From Knifepoint Horror

Published 5 December 2010
Episode Number 6
Narrator Soren Narnia
Duration 50m 17s
Transcript Availability Vol. 2

"school" is the sixth episode of Knifepoint Horror. The episode was released on 5 December, 2010 and is narrated by Soren Narnia. This is the first episode in the series narrated by Soren Narnia.


A damaged man recalls his time at Seacrist Elementary, the unlikely site of a hideous paranormal outbreak which still haunts him two decades later.



Cy Wistrom

Other Characters

  • Timothy Shaugh (murderer)
  • Joseph Tormey (head janitor at Seacrist until his death in 1977)
  • Ellis Xavier (principal of Seacrist Elementary)
  • Mr. Appier (first grade teacher)
  • Susan (Wistrom's classmate)
  • Jean Willett (teacher and Shaugh's victim)
  • Steven Odom (assistant principal)
  • Reverend Hardis Russell (founder of Seacrist Elementary in 1957)
  • Ladybird (Steven Odom's wife)
  • Carl Trammell (discoverer of Steven Odom's grave)
  • William James (reporter for the Tri-County Gazette)
  • Mrs. Harris (art teacher at Seacrist Elementary)
  • Laurie Burke (first-grader at Seacrist Elementary)
  • Sam (Wistrom's doctor)
  • Rourke Billings (a report for the Phoenix Daily Journal and author of The Untold Story of Seacrist School)
  • Louis Laird (witness to Shaugh's attack in 1977)
  • Philip Darby (witness to Shaught's attack in 1977)
  • Frederica Huntley (parent to a Seacrist fifth-grader)
  • Sally Trent (student at Seacrist Elementary)
  • Erica Els (fifth-grade teacher at Seacrist Elementary)
  • Amy Chicoba (student at Seacrist Elementary)
  • Mr. Colbert (fourth-grade teacher)
  • Calvin Wells (teacher)
  • Daniel Giraldi (student)
  • Leslie Mortensen (photographer for the Sun-Courier, whose photographs of two injured students were featured in Inspire)
  • Richard Joyce (local man who gives Timothy Shaugh a ride in his car in 1977)
  • Todd Sunning ("foreman of the project")
  • Don Quested (host of Happenings)

Dates and Locations


September 1971 (Joseph Tormey, head janitor of Seacrist Elementary, dies)

December 1977 (Timothy Shaugh murders a teacher in Seacrist Elementary)

1996 (Wistrom returns to Seacrist Elementary)


Seacrist, Pennsylvania

  • Seacrist Elementary School (nicknamed "Horrror High")
  • Seacrist Hill
  • Hightown Road
  • Guthrie Heights (a local elementary school)
  • Chester Junior High School
  • Seacrist High
  • Sara Brown Kindergarten
  • Onadelphia School
  • Will-O-the-Wisp Road
  • Juniper Avenue
  • Upham Hill
  • Route 7
  • Lake Artemisia

Other Locations

  • Evansten (a town ten miles north of Seacrist, location of the Tormey family crypt)
  • Newmarket (a town five miles south of Seacrist)
    • Newmarket Hill (local historical landmark, located on Route 13)#
  • McHenry (a town to the west of Newmarket)
  • Dorsey (a town fifty miles west of Seacrist)
    • Holiday Inn (Ladybird Odom stays here for one night)
  • Oxford (nearby town, unspecified distance from Seacrist, though it is stated that Timothy Shaugh spent time in a "halfway house" here)
  • Plattsburg and Savage (two towns(?) along Route 7)

Story Notes and Observations

Seacrist Elementary School / The Untold Story of Seacrist School

  • It is stated that Timothy Shaugh's murder of Jean Willett was the "last in a string of unexplained incidents that occurred at Seacrist in the fall and winter of 1977".
  • The body of Joseph Tormey, which had been disinterred from his grave on 10 September 1977, ready for interment in the Tormey family crypt, was found in room 21 on Wednesday 14 September. The Tri-County Gazette published an unconfirmed rumor soon afterwards, which stated that Principal Xavier had erased a chalk message from the board of room 21 after discovering Tormey's body. Two weeks after this, the Gazette confirmed that Principal Xavier had revealed the content of the erased message. The message had read "To all this darkness."
  • It is stated that Jean Willet was teaching only three students at the time of Shaugh's attack. Presumably the three students are Cy Wistrom, Louis Laird and Philip Darby. The other students "read dutifully in the adjoining room". This detail is revealed by Wistrom in relation to the fact that his memories of the event had recently returned to him after suffering an incident that left him catatonic for fourteen days. Wistrom claims that the memories returned to him after residing in a "mental fog" for many years.
  • Wistrom explains that from the day the school opened to the day it closed in 1978, Seacrist had the highest absentee rate of any public school in Pennsylvania. No explanation for this was found by the board of education.
  • Wistrom states that he is able to learn numerous details about the School thanks to a book entitled "The Untold Story of Seacrist School", written by a repoerter from the Phoenix Daily Journal named Rourke Billings. Wistrom states that this book is the only full-length account of what occurred at Seacrist in 1977. Wistrom explains that whilst most of the relevant information concerning the events that took place at Seacrist are evident in the book, the account also contains numerous inaccuracies and contradictions. One such inaccuracy concerns a supposed parents' meeting, organised by a local parent, Frederica Huntley, in an attempt to protect the schoolchildren from the distressing facts.
  • Sally Trent, a student that Wistrom remembers from his time at the school, is stated to have "stare blankly into one corner of the room" during class. One morning, Sally, who was staring into the corner again, rose from her desk to point to the corner ("at nothing") and began to scream. When Mrs. Willett took Sally in her arms to vacate the room, she "kicked harder and shrieked louder to be let go, as if she were being forced toward an object, or apparition". After this event, Sally never returned to Seacrist.

