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One Spooky School

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Halloween knows no season at one Virginia elementary school.

Marvin Bass Elementary in Lynchburg has a decades-long pattern of phantasmic events that have been making true believers out of skeptical students and teachers.

Recently, shortly after a new audio-activated security system was put in place, mysterious unidentified voices triggered alarms in classroom 307. When police arrived to investigate, they found the doors to the room locked and the windows latched. An unknown power appeared to be at work.

Students and parent alumni of the school claim that the supernatural force behind the witching-hour mischief is the school's namesake, a beloved former teacher and principal who taught for nearly half a century before his death in the 1960's. Rumor has it that the friendly spirit inhabits a boys' locker room that's no longer in use.

"I think an answering machine tripped the security system,'' Principal John Blakely contends.

He does admit, however, that students and staff have reported many unexplained phenomena, including missing eyeglasses and ghoulish sounds. One custodian refused to work at night after reporting that the specter brushed past him "like a breeze'' late one night.

While the principal rules out the possibility of a schoolwide seance or exorcism, he is rueful about the presence of the apparition in his school.

"I'd like the school to be remembered for some great accomplishment,'' Mr. Blakely sighs, "but I guess it'll be known for the ghost of Marvin Bass.''--S.K.G.

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