Saturday, August 27, 2011


AUSTIN, TEXAS - The corridors, once filled with bustling activity, now were quiet and dark. School posters and lunch menus had been replaced by graffiti, and the men who walked the hallways were not teachers, but contractors sent to demolish the school. They would have problems; the dilapidated old building was not as empty as it looked.
Old Metz Elementary (Pictured here just before the demolitions began.)
Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Austin, Texas
 Metz Elementary opened in 1916. That same year, the school board decided that Spanish-speaking children should attend a separate school. The board felt that the children would learn better if they had lessons in Spanish as well as English. Up until that time, the Mexican-American community in Austin had not formally protested any action taken by the school board, but many people from the neighborhood most affected appeared before the board to disagree with the decision. The proposed school would be several miles away, making transportation difficult for the children and their parents; there was also a concern that if the Spanish-speaking students were segregated, they would not have the same opportunities as the those who spoke English. While the board never formally backed down from its position, Spanish-speaking students who attended the nearby school, Metz Elementary, were never asked to leave or to attend the other school, and after a period of time, the matter was quietly dropped. 

Metz Elementary served the community through the better part of eight decades, but by 1989 the school was considered too small to meet the growing needs of the surrounding neighborhood. The decision was reached to tear down the structure and build a new and bigger school in its place. The crew who arrived to do the work did not anticipate any problems; there appeared to be nothing difficult about demolishing the crumbling structure.

However, they realized from the first day that someone or something wanted to make the job almost impossible. The first strange thing was hearing the sound of children's laughter when they had assured themselves that the condemned building was empty. Then they saw writing on the blackboards when no one had been nearby. Equipment that had been running perfectly before reaching the site broke down. Bulldozers and trucks stalled out for no discernible reason, and even workman's watches would suddenly stop running while they attempted to pull down the school's walls. Understandably, men begin to quit or just not show up for work, but the construction company refused to give in to supernatural pressure. They continued trying to work even as strange accidents plagued them. Finally, after a workman was fatally injured in a wall collapse, a clergyman was brought in to bless the building and the area was leveled. The odd occurrences made national news, and the Metz School Mystery has been puzzled over by curious people nationwide.

A new school stands almost in the same spot as the old Metz Elementary and now fulfills the same role in the community that the first smaller school did for so long. Perhaps the ties to the neighborhood and the school are so strong that some students never really leave.

Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories featured the Metz School story (originally broadcasted on Wednesday, May 15, 1991 on CBS Television).  The show was directed by Tobe Hooper, known for Poltergeist and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: and edited by Jonathan Moser who also created the special effects in the show.  Show Stars: Leonard Nimoy (Narrator), Guest Stars: Kent Burden (Joe Torres), Sarah Carson (Kate Morgan aka Lottie Bernard), Hector Elias (Morris Torres), John Hammil (Yonny Yonson (ghost)), Shawn Kristy (Elizabeth Murphy), Eileen Jo Bowman (Store Clerk), Eli Guralnick (Store Manager), Juan Garcia (Otto), Del Zamora (Gabe Torres), Robert Jacobs (Tom Morgan), Van Williams (Mr. Fitzgerald), Alvin Silver (Alan May)



  1. is this really true because im here at metz right now and there hasnt been any paranormal activity here #

    1. Very true. I'm an Austinite and know the son of the man who was killed during construction.

  2. This is real it’s in a book I read ...

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  4. I went to Metz long time ago.. I remember one time I asked my teacher to use the bath room during class. So as I made my way to the rest room I thought I was alone in there. Well when I came out the stall there was a little boy in weird close. He smiled at me. I took a look went to wash my hands and looked back and he was gone. What freaked me out is I never heard the big metal door open or close..

    I also remember playing on the lead and steel play ground. Felt like some one was staring at me so I look into the school windows and say the same kid with the same close.. it was days later and I remember thinking poor kid is always wearing the same out fit.

    We sometimes stayed late for plays and stuff and you could hear kids laughing up stairs. The things is no one was allowed up there when school was out.

    I often look back and think what must have happened to that kid.. I pray he found home with God.