Is Mayfield Haunted?


Bella Tiner, Art Editor, News and Features Co-Editor-In-Chief

When Mayfield Senior students think of their beloved school, an image of a bustling mansion filled with students talking loudly in the hallways and running to classes springs to mind. However, when the sun goes down and the desolate heat of California is replaced with cold bone-chilling wind, Mayfield’s innocent façade fades away. With the celebration of Strub’s one-hundredth anniversary, there’s little doubt among staff and students that they might not be the only ones in the school. Many of us have had paranormal experiences right here at Mayfield, even those who are doubtful of the school’s haunted history. 

Mayfield has existed for quite some time and has had a number of residents or other occupants,” said teacher, Phil Velasco. “I believe that for most, Mayfield would have been a place of happiness or joy where a spirit might want to return,” Velasco added.

The rooms outside Cornelia’s Courtyard and the library were previously a convent for nuns. Ann Pibel, the school’s librarian, said she has witnessed paranormal events in the area. 

“When I was down here by myself, and I had unfortunately forgotten to go to liturgy, there was a display in the Sussex room on the shelves against the wall,” Pibel remembered.

“There were yearbooks on the shelves… I heard a loud noise and one of the yearbooks had fallen down two feet away from the shelves.” Pibel said she wondered whether one of the previous nuns had been angry with her for missing mass. 

Several members of the Mayfield faculty claim to have seen spirits, especially late at night. Facilities staff have seen a strange ghostly figure who they believe is  Strub’s first occupant EJ Marshall, the Texas Oil tycoon for whom the mansion was built, seen smoking a cigar on campus. 

Raffi, Ernie, and Jose ́ all claim to have seen ghosts on campus. Jose and Raffi believe that they have seen Mr. Marshall walking the grounds, and Ernie used to wave to the little girl in the window above the music room,” affirms Velasco, who said he has at times smelled the cigar smoke. 

On late nights on campus, Velasco said he has also seen things moving in the shadows in Pike or around the grounds and has heard his name being called in Strub Hall when no one was present to call him. Another staff member once heard Mr. Velasco’s name being called, corroborating his claims, but they subsequently found nobody else in the building. This incident has occurred to the facilities staff at various times.

Students have also witnessed strange events around the school, but no event so terrifying as those taking place in the infamous pink bathroom on the second floor of the Hayden building. The bathroom has been one of the most feared areas of the campus for years. With its startlingly harsh color, weathered walls, and dark looming presence, it’s no doubt why people are apprehensive. But the fear goes far beyond its appearance. Many students have told stories of doors swinging open, stalls shaking, along with hearing strange noises. 

Isabella Bajaire ‘21 recalls, “I needed to go to the bathroom so I just went to the closest one which was the pink room. Everything was normal until I started washing my hands and the door to the handicapped stall violently swung open. I sprinted out of there.” 

Voices of children, lights flickering, and doors slamming, are just some of the evidence that perpetuates the belief among Mayfield students that the school isn’t only inhabited by the living. As of now, however, these spirits seem to be mostly harmless and benevolent, simply lost souls wandering their former home or school. For the most part, Mayfield has remained a peaceful place, and these strange anomalies are merely reminders of the long and curious history of Mayfield.