Famous Haunted Places: Hibbing High School Auditorium
by Christine B.
Hibbing High School is located in the town of Hibbing in northern Minnesota and was built in 1920. The building is old, it looks like a castle fortress, and since it is a place where thousands of adolescents have lived through some of the most dramatic periods of their lives, it is little wonder that it’s haunted.
The center of its paranormal activity seems to be the school auditorium, specifically, seat J47. In 1996, while the school had been closed for repair work on the west wing of the building, construction workers working in the auditorium reported seeing someone sitting in seat J47. Upon investigation of the area, no one could be found. In November of that same year a woman who was visiting the auditorium and who was unaware of any paranormal activity that had been reported there, stopped at seat J 47 and said, “There’s a chill here—it could be a ghost.”
This photo was taken by the stage manager of the theater, Charles Perry. He used a Polaroid stage camera. The spirit is sitting in seat number J-47. The man has been recognized as being the school’s first stage manager, Bill Ratican. (In the 1930’s Mr. Ratican directed many forms of community entertainment at the theater. Why he chooses to sit in this particular seat is unknown. Perhaps he once had plans to meet someone there and she never showed up, so he is still waiting for her. Or maybe that just happens to be the best seat in the house and he wants to save it for himself.
Whatever his reasons he sure enjoys calling attention to that particular area of the theater. Many people have claimed to see the seat in the down position but no one is seen sitting there to cause the seat to stay down. Bill is believed to have died of a heart attack in the early 1940’s
There was a physically disabled student who also passed away at the theater, but his spirit doesn’t seem to haunt the premises. Another man who worked in the auditorium for years was Bob Kearney. Bob has been giving haunted ghost tours of the theater for years, along with Bob Dylan tours, due to the fact that Dylan gave his first professional performance at the theater. Some people believe that the photograph was faked (although it would be extremely difficult to fake a Polaroid photograph) and that Bob Kearney was the man sitting in seat J-47.
There are a few interesting videos posted on You Tube about this haunting, a couple made my Charles Perry. I am not permitted to post the links here, but if you type in "Hibbing High School Ghost" that should get you there.