The Fire at Seacrist, November 1977

  • In November 1977, intermittent and unexplained fire alarms sounded throughout the school. As a result of this a safety supervisor decided to unhook the alarm system for "schematic testing and possible replacement", meaning that there were no operational alarm pulls in the school on "that Friday". It's also stated that thirty-five percent of the study body was absent on that particular day. (note: 17 November 1977 fell on a Thursday, so it is unclear exactly which day the "Friday" was). On November 17, a fire broke out in the school in room 57. The teacher who discovered the fire, Erica Els, pulled the alarm, but of course no alarm sounded due to the disconnected system. Nonetheless, the teachers and schoolchildren vacated the school in a stampede. In room 21, "Mr. Appier's room", the room where Joseph Tormey's body had been found two months prior, the children vacated via the windows, instead of the door. None of the children would say they were encouraged to do so. They were also the slowest group to vacate the building.
  • After everyone had left the school, and after the ambulances and fire trucks had arrived, two news crews arrived at the school. Wistrom states that a man from the Sun-Courier "took a couple of photographs that entered the Seacrist legend". Despite each of the children having fled the school and "been accounted for", the photographer, Leslie Mortensen believed he had taken photographs of two children being severely burned. Afterwards, Mortensen's assistant deliberately hid the developed photos so as to avoid the images being printed in the Sun-Courier. Eventually the images were published in a magazine called Inspire. The images showed two children, seemingly trapped behind two doors inside the school, doors which were never locked, seriously burned and in a great deal of distress. The children were never identified.

Steven and Ladybird Odom

  • Steven Odom, the assistant principal, was reported missing on October 5th by his wife, Ladybird Odom. Ladybird claimed that Steven had never returned from a fishing trip to Maryland that weekend.
  • A student, Carl Trammell, at Seacrist discovers two sticks rising up from the ground in a field near the school, with the legend Odom written upon them in charcoal. Carl informs his teacher about his discovery. Wistrom states that he does not remember the teacher's name, but she "wisely didn't touch the sticks" before speaking to the principal. It is subsequently reveled that the only fingerprints found on the sticks were of Steven Odom himself. Police searches of the field reveal no body.
  • On 10 October 1977, a writer for the Tri-County Gazette revealed that Ladybird Odom had filed two separate battery charges again Steven: one in February and one in May. Further to this, Ladybird had been hospitalized twice in 1976 and 1977: twice for concussions and once for a broken index finger.
  • On 12 October, the art teacher, Mrs. Harris, arrived at her classroom to discover a canvas depicting a charcoal drawing of a woman: "The mouth of the woman was shown as a frowning, lipless oval in which there were simply far too many teeth crowded in. This gave the woman an animalistic appearance. The teeth were drawn in a rudimentary series of vertical and horizontal slashes. Above them were a crooked nose and some wavy lines in the cheeks, suggesting a haggard expression and advanced age. Then there were the eyes, which were the most revolting aspect of the canvas. The left pupil was shaped like a diamond and was hollow. The right pupil, though, was round and black like a stone, and was nearly twice as large as the left, seeming to bulge out and stare blankly". One of the investigating officers in the Odom case suggested that the face on the canvas belonged to Ladybird Odom.
  • A member of the investigating police force eventually discovers the words Newmarket Hill written into the hair of the woman in the drawing. Subsequent investigations into the area reveal the corpse of Steven Odom. Soon after this, Ladybird disappears from her home, citing that she was "at the end of her emotional rope". She stays for one night in a local Holiday Inn, and then is never heard from again.
  • Six months later, a neighbor of the Odoms' claims that Ladybird had borrowed his car on the night before Steven was reported missing. The neighbor also discovered a large garden trowel tucked inside the spare tire compartment, which the police eventually suggest was the instrument used to bury the body of Steven Odom.
  • When Seacrist Elementary is closed in 1978, psychological exit interviews reveal that a first-grader, Laurie Burke, claimed to have seen Steven Odom in the school in December, two months since his body was found in the field. Authorities put this down to mistaken identity, but the student, Laurie Burke, remained certain it was Steven Odom she had seen.

