Healing through story

shortfiction24 – a teacher’s ghost on campus

Three teens making a scary film on their high school campus come face to face with the ghost of a deceased teacher.

Enjoy the story.

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A Teacher’s Ghost on Campus

Bob Gillen

Lyndie waved to the security guard at the entrance to her high school campus and drove her Toyota sedan up the driveway to the parking lot. Even with the low beams on, she could barely see through the swirling pre-dawn fog. Tessa sat next to her, Eric in the back seat.

Eric said, “I can’t believe the principal gave us permission to be on campus this early.”

Tessa said, “I convinced her our film could represent the school in a film festival.”

She peered out the window. “I don’t see any other cars. Good. We’ve got time.”

The weather had cooperated as forecasted. A cold, clammy, thick fog. 

“This is perfect for our scary movie. We need to hustle before anyone else gets here.”

Eric said, “No one here at this hour except Mrs. Raines’ ghost.”

“Don’t say that,” Lyndie said. “I’ve got goose bumps already.”

“Let’s get the first shot done,” Tessa said. “Park somewhere where we can see only fog from the back of the car.”

Lyndie parked. Eric pulled down the back of the rear seat before getting out. 

“Okay, Tessa. Set yourself facing the trunk lid.”

Tessa crawled into the back seat, aimed her video camera at the closed trunk. She hit Record, waited a few seconds, and called “Action” to the others.

Eric opened the trunk from the outside, the camera picking up the sudden light, the fog swirling behind him. He and Lyndie pulled their backpacks out of the trunk and closed the lid.

“Got the shot,” Tessa said. “Now for the campus.”

They put their backpacks back in the trunk and walked onto campus through the fog. Dead silence. They could not see more than a few yards ahead. All three shivered in the damp fog.

Tessa stopped to capture a wide shot of the fog-bound campus. Lyndie peered into the fog. She heard a low moan.

“What was that?”

Eric said, “Probably wind in the trees.”

“There’s no wind,” Lyndie said.

She spun around, searching for the source of the moan.

Ahead, near the English classrooms, something moved. A flash of white. Almost imperceptible in the fog. Something ragged, frilly. 


Eric looked. “What the hell is that?”

Tessa looked up from her camera. “What are you two talking about?”

“Aim the camera up there,” Eric said. “Near Room 15.”

Tessa looked. “What am I supposed to see?”

Lyndie said, “It’s gone.”

“What’s gone?”

“A ghost.”

“Oh, Mrs. Raines, huh?” Tessa waved. “Hi Mrs. Raines. Good to see you this morning.”

“Stop!” Lyndie shuddered. “I want to wait in the car.”

Tessa said, “Come on. Let’s stick together. We have more shots to get before school starts.”

Lyndie followed Tessa, spinning constantly to spot any ghost.


The three spun in unison to see a trash can overturned, trash spilled out onto the sidewalk.

“Just a tipped trash can,” Tessa said.

“Tipped by who?” Lyndie said, wrapping her arms around herself.

Eric walked over to the can. There was no wind. The can looked sturdy enough. “I don’t think this tipped by itself.”

“Enough,” Tessa said. “Let’s get the shots while we have fog.”

They edged up nearer to the photography classroom.

“Isn’t this where Mrs. Raines died?”

“That’s the story. Four years ago. They say she came in early to make copies of her exams. The revolving door to the darkroom stuck after she went in, looking for her files.”

“Yeah,” Eric said, “They said she panicked and had a heart attack. They didn’t find her till it was too late.”

Eric yanked on the classroom door. Locked.

Tessa said, “Let’s get shots of you two walking out of the fog towards me. Walk slowly. Remember, you’re scared.”

“Like now!” Lyndie said.

The two walked about fifty feet away from Tessa, far enough that she could not see them.

“When I call, start walking.” 

Tessa set the camera. “Now.”



Swirling fog. Nothing else.

“Come on, guys. We need to get this done.”


A low moaning.

Tessa looked into the fog. She could just barely make out a figure. White. Swirling, like the fog. Moving as though part of it. But not.

Tessa turned all around. Looked again. Nothing.

The door to the photography classroom swung open.

She jumped.

“Hey.” Eric and Lyndie stepped out.

