Campfire 7: School Spirit
*SPOILER ALERT: The following blog contains spoilers for Campfire 7. Before reading, be sure to listen to School Spirit. Afterward, feel free to check out this "Behind-the-Campfire" blog for additional info and photos! And visit our Patreon page for more extras!
Metz Elementary is one of Austin ISD’s oldest schools, established in 1916 on Willow Street in East Austin. At that time, this area was considered to be on the outskirts of East Austin. The School Board that year decided that Spanish-speaking students in that area should attend a separate school where their needs could be better met. In an unprecedented move, many of the Mexican-American parents protested this decision and appealed to the school board to change their decision. The other school was several miles away making transportation extremely difficult and the parents felt that if segregated, their children would not have the same opportunities as the English-speaking students. The School Board quietly dropped the issue and Spanish- speaking students were allowed to attend Metz Elementary School.
Metz Elementary continued to serve students in the community for the next 7 and a half decades. Just imagine, this school was educating our youth during the First World War ( 1914 -1918 ), World War II (1941-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953), and the Vietnam War (1965-1975). This school was witness to 14 different Presidents during that span of time.
In 1989 the school was deemed to be too small and too dilapidated to fit he needs of the community. The old school was demolished in September 1990 and a new school was built in its place and opened in 1992.
Today, Metz is rumored to be the most haunted school in Austin. So much so that when you search Metz Elementary on the internet, some of the first things you’ll see pop up are the articles detailing it’s long-standing haunted history. Tonight we’ll hear from former teachers, students and even those who once stepped foot in the old building, and the countless unexplained experiences they had in this historic school.
Danny, former Metz Elementary student, shared this YouTube link with me. It has the segment from the "Haunted Lives" television episode detailing the events the demolition crew experienced during the attempted tear down of the original Metz building in 1990.
In the video, you'll see psychic Elaine Ireland called to the construction site to communicate with the spirits. Surprisingly, I was able to track Elaine down. She still resided in Austin as a working psychic and medium. She shared all her vivid accounts of her time visiting Metz and cleared up some aspects of the reenactments the tv show got wrong.
But nearly 30 years following this experience, Elaine would join me in walking the halls of Metz Elementary on August 6th, 2019. Below are photographs my wife Thao captured during our brief visited to the campus.
Elaine makes her way down the halls of the new Metz building, erected since 1992, for the first time. She visited this site, when the old building still stood, nearly 30 years ago. She came to attempt to help the demolition crew get answers as to why spirits of children on the grounds and in the old building were trying to thwart the crew's efforts to demolish the old building.