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Lambertville High School
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7-18-2006

My life thus far has been a quest for something truly horrifying. Like many others, I have always enjoyed the thrill of terror (in a controlled atmosphere, of course). I love the smell of a campfire and the sound of a friend confiding in me tales and legends of true horror. Some of my most favorite memories are the ones of Scout campfires. On the last night of camp, we would trade ghost stories and explore local legend. This would either be followed by an evening of serious pranking (rowboats in the pool or a jolly roger on the flag pole, in true Troop 187 fashion) or an evening of ghost watching, during which our imaginations would produce figures in the woods and strange apparitions.

However, I have not yet found that one piece of literature, that one film, that one story, that one place that created a feeling of real fear. Or, at least, I had not until last Saturday.

Laura and I found and visited the Lambertville High School. For those of you not in the know, the Lambertville High School is a huge abandoned building just across the river from New Hope. The school was built in 1854 and was remodeled in 1926 following a disastrous fire. From what I understand, it burned again shortly thereafter and has been abandoned ever since. It's a hulking three-story building (though the entire third floor has caved in) that is reputedly haunted and assuredly creepy. About two weeks ago, the two of us, bored and unable to think of a way to occupy ourselves, went for a drive. We scoured the town of Lambertville and the surrounding roads until, after almost giving up, we found it. We were driving down a narrow road when we spotted an old and overgrown concrete walkway. A rusted railing laid in disuse beside the walkway, which in its day, guided many adolescents to their daily lessons. We stopped in front of a huge set of concrete steps overgrown with bushes and beginning to lean with age. It was dark, so the building was invisible from the street, but we knew that we had found it. We stopped for only a few seconds before turning the car around and heading home.
 

Three nights ago, we went back. It was unbelievable and every bit as scary as I had hoped.
 

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It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.
- Edgar Allan Poe

All photos (c) 2006 Laura Herrmann
All other content (c) 2006 Drew Cornwall