While many of Marlington’s paranormal experiences have revolved around Mr. Cannon, some staff members and students have had their own encounters or heard the story directly from Mr. Cannon himself.
Staff members that arrived early in the morning were often greeted by Mr. Cannon with stories of the ghost and what it had done during the night while the building was nearly empty. Mrs. Shaub, Mr. Groff, and Mrs. Joyce were among several staff members that have heard from Mr. Cannon upon arriving at work, claiming that they’ve been hearing the story for years but have never had a firsthand experience themselves.
Others, such as Mrs. Francis, Mrs. Phillips, Mr. Alhadid, and Mr. Denny, have heard through the grapevine of Marlinton’s staff about the infamous François. A common theme among all of their stories is that Mr. Cannon has seen a tall, shadowy figure near the locker rooms and in the 300-hallway.
While many have been alone in the building and never had their own encounter with the ghost, Mrs. Hoffman believes she has felt a presence while she worked, sometimes even hearing doors close, seemingly on their own.
Mr. Davis has also heard something he described as “like somebody’s in the office using the paper cutter, it’s like a slicing sound”, even though no one was around at the moment.
One staff member that wishes to remain anonymous has stated that they came into contact with Mr. Cannon immediately after he discovered a puddle that he described as “ghost pee”. While it was likely just a result of Marlington’s leaky roof, Mr. Cannon remains confident that François was to blame.
When the Grand Duke staff first began their research, the ghost story appeared to be something recent that occurred only while Mr. Cannon was alone in the school, but upon further investigation, it became apparent that this was not the case.
During an interview with Mr. Groff, he made the statement that “other janitors who have worked here in the past claim that they have seen a ghost too, and they described it similarly”.
If these custodians have all had a similar experience, but never shared their story with one another, then the story could easily date back decades. Mrs. Francis’ comments support the theory by asserting that she heard the story while she went to school in the 1970s.
In an interview with Mr. Spondyl and Mr. Farrell, they mentioned the names of staff members who have also had their own experiences or are convinced that there is something lurking in the halls. Mr. Spondyl made the statement “I believe when there’s smoke, there’s fire, so there’s something going on.” He has been involved in a recent experience with Mr. Alhadid and Mr. Chris Cannon in the auditorium; when the lights randomly started flickering and flashed different colors- an unusual rendezvous.
Although most of the staff has heard one form or another of the ghost story, some students know of it firsthand.
Marlington graduates Brianna Hoopes, Billy Bugara, and Luis Montelongo have all heard Mr. Cannon’s tale of François, despite their disbelief in the supernatural. Most find it to be a story spread by staff members to amuse listeners, but none have ever entertained the idea that the school could actually be haunted.
Grand Duke staff member Mikayla Robinson has had her own firsthand experiences with ghosts, both in school and out. Mikayla reports seeing a “dark shadow going down the stairs by the gymnasium” upon entering the building. She has also had encounters in her home, leaving the possibility that she is more sensitive to spirits than the average person.
After the Grand Duke staff learned of all of Marlington’s stories and ghost sightings, they became curious and sought out an expert on the matter.