By: Kaenne | Location: Cedro woolley, Wa.
Back in 1998 I enrolled in the Cascade job corps program. Immediately upon arriving I felt uneasy, the atmosphere was wrong, somehow heavy. Although it was beautifully landscaped with huge remarkable halls, students all around laughing and happy, I was very anxious. I was only 16 and convinced myself it was only nerves.
My group was shown to our dorm to unpack and get familiar with the facility. First thing I noticed was inside the dorm seemed almost hospital like very long hallways with florescent lights lined with rooms with keypad locks, and a community bathroom. I walk into our decent size room where there are 3 bunk beds against the walls along with 3 tall dressers and a small lamp. It felt stuffy and smelled stale and damp. There was one window overlooking the courtyard with steel bars on it. I sigh reluctantly but unpack my belongings ready to make a go of the experience.
My first night - it's 2am, everyone is sleeping. I'm sitting awake in my bunk with my mind racing about the day when the lamp turns on over my head. I turn expecting to see a roommate up, but there is nothing, everyone still sleeping soundly. My heart dropped into my stomach, after a few mins. I get up to turn the lamp back off when something outside catches my attention. I look out the window and clear as day a young girl in a while night gown and a young boy in a while shirt and brown pants passing a red ball back and fourth in the courtyard.
I'm watching in disbelief my bunk mate started wrestling in her sleep. I looked over hoping to wake her to see what I was seeing but when I looked back they were gone. Scared to death I climbed back in bed I stayed up the rest of the night. That morning I kept the experience to myself and tried to put it in the back of my head.
The second night I was exhausted and fell asleep just after dinner. I woke up around 2 to use the bathroom I left my room the hallway was dark and in the bathroom the florescent lights flickered and it felt like someone was watching me, I got in and out as quickly as I could. I stopped in the hall at the drinking fountain and just as I began drinking someone walked up beside me, I was honestly thankful to not be alone. I motioned with my hand "just a minute" to let the person know I see them and was finishing up, however when I pick my head up a moment later I'm alone in the hall there was no one there.
I hurried back to my room. When I got in the lamp is on and my bunk mate is awake. She looked afraid I asked if she was ok she explained the lamp had turned it self on. At the point I shared all my experiences with her and she had some of her own. We agreed to a buddy system on that night and that day forward we never left the room at night alone. Our intake girl dorm hall monitor basically stayed in our room, at night she would often get out of bed and walk around the room talking and mumbling to herself all while sleeping sometimes standing over sleeping roomates for 5 to 10 min. At a time. The next morning she didn't remember a thing.
I became very ill while i was there which I attributed to lack of sleep until one day while walking to class I became so dizzy when I got to class I collapsed. I had inexplicably developed severe anemia. I was only there for a month and I knew I had to leave. I later found out that the building was an old sanitarium and that there were actually graves behind our building and the land and buildings had a gruesome past. I will never go back there.