we spoke with Dean of Students Harold Bernieri, who has been on campus for nearly all of his life. He said that “every single place you might imagine there might be a ghost, I’ve been there, and I’ve never experienced anything.” Despite his response, we were not deterred by his evasiveness. We made our way downstairs to explore another ghostly legend.

In the math hallway on the ground floor, the walls are lined with team pictures from the years of the school’s opening to now. McCartney and several former faculty members are aware of a photo that features a strange blur, which many speculate is the image of an infamous Poly ghost. While no one was able to identify exactly which photo this was, there were certain photos where one person had two shadows.

As we continued our investigation, we were surprised by an interaction with a man on the security staff. After asking him if he had any information about ghosts, he briefly hesitated, then steadfastly declined. However, when we spoke with Francis Haden, the security guard stationed at the back parking lot, he pointed us in the direction of the same man who had just declined, saying that he knew a lot of information about the campus ghosts. As we approached him again, he murmured something to Haden, got in his car, and drove off. Although we were unable to attain any facts from the security staff member, it seems he knows something about Poly’s mysterious past and the ghosts which reside on campus with us every day.

Clearly, our school, Poly Prep, is a campus full of century-old of mysteries that are just waiting to be discovered and investigated.