New Jersey

NJ School Long Considered ‘Haunted' Set To Be Demolished

For many years, the 1930s-era landmark has had a reputation of being haunted

NBC Universal, Inc.

People for years have sworn a longtime Jersey Shore landmark is home to the paranormal. But now that the Ocean County school is about to be demolished, it will leave the question: Who — or what — might stick around?

It’s the final countdown before Barnegat Township’s old Elizabeth Edwards School comes down.

"It's tough to see it go," said Bill Cox, the school district’s now-retired head of security and a former NYPD detective. "The Edwards School has been a place that a lot of people feel very comfortable in."

That may perhaps include those who are no longer among the living. For many years, the 1930s-era landmark has had a reputation of being haunted.

And Cox is a believer.

"There's things inside the Edwards School, around the Edwards School, that just doesn't seem to make a lot of sense," he said.

Cox was there in 2013 when NBC New York first went inside the former school, soon after a team of paranormal researchers said they captured a couple of mysterious images. They also reported voices inside.

TV’s “Ghost Hunters” highlighted the place as well. It has been vacant for years, targeted by vandals, and fallen into disrepair.

"Structurally inside the building, it's just not safe at this point," said Dr. Brian Latwis, the Barnegat Township superintendent of schools.

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Heavy equipment is now poised to demolish the school, possibly starting the last week of August. Officials said fixing it up or building a replacement would be too expensive.

"We're looking at between $20-25 million, whether it's to renovate or new, and that is growing exponentially each day that goes by," said the school district's business administrator, Steve Brennan. "We felt it time to move on."

The school district is exploring the possibility of turning the site into park with an amphitheater. Of course, any lingering spirits, would still be welcome.

"I think we're hoping that that the ghost sticks around and maybe performs in the amphitheater that we have," Dr. Latwis said. "We are taking artifacts from the building."

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But believers like Cox said he doesn't think any spirits that may have been at the school all these years are malicious in nature, as there have been no incidents to think otherwise.

“I've never heard anybody say that they were scared, they were frightened, they were alarmed," Cox said.

The old place of learning soon to be erased from the landscape — leaving some wondering if any paranormal residents will maintain a presence.

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