Tessa yelled. “You scared me. How did you get in there?”

“The hall door was unlocked. We walked through.”

“Were you…?” She started to point to the fog, hesitated. “Never mind.”

Lyndie said, “How about a shot of us stepping out from the room into the fog?”

“Okay,” Tessa said. “I’ll wait here.”

She checked the camera settings again, and called out. “Ready.”

Eric and Lyndie edged out of the room, peering around at the fog, looking behind themselves.

They slipped off into the fog.

Tessa followed them with the camera.

Another moan. Louder this time. It came from the classroom.

Tessa jumped. The other two spun around.


“It came from the room.” Eric edged closer to the door. Tessa filmed him as he did.

Eric peeked into the classroom. Nothing. 

Then – he spied the darkroom revolving door… spinning! 

He flew out the door.



“The door is turning!”

Another moan. This time to their right.

They turned to see a figure in white. Closer, this time. White veil covering the head and face. Gauzy strips, torn and fluttering as the figure moved.

The three teens froze.

Tessa whipped up the camera and aimed at the figure.

It withdrew back into the fog. Disappeared.

“Oh God!”

“The ghost is real. It must be Mrs. Raines.”

“I want to see inside the darkroom,” Tessa said.

The three crept in, Lyndie with her hands over her eyes.

They moved to the revolving door. It was still.

Tessa said, “I’m going in.”


“We just saw the ghost outside. The room should be empty.”

Tessa pushed the revolving door. She aimed the camera, pushed further in. She stepped into total darkness.

She fumbled for the light switch on the wall. Turned it on. A red glow filled the room.

Tessa screamed. 

She was face-to-face with a bone-white skeleton.

Tessa fell back into a file cabinet, knocking it askew. She slipped to the floor.

Eric pushed his way in. “You okay?”

“How did this skeleton get here?” Tessa asked. “This is weird.”

Lyndie came in. “It’s part of the art class.”

Eric said, “Look!”

He pointed to the file cabinet. There was an envelope stuck between the cabinet back and the wall.

He dragged the cabinet further, reached in. Grabbed the envelope.

“Take it outside,” Tessa said. “Too dark in here.”

They backed out of the darkroom and moved outside.

Tessa said, “We should drag the skeleton outside and shoot it in the fog.”

Eric held up the envelope. The outside bore the name Mark in a neat handwriting. “Didn’t someone say Mark was her son? I remember them talking about how her son did not attend her funeral. They said the two were estranged.”

Lyndie shrugged.

“Should I open the envelope?”

“Yes,” Tessa said. “Let me get a shot of it.”

Eric pulled a note out of the unsealed envelope. He scanned the contents.

“What does it say?”

“It’s an apology. Signed by Mrs. Raines. Not clear what she’s apologizing for.”

“We need to get this to her son.”

Another moan, almost a howl, pierced the swirling fog. Tessa raised the camera, looking for the source of the sound.

“There!” Lyndie cried. Tessa whirled around to capture the shot. The white figure swirled out of the fog. The shape lingered as Tessa got the shot.

Eric held up the envelope. “We found your note, Mrs. Raines. We’ll be sure it gets to your son.”

The figure remained in view. Another moan. 

Tessa held the camera on the figure. 

More moans, the sounds decaying into silence. The figure began blending into the fog. In a moment it was gone.

Eric said, “Mrs. Raines was stuck here till someone found the note. Now she’s free to move on.”

A breeze rippled through the campus, breaking off scraps of fog.

“We’re going to lose the fog,” Tessa said. “Can we get a few more shots?”

“We’ve got some good stuff,” Eric said. “Mrs. Raines made herself visible for us. Maybe we should get a shot of the darkroom and the file cabinet.”

“Yeah,” Tessa said. “Put the note back in its place for a minute so I can get a shot of where we found it.”

“She led us to the note, didn’t she?” Eric said. 

Lyndie shivered. “This is all creepy.”

“It’ll make for a good film,” Tessa said. 

“Thanks, Mrs. Raines,” Eric said. 

A low moan drifted out of the fog.



  1. Sonia Barreau

    Great story, Bob. You had me on the edge of my seat.

    • Bob Gillen

      Thanks Sonia!

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