North High School
1 Rachel North Way

Erected in 1979, North High School stands on the spot once occupied by East Shadowgard High School, which burned down in 1976, apparently claiming the life of a 16-year-old student named Rachel North. Her grieving, affluent parents funded the construction of a new school which was then named in honor of their daughter. All things considered, North High has aged well: its amenities and resources have been kept up to date, in large part because of the relative wealth of the school district surrounding it. The high school currently has over two thousand students, with a student-teacher ratio of 15 to 1, an extensive library and multimedia center, excellent test prep and the highest overall GPAs and test scores in the whole of Massachusetts, let alone Kerry County. In many ways, North seems more like a private school than your typical public high school -- and it does tend to cater to a distinctly privileged student body.

Like many of Shadowgard's landmarks, North High bears its own particular occult history, despite its relative youth. More precisely, the land on which it stands is surrounded by mystery: a number of people who were in the vicinity of East Shadowgard High when it was destroyed by fire claimed that there was, in fact, no fire at all -- that the buildings on the old campus simply vanished in a bright flash. And in the years since then, countless students and teachers have reported seeing a girl matching Rachel North's description moving through the corridors and classrooms of the new high school, frequently with a dazed and faintly horrified expression on her face, passing seamlessly through walls and walking up and down staircases that no longer exist. Though the campus is routinely closed to all but students, parents and personnel, a few particularly persistent ghost hunters have attempted to infiltrate the high school in the past few years in search of Rachel North. Thus far, their attempts to document the haunting have been wildly unsuccessful.

Aside from this gruesome history, the school is especially famous for its athletic teams. The North High Vikings are frequently leaders on the local hockey, football, baseball and basketball teams, while their feminine counterparts -- the Valkyries -- do very well in soccer, field hockey and softball. NHS also has an excellent varsity cheerleading squad that frequently competes in regional tournaments. The Vikings' main rivals are the Webb High Wolf Spiders and the Arthur High Knights (both of which hail from within Shadowgard proper), while the Valkyries tend to have a fierce rivalry with the St. Catherine's Warriors.

The campus is a wide, green space, with plenty of trees and shrubs and smoothly paved paths gliding easily between the central cluster and outlying buildings. The architecture is efficient, but not as brutally so as was often common in the '70s and '80s; most of the buildings resemble slightly updated versions of the brick Georgian and Colonial structures found on many old college campuses. The high school as a whole is elegantly designed and quite peaceful...perhaps to the point of seeming funereal.

Rachel North Building
This stately, very spacious five-story brick and mortar structure is the central building of the new high school, housing nearly all of its administrative offices as well as the greatest number of its ordinary classrooms. Surprisingly, the ghost of the girl for whom the building is named is rarely spotted here, perhaps because the bulk of the Rachel North Building's footprint is on land that was never occupied by any East Shadowgard High School building. All in all, this building is most like other high schools: bland, pedestrian, thoroughly unremarkable, and inevitably faintly oppressive in its design.

Simmons Auditorium
The most modern building on the NHS campus, the Simmons Auditorium was recently renovated quite extensively, and is now an impressive concrete, glass and steel hulk with a grand glass-enclosed lobby on the southern side of the building. This lobby proudly displays many of the trophies, photographs and other memorabilia gathered through North's short history. As might be expected, most of this building is given over to the school's main 3000-seat auditorium, but the upper and basement floors also contain assorted practice rooms, music rooms and meeting rooms for classes specializing in musical and performance arts.

Richards Building
This solid brick-and-glass building holds the school's cafeteria and kitchens as well as its science labs -- a recipe for disaster if ever there was one, though as yet, there have been no serious accidents. The spacious student cafeteria is located on the first floor of the building, occupying most of that level, while the kitchens sit primarily in the basement (with a smaller kitchen area on the ground floor) and the science labs and classrooms occupy the upper two levels. There's also an outdoor student seating area for warmer days. As it so happens, the Richards Building sits entirely within the footprint of East Shadowgard High's main building, and perhaps not at all coincidentally, most sightings of Rachel North have been reported here.

Baldwin Clock Tower
The tallest, most immediately recognizable landmark on North's campus, the Baldwin Clock Tower is a 75-foot tall brick and stone column of largely Colonial design, with a number of unusually Gothic elements. The clock faces themselves, one on each side of the building, each 20 feet in diameter, are fairly ordinary in their basic design (white faces, sharply pointed metal hands, Roman numerals, etc., all illuminated from within at night), but each face is surrounded by a series of shining brass rings covered in strange runes that rotate mechanically around the faces. Though some appear to match up to astrological signs, others remain obscure, though many students have tried to translate them. No one is even quite sure how they got there -- none of the people responsible for the school's architecture remember approving that element.

The Baldwin Clock Tower is home to most the school's student resources. The first three floors of the building contain a spacious and well-stocked library, complete with a gorgeous central atrium, study rooms, computer catalogs and the inevitable authoritarian librarian, in the form of one Beverly Ross. The next two stories above the library contain an extensive media center offering access to state-of-the-art computers as well as advanced audio and video equipment, the offices for the yearbook, newspaper and literary magazine, and a decently equipped television studio where the daily student news program is filmed. Above that are offices, storerooms, and the mechanism of the clock itself, all of which are strictly off-limits to students and most junior personnel.

Porter Building
A fairly nondescript, somewhat modernist brick and steel building, the Porter Building hosts many of North's art classes and vocational courses, including ceramics, wood shop, metal shop, auto shop, industrial arts and so forth. As such, much of the building is inherently dangerous, and despite the detailed safety instructions given to each and every student who so much as sets foot inside the Porter Building, accidents will happen. Granted, many of those accidents occur under bizarre and even suspicious circumstances, but no one really seems to make a big deal about it.

Connelly Memorial Gymnasium
Named for Michael Connelly, the star forward of ESH's basketball team who died tragically six months after the old school was destroyed, the Connelly Memorial Gymnasium is a square, ivy-covered stately brick affair holding a couple indoor basketball courts (which are easily and frequently repurposed for other sporting events), an Olympic swimming pool, a student fitness center and a concessions stand that's usually run by one or another student organization. There have been some sightings of Rachel North in this building (and part of its footprint does sit on the spot where the old gymnasium once stood); some students have also reported seeing a slightly shadowy, translucent figure vaguely matching the description of Michael Connelly and dribbling a basketball, but these rumors have yet to be corroborated.

Hanley Field
Hanley Field proper holds the school's football field, outdoor track, bleachers and concessions; there are additional fields for soccer, baseball and softball, and lacrosse just to the north of the main field. This is all largely unchanged from East Shadowgard High -- all the fields occupy the same locations, and there wasn't much to burn down; in fact, the concrete foundations of the bleachers and buildings were seemingly left intact. The school chose to rebuild from there, and as such, the athletic fields are the only elements of North High that exactly match their counterparts at ESHS.