Background: Students at Hibbing High School have all heard the tales of the famous "J47 ghost." It is said that a man haunts that very seat in the school's auditorium.
The high school itself is a beautiful structure set among pines and iron ore red mountains from the mining that was the very funding of the school. Elaborate woodwork and carvings show that this school was built with every luxury of the 1920s. The auditorium shows that no expense was spared because it is a rendition of the famous and beautiful "Capital Theater" in New York City complete with crystal chandeliers.
Some odd stories that float about the school's past include a young handicapped girl dying in the auditorium, a chandelier falling on a student, a person falling off the second floor balcony, and the first stage manager, Bill, passing away in the auditorium in the 1940s.
Chuck Perry, a stage manager at the school since 1979, has experienced and researched the history of the auditorium. He is reluctant to talk about his experiences but was fully aware of the tales before he started at the school.
Perry has tried to research the past stories and has only been able to verify that the young disabled girl did pass away in the auditorium and that Bill did pass away in the 1940s. The other stories may be products of current and former students' imaginations and exaggerations.
However, one odd piece of evidence comes from the auditorium which leads many to seek time in this "haunted auditorium." A photo taken by seat J47, a seat where some have experienced cold sensations and heard strange voices.
Chuck Perry's photograph of a man in seat J47 at the Hibbing High School Auditorium.
Could this be the ghost of the lost soul who haunts the Hibbing High School? Or is it a double exposure to further perpetulate the ghost stories of a place with many tales?
Chuck Perry recalls one experience with a psychic who visited the high school back in the early 1990s. Apparently, this psychic was a Bob Dylan fan and was in town for a summer festival.
"She walked around rows of seats, and she mentioned something about a chill. And I said, "Yeah, okay, sure." Pretty soon she starts talking about this seat j47 specifically. She says she can feel something there," said Perry.
He dismissed the experience with the young lady until he saw a special about ghost hunters on a local educational program. He then tried his hand at spirit photography. His test subject? Seat J47.
"I took an old Polaroid camera that I had backstage- basically it was a prop. I went and bought some film for it, and I set it up on a tripod right next to seat J47. I took some pictures, and basically nothing happened. I tried it a few more times and took about 50 pictures total. Six of them came out with something in them," said Perry.
The first stories swirling about the auditorium that Chuck heard about were about the backstage area. When he first started at the high school in the 1970s, Perry heard his first story.
"We have 10 dressing rooms, and one of them is really large. Supposedly this gal was back there getting her makeup on before the show. Somebody walked in the dressing room she assumed was in costume, she looked up, and they just kind of were gone. And that happen two or three times in that room."
There have also been tales of a spirit haunting the old pool area at the high school.
So is the Hibbing High School haunted? Everyone has heard the stories of the ghosts from this location due to the amazing photograph that was taken by Chuck Perry, launching it to the mecca for all investigators in the state of Minnesota.