Jerry got a confused look on his face.
“I did some hiking out by Elsewhere this morning,” I added.
Jerry’s face went pale. “Bullshit.”
I showed him a couple of the pictures on my phone.
“See that building right there…” he said pointing at my phone, “Don’t go in that building, ever.”
“I take it that’s the schoolhouse,” I said.
“What’s the big deal about that place? Earl up at the Senior Center said he didn’t know what happened. I found an old newspaper article from about 20 years before Earl was there, but it didn’t explain the scream he heard coming from it in the 50s,” I said.
Jerry shook his head. “’Round here we don’t talk about Elsewhere in polite conversation. It ain’t one of those things that needs discussing. But I can tell you’re all curious so I’ll tell ya, and then leave it be.”
“I was born in ’59, about six years after they abandoned the town. It was the 70s by the time I was a dumb teenager lookin’ for a thrill. My buddy Tom Blankenship found pictures of Elsewhere in a book up at the library saying the town was abandoned in a hurry. We drove his truck out there and found everything boarded up, save for the schoolhouse. Tom went inside the schoolhouse and I stood by the truck. You could still get to Elsewhere road if you didn’t mind driving over some saplings at that point.”
Jerry lit a cigarette and took a drag. “Tom let out this wail like he’d been bit by a snake and I rushed up to the schoolhouse expecting to see god knows what. The single room schoolhouse was empty. I looked all over for Tom, but I couldn’t find him. I ended up going to the cops and that was when they told me about the ghost.”
Jerry took a long drag and stood up from his chair and moved across from me. There was this somber look in his eye that told me everything I needed to know about Tom’s fate.