Our Custudial Staff Shares Their AHS Ghostly Encounters

Nicole Naveja, Reporter

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Melissa Herrera
Rigo Perez, the head custodian at school, has been working here for about 17 years and is one of the workers who has experienced the most activity.

Since Anaheim High School first opened 120 years ago, it has been known for its significant amount of paranormal activity, especially in the main building. The custodians are the ones who have experienced some of the closest encounters, since they are usually the first and last workers on campus. Rigo Perez and Julio Reyes have the most stories to tell, and they shared with our team a few eerie stories about the main building.

Julio told Anaheim Exclusivo about one of the most recent experiences that he has had in the main building. He stated that the encounter happened in room 3 when he went to drop off some boxes: “This is like a year ago, I left the boxes, looked at Mrs. Zajec, glanced to my left and saw somebody sitting there, like an older man dressed in white. It [the man’s clothes] was from the old days, he had long white hair. I looked at her and she got scared. And I asked, “Did you see that guy next to me?” When we asked about how he felt about these situations, he stated that he would get spooked when he first started working here, but he is no longer afraid and he does not let it get in the way of doing his job.

Julio says that during his time working at the school, he usually sees activity at night.  But other custodians such as Zev have recalled that activity can even occur during the daytime. Zev says that when he cleans the restroom, they leave the seat up as a way of knowing that it has been cleaned. Occasionally, the toilet seats will all slam down at once.

Zev also mentioned: “Last year, some ladies in the main office said that they had the radio on the desk and the radio full on did a 360. In the middle of the day!”

Most of the custodians that were interviewed agreed that October is the month that they have the most activity. Rigo, the head custodian, agrees and says that activity usually occurs when the custodians bring up the topic. He remembered one instance when he and two other custodians were talking about dark entities in the custodial office when they suddenly saw a pencil fly from one end of the table to the carpet. Rigo’s time at the school in comparison to the rest of the custodial staff has led to a greater number of experiences.

A few years ago, Rigo led a group of Crown participants on a tour around the main building. They were in the auditorium when they heard “banging noises” and other sounds that seemed to come from underneath the stage. “Legend has it, the stage used to be able to rise… and I don’t know how true this story is, but I think a kid was trapped and killed. About a year later [after the experience with the Crown participants], some guys came to replace some paneling, called fascia, which were the boards underneath the stage. So when they went down there and started moving the boards, and they found scratches…human scratches…on the boards. And they showed them to me, I saw them. And there’s no way on earth that if you put a piece of plywood, that it could be scratched from the outside. So there’s activity, there’s activity inside the auditorium.”

On a separate occasion, Rigo mentioned that he was working with another custodian during the summer when suddenly they heard sounds that seemed to come from the library. As they got closer, they realized that the sounds were clapping and talking; he described it as sounding something similar to a scene in Titanic, where everyone is talking and the clanging of silverware can be heard. Rigo approached the door as silently as he could. He took out his keys and put the key into the keyhole. Slowly, he pulled down the door handle, and he took a chance in opening the door as quickly as he could. No one was there, and all of the sounds had stopped.

One of the most frightening stories Rigo recounted was when he heard Julio whistling in the hallway, and saw him turn the corner into the boys’ restroom. He called out to Julio, telling him to wait for him, but Julio did not turn back or reply. As Rigo approached the restroom, he thought he heard Julio unlock the door and go inside. When he went inside, the lights were off and no one was there. Confused, Rigo called Julio and realized that he was and had been in the quad the entire time.

Although Rigo has experienced these events and many more, he states that, like Julio, the encounters do not affect him. He says that he has “found peace” with the spirits, and does not see the paranormal activity as a reason to quit his job.

You can read about other spooky stories about the school and Anaheim as a whole in the book Anaheim’s Dead, which can be checked out at the school library.