Uh-huh, I said...
They stared at me in awed silence.
"So," I said to them I said, "are you going to tell me what those stories are?"
"Eigo zen-sen wakaranai" (I don't understand any English).
Really, I think to myself... what the hell was I just listening to when they said that there were seven mysteries at this school? Was that one of the mysteries? That would be pretty lame.
"Ahhh, Shibata-sensei! Chotto matte! (Shibata teacher - just a moment!)"
Oh yeah... my buddy the Japanese teacher of English had disappeared for a few minutes. Spooky or just a washroom break? You decide.
Anyhow... enough BS... here's the seven mysterious stories of Dai-Chu. I will apologize... they are not as fleshed out as the chief ghost story, but this is what it is. I wrote out their tales - spoken to me Japanese and translated to English, or simply told in broken English by various teachers.
1) Mother & Daughter killed at Dai Chu when it was a munitions factory during WWII and bombed by the Allies - HERE;
2) In the slightly newer second building that houses classes, there is a single set of stairs up from the main floor to the third floor, which includes a landing in the middle. Example... it goes up 8 feet to the north... there's a landing , and then the steps go up another 8 feet to the south - leading to the second floor... then turning north again, the steps go up another 8 feet to a landing and then reverse to the south going up another 8 feet to the third and final floor.
Anyhow... if you were to count the steps going up, the number of steps will be different going down. Sometimes. But when it does work, there always appears to be one less step going down!
I'll be honest... I tried this one the next day, and it was different! Perhaps it proved that my math skills are as equal to the Japanese. Sometimes. My math sucked in high school, by the way.
3) In the music room up on the third floor of the newer building with the missing downward step - the piano would suddenly start playing by itself. This has been observed on at least two occassions by the current music teacher who struck me as quite a sensible person. Other current students swear they have walked by the open room and heard it suddenly start playing. Smart kids that they are, they ran away rather than go and inspect it. I never entered that room by myself, but then again, I never heard it play by itself. The activity could occur during the day or after it got dark.
4) Now... you have to realize that this is well before the emergence of Harry Potter and Moaning Myrtle... as these tales were told to me in 1990. It was also well after the death of Richie Rich who became the ghost known as Casper.
Anyhow... a ghostly form would sometimes erupt from out of one of the two girl's toilets on the third floor of the main building. It would just rush out - not wet or dripping the water - fly around very fast and then dive back into the toilet. There was no splash. It would moan loudly, however, as it entered the toilet. This ghost would NOT appear if someone was in the stall. No one could say if the ghost actually looked like a man or a women. just something translucent, with bits of white-grey... no temperature change was noted.
I was never allowed to physically examine the junior high school girl's washroom at this or any other school.
5) In the science room in the first floor of the older main building, sometimes the eye sockets of the human skull on the demonstration skeleton there would glow an electric blue. No one admitted seeing this phenomenon, as it sounds weak to me. Why? It's not a real skeleton! Plastic! But... plastic is derived from oil. Oil comes from the remains of dinosaurs... perhaps the ghost of a T-Rex inhabits the science lab skull.
6) In the third-floor learning laboratory in the newer building, the current computer teacher - I think it's Mr. Shinsato (can't read my own freaking handwriting!) entered the room one late night and turned on the power to the computers via a main switch under his teacher's desk. All the monitors turned on and powered up. He sat down and did some work at his computer on the teacher's desk... heard a click or two from one of the student computers... got up and noticed that all of the student monitors were on. No big deal... that was supposed to happen when the main power switch was turned on.... but then he noticed on one of the monitors - and one only - that it appeared to have been signed in... but that's impossible... he was the only one in the room. Or was he? This one creeps me out a bit as I sit in front of my computer after everyone has gone to bed... pitch black outside the window, but I can hear animal noises rustling in some of the nearby bushes. Brrrr.
7) This last tale was told to me by the Kocho sensei Mori (Principal Mori) himself. He said it really creeps him out. Apparently a few years ago, a principal died in this school. Apparently this was the father of Hanazaki-san, one of my two bosses with the Ohtawara Board of Education (OBOE) office. I'm already freaked out, because the connection is fricking close! He apparently died in the third building on the property- no, I should point out that Kocho sensei Mori said he was killed, but this may have been a poor choice of English word... and I sure as hell wasn't going to ask MY boss! As well... while I know there is a third building to house more classrooms, in three years... I never had a class there. I'm unsure why, but I'm beginning to let my overactive imagination figure that out for me. But here's the mysterious part... here in the teacher's lounge where I was told these mysterious tales, up by the front of the room are two doors on each side... one for the vice-principal's office, and one for the principal. Principal Mori says that sometime when he sits behind his desk... the so-called 'guest chair' in front of the desk moves by itself. Just a little... as though someone is sitting in it. A little shimmy to the side... a little shimmy to the front and back... For no other reason than a principal died on the grounds, Principal Mori believes his ghost haunts his old principal's office.
By Andrew Joseph