The Lore

In 1947, there was a young woman who taught English at the Crawford School named Miss McGill. Some people said she was plain and others said she was pretty, but either way, she did a good job and pretty much kept to herself. No one ever thought much of her dating or having a boyfriend, or falling in love and getting married. She was very quiet.

But that same year, a new teacher started working at the Crawford School. His name was Mr. Thompson. Mr. Thompson was from New York, and he was young, good looking and played a lot of sports in college. The female teachers really liked him and flirted with him...even the married ones.

There was this one little girl in the sixth grade named Margaret. Margaret had a huge crush on Mr. Thompson. She would offer to stay after school and clean the erasers and wash the chalkboard and organize the books on the bookshelves. She would do anything for Mr. Thompson.

However, Mr. Thompson was quite smitten with Miss McGill. No one knows why. Perhaps it was the way she read poetry to her classes. She had such a beautiful voice and Mr Thompson was often found staring at her as she read. He ended up sweeping her off her feet and the two young teachers spent a lot of time together. Little Margaret was crushed. Her heart was broken and Mr. Thompson had broken it. She wrote all about it in her diary and tried to get his attention, but he ignored her and treated her just like all the other sixth-graders.

Margaret knew that he liked Miss McGill’s poetry, so she wrote him a poem and left it on his desk. At the end of the day, when all the other kids had left, Margaret snuck past his room to see if it was still there and it was, but so were Mr. Thompson and Miss McGill. They were kissing, which made Margaret furious. Then Miss McGill found Margaret’s poem sitting on the desk and read it out loud to Mr. Thompson.

The poem began with the words – If you will be mine, then I will be yours. We’ll stay after school and lock all the doors.

Not only did the two teachers laugh at the poem, but they laughed about Margaret, saying that she was such a strange little child. Margaret ran home and wrote in her diary that one day she would get revenge.

A few days later, Margaret wrote a note with her left hand so that the handwriting was different, and it didn’t look like hers. She left it on Mr. Thompson's desk, knowing that Miss McGill would probably see it. She made it seem that it was from another female teacher and that this other woman and Mr. Thompson had been seeing each other. Mr. Thompson and Miss McGill met in his room that day after school. Margaret listened to them talk romantically for a while. Then, they started arguing so Margaret knew Miss McGill had found the note. Mr. Thompson said that he didn’t know who had sent him the note, but Miss McGill ran out of the room crying. Other teachers saw her leave the building, and since there were rumors by now about her and Mr. Thompson, they all wondered what he had said or done to upset her.

After that, Mr. Thompson and Miss McGill didn’t meet for a while so Margaret was satisfied. But then after a few weeks, they started seeing each other again in his room after school. Margaret heard him trying to convince Miss McGill that nothing had happened between him and the other teacher. Miss McGill believed him so Margaret decided that she had to do more.

The next day, Mr. Thompson was supposed to meet Miss McGill in his room after school, but she never showed up. He went looking for her, but he didn’t find her. When he went back to his room to wait, there was a note on his desk that read –

I loved you but you hurt me and I wish I was dead, but before I left school I cut off her head. And before I did that because you both sinned, I sang her a song as I peeled off her skin. And before I did that I broke both her knees, And told her you hate her and love only me. And after I did it, I hid her somewhere... A piece in the basement, a piece on the stair. And when I was finished with the sweet girl you knew, I hid a small note…and I blamed it on you.

Mr. Thompson was terrified because he knew that everyone had heard him and Miss McGill arguing. He knew that if anything happened to her he would be the prime suspect. Of course, he also thought that none of this could be true. Was the note from Margaret? She was just a little girl. How could a little girl do something like that?

He went to Miss McGill’s classroom, but she wasn’t there. He went to all the classrooms and the teachers' lounge and even checked the ladies room, but he couldn’t find her anywhere. He called her house but got no answer. He went to her house and banged on the door but nothing. Her car was still parked outside the school.

He decided to go to Margaret’s house. No one came to the door for a long time, but when someone finally did, it was her grandmother. She told Mr. Thompson that Margaret’s parents were dead. They had died the previous year in a mysterious fire at their house. She had been raising Margaret alone, but Margaret hadn’t come home that day.

Mr. Thompson went back to school and wandered all over the building looking for Miss McGill, calling her name, but he never found her. At the same time, Margaret disappeared. Everyone said that she ran away from home.

Mr. Thompson worked at the Crawford School for another two years. He went from being very popular to being shunned by everybody. He started to go a little crazy. He told people that he kept seeing “parts” of Miss McGill all over the school. He’d call for Margaret, screaming at her for killing Miss McGill. Finally, the school board asked him to leave, but he never left. They found him in his classroom, a rope around his neck, hanging from the ceiling. On his desk was a note. It said – I loved you but you hurt me and now you are dead. You’ll never be with her and sleep in her bed. Your ghost will still hang here when they cut you down And I will come to visit for I’m still around. I live in the school now, I live in the walls. You’ll see me at windows and out in the halls. I stay in the shadows away from the light. I shun all the days and come out in the night. And for all those who come here and learn about us ...