By Robert Lucke
According to some, there is a definite "something" that haunts the hallowed halls of the "new" Havre High School building in the south end of Havre.
Not to worry, parents, for two reasons. First, this ghost is friendly. Mischievous is how he is normally termed. That it is a "he" goes without saying for his name is Oscar. And he does not appear or cast his spells in front of students. Apparently never has. Nor does he bother teachers. His game is secretaries and administrators or custodians mostly in the summer and usually always when there is no one else around.
Maybe it is appropriate for Havre High to have its Oscar. After all, when the screen saver in the main office computer is a genuine haunted house with bats flying around and grand organ music, why, there could be some believers there.
Most ghostly superstitions start with a local legend. Havre High has one of its own. It is supposed that Oscar was a maintenance man at the high school who fell to his death off a high catwalk in the high school auditorium. Whether that is true or not, there are certainly strange tales to tell about Oscar and his carrying on.
Carla Spackman, the principal's secretary, continues the tale.
"When I am here by myself, I turn the radio up so I don't hear anything because there are doors constantly slamming shut in this school," Spackman said. "And there is never anyone coming or going through the doors that are opening and closing."
School custodians have most of the strange occurrences at night and all admit that Oscar is not mean, just mischievous. He likes to tease people.
"At night, frequently custodians here alone say they hear a basketball being dribbled in the gym and there is never anyone there," said Spackman. "And at times, they even hear a full fledged basketball game going on and as usual there is nothing going on at all when they get down there to check it out."
Couple that with the elevator going up and down all by itself and lights going on and off, and you have a real spooky nighttime environment in that school.
And then there are those pictures.
"It was a PIR day when just the faculty was in the building. Our offices were closer to the west end of the building then and all of a sudden I heard a huge clatter down on the west end. Four big Blue Pony pictures were laying on the floor. Those pictures had been screwed to the wall. That was the most spooky thