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"Contemplation: existentialism" by Kelly Richnavsky, 2009. A supposed representation of the internal struggle of a child to grow up.

When it comes to paranormal activity, people say that children can detect the activity better than adults can.  But how can a child differentiate between paranormal activity, inner self-consciousness, imagination, and loss of sanity?  How can the adult do it for them?

When I was Young

When I was young I believed in ghosts, spirits, and the unexplained.  Sometimes I would even visit haunted sited in northwestern Connecticut and western Massachusetts and try to see if I could detect any kind of paranormal activity.  But what it always came down to was this: I was always too afraid to believe what I was feeling.  Sure, with friends and family in broad daylight it's easy for a child to say 'I saw a woman in the window!' about an abandoned building.  The adults who don't believe you will assure you that it's just your imagination, while your friends and peers who might believe you would think that you were cool, like you had some sort of super power.  But to feel something is there at night, following you home from a different place and staying with you while you're all alone - this might be the reason why children are always afraid of the dark.

The town that I lived in was small, or at least the section that I lived in was; the town has grown considerably since then.  Our elementary school was little, and had been around since the early 1900s.  Back then, there were no additional buildings to the school until 2001, the year that I 'graduated' from fifth grade and moved on to middle school.  The renovation took a few years to complete, so from grade three to grade five certain classes would be housed by other schools in the area because the tiny building was unsafe for any classroom activity.  Upon a brief search of the original building's history I was not able to find anything significant.  But certain years, especially the years where the building was under construction, I had certain recurring dreams about it that were, for the most part, disturbing.

Recurring dreams of the Elementary School

General Dreams: Teachers and Clothing

I remember at least two dreams where I would meet and talk to teachers about random things only to discover the very next day that their attire completely matched what they were wearing in my dream.  I'm not sure how this is significant other than the fact that this occurred at the school.  Perhaps the outfit was worn before and my subconscious brain retained the information, and the links were purely coincidental.  Perhaps I only remember that part of my dream, and there was something else that was important that I had forgotten.  But I do know that this has happened more than once when I was attending the school.

Dream One:  Carnival Day

Every year at the end of school we would have a 'Carnival Day' on the blacktop where we would usually spend our recess.  The school would rent out cotton candy and popcorn machines, and have games like ring toss and bean bag throwing.  There would be balloons and a clown and the school mascot: Moe the Dragon.

This dream I would come to have at least once a year, if not twice:

Instead of the blacktop, we would be in the basement of one of the local churches.  I am walking down the pathway the booths have made towards a white door.  The place looks very white and sterile, save for the few streamers hastily thrown at the ceiling.  For some reason, to the left of me there's a kitty pool filled with ball pit balls.  To the right stands Moe the Dragon, but his green hide looks much darker than I remember, and the yellow of his spikes faded somehow under the cheap fluorescent lighting.  I am unsure of what or why, but I am aware of looking for or chasing someone who was eluding me, someone important or, at least, it was important for me to catch up with them.  I reach the white door and my heart is pounding as I turn the knob and open the door.  Behind the door is a huge room, but I cannot see how large it is because in this room is a mirror maze.  I take a step forward but something is preventing me from going inside this room.  I try and I try, but there's an invisible force preventing me from doing so.  Suddenly, the room changes as I start falling, through the floor of the basement and into something much worse than I can imagine.  I know this is bad, that this is the end for me.  But, I wake up, never knowing how I fell, never knowing what I would reach when I hit, never knowing what was on the other side of the mirror maze or why it was so important to go through.

Dream Two:  The Mural

My class was the same every year due to the fact that our elementary school was so small.  We would have the same peers, and even though our teachers would change every year, the atmosphere was the same energetic atmosphere typical of any other elementary school.  We did not, however, ever get a chance to paint a mural.

This dream occurred exactly once a year, usually at the end of the school year before summer.  The teacher involved was always the teacher that we had that same year I would be having the dream in:

My class and I would be told by our teacher to paint a mural on the outside brick wall of the school on the blacktop.  She warned us that it was of great importance that we finish the mural by the time she got back.  Never knowing why she was leaving in the first place and when exactly she was getting back, for some reason I had a feeling in my gut that if she came back and the mural wasn't finished, she, along with the rest of the class, would literally die.  But every time that I've had the dream, we never got to finish, and before I find out what happens next, I always wake up.

Here's where it gets weird: not only did the 'starring' teacher change to the teacher we had that year, but the mural we were painting seemed to have gained progress for each year we finished.  For third grade we only got, for example, forty percent done.  The next year, sixty percent done.  the next, fifth grade, the wall became about eighty to ninety percent completed.  But I never found out what happened to our teacher, or what happened to all of us.

I rarely ever talk about these dreams of the elementary school to anyone.  When I was having them, I don't even think I've ever told an adult.  It could be possible that I was having some sort of deep psychological issue or another linked to the school which caused the dreams.  Perhaps I was crazy for dreaming them in the first place.  Was the renovation of the school having an impact on me directly, or was it something else about the school?  Either way, it almost made me feel the way I felt about haunted houses when I went to sleep at night.  I would wake up in a cold sweat, not being able to fall back asleep until the wee hours of the morning.  Imagine as a kid how terrifying it might have been.

I rarely dream anymore.  I never remember.

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