Bird? Racoon? What is that noise in the LMC?

Oliver Oren, Staff Writer

Imagine you are doing your job, no worries in the world. All of a sudden, an unknown sound hits your eardrum. You are too scared to move. You are putting yourself in the shoes of Mrs. Kelly Zatorski! Read this article to learn about Mrs. Zatorski’s strange experience, this mysterious animal, and how it has perhaps impacted our school, and might still be as you are reading this.

When was the first time you were aware of this creature? What signs made you notice this?
“I believe the spring of 2019 was the first time that Mrs. Step and I heard the sound. We were very concerned by the sounds, they were VERY loud and unsettling. We could tell that they were coming from near the doors to the courtyard and thought that something could be up in the drop ceiling above that area. Upon the second or third time we heard the noise we realized it might sound like a raccoon. We Googled ‘raccoon sounds’ and the sound samples seemed to match the loud chattering/purring that we were hearing. We talked to Mr. Ott right away and he called the exterminators immediately. They looked all around in the ceiling and there was no sign of animals up there, but they suggested it could be a belt on an HVAC part that was up there. I knew right away this was NOT the sounds of a malfunctioning belt, but they replaced it anyway. The sound continued with no explanation. no further clues, and eventually, we went home for the summer break. The following year we didn’t hear the sound and I’ve realized now that it may be because we were closed in the spring due to COVID.”

If you had to take an educated guess on what it was, what would it be?
“This year, several students and teachers have heard the noise from the LMC and the courtyard. They had some guesses, most people thought raccoon or bird. I managed to get the sound recorded on my phone. Dr. Rosen became concerned that if it was, in fact, a raccoon, the courtyard might not be safe. So he closed it until the exterminator once more. But, again, no clues were found.”

Has the school ever contacted an exterminator to try and find it?
“Mr. Ott came and looked all around again and called the exterminator. No clues or evidence were found. But what small animal could make a noise THAT loud? Nothing happened until this year, for the first time, other teachers started to hear the noise from the LMC and the courtyard. They had some guesses. Most people thought it was a raccoon or bird.”

Are you worried about it or do you think it is not a problem?
“I guess we can rest easier now knowing that we are safe. However, I am absolutely NOT a fan of the idea that a frog COULD jump out of a shelf at me at any movement. If that happens, you’ll hear me scream from all around the building.”