Cy Wistrom and the Return to Seacrist

  • On his first day at Seacrist Elementary, Wistrom is unable to locate his assigned teacher, and so explores part of the school in an attempt to find someone who could help. He states that he ascends a stairwell and finds a section of the school in the middle of a renovation project. Further along the corridor he finds what he terms "an abrupt niche", with two doors on either side. The doors were, as Wistrom states, "very strange, barely my height and very thin". Wistrom opened one of the doors to find a "closet of some kind", one that was very small and contained a broken light bulb and an old clock that had been there for so long it had "begun to grow a kind of mossy rot inside the glass face." Further inside, two "tiny chairs" sat "facing each other from about a foot away". Wistrom immediately believes that this room was used to house children who had broken the rules. Wistrom states that he never found out what that room truly meant.
  • Wistrom states he currently takes medication named "N-zepam", which were prescribed to him by his doctor, Sam. Wistrom states that they are "very similar chemically to Valium", and he continues to take the pills to "thwart any sign of a breakdown". Wistrom also explains that from the age of thirteen until the age of twenty, he was addicted to a drug called Onavil. Wistrom was taken off Onavil after a "minor head injury", around the time of his father's death when he was nineteen. It's also stated that one of Onavil's side-effects is occasional hallucinations. Sam suggested that the "remains of Onavil" in Wistrom's brain was the cause of his "first and only hallucination" when he returned to Seacrist Elementary, "eighteen years after it had closed for good".
  • On arriving at the "main lower grades entrance", Wistrom states that the "seam between reality of standing there and the sudden images that came over [him] was so flawless", meaning it was "impossible [for him] to tell just when [his] hallucination began", though he suspects it truly began when he opened the front door which had "no right to open". On seeing the inside of the school, with details like intact lightbulbs and padlocks on the student lockers, Wistrom states he "made nothing of these impossibilities. They were real to [him]."
  • Inside Seacrist, a man in blue jeans and a white shirt named Todd Sunning introduces himself to Wistrom as "the foreman of the project". Wistrom seems to be aware that the person is part of his hallucination, and even states that "the man's initials were the same as Timothy Shaugh's". Wistrom follows Sunning through the school until he realises that Sunning had left him standing near 57, the room destroyed by the fire in 1977. Around the corner, the "foreman" was found by Wistrom stuffing a towel against the bottom of a classroom door that was leaking water. The foreman stated that it wasn't a problem, and that they had "foreseen this eventuality". The water behind the door eventually became strong enough to force the door open, which caused Wistrom to sink underwater. Suddenly Wistrom finds himself walking down Route 7, where "consciousness had returned to [him] all at once". He states that he had "gone to Seacrist but wound up hallucinating and maybe trying to drown [himself]" in Lake Artemisia.
  • As a result of Wistrom telling his doctor about this hallucination, or potential suicide attempt, she suggests he check himself into a hospital. Wistrom refuses, stating "I was getting healthier and healthier. I knew it.".
  • Wistrom's unreliability is highlighted again when he speaks about falling into an "unexplained coma" lasting fourteen days and fourteen nights. He states that the coma was "dreamless", and that on awakening he realised that "[He] is Seacrist".

Timothy Shaugh

  • The mental health clinic from which Shaugh escaped was Upham Hill, on or near to Juniper Avenue. Wistrom decides to walk the route that Shaugh took on the day he escaped and walked to Seacrist.
  • It's stated that Shaugh was twenty-nine on the day of the murder. He was "schizophrenic, learning disabled and unable to fend for himself, and he had occasional psychotic episodes". During his stay at Upham Hill, which lasted a total of six months, he was uncommunicative and "rarely violent unless provoked". He once claimed that he "heard voices telling him to mow the Upham Hill grounds and eat the grass so that no one could tell he had done it".
  • It is thought that Shaugh found the axe used to kill Jean WIllett, at a property on the road to Seacrist Elementary, which was owned by a cattle rancher.
  • After his murder of Jean Willett, Shaugh became totally mute. He eventually died, three years after the murder, of stomach cancer.

Don Quested and Happenings

  • On May 4, Wistrom is contacted by Don Quested, the host of Happenings. Quested attempts to extract the information concerning what happened inside room 15 from Wistrom. Wistrom tells Quested that he had no memories of what happened, that they had been "obliterated". Upon receiving this information, Quested claims he will speak to Louis Laird to get the information. As a result of this, Wistrom challenges Quested directly, stating that Laird must never be contacted about the events, as he would be "greatly disturbed." Wistrom continues by telling Quested that there had been twenty suicides since Seacrist had closed, meaning more than five percent of all those children had killed themselves, and that he would not let Quested cause another one. Wistrom even states that if he hears that Quested has contacted Laid, he would kill him.
  • An "associate producer" from Happenings contacted Louis Laird on the Friday, and as a result, Laird attempts suicide. The day after this, Wistrom collapses and falls into a coma. On awakening, Wistrom claims to have remembered what had happened to him in Seacrist all those years ago. He states that "the timing of the coma was no coincidence, and it wasn't a freak of physiology. They were killing me, but I have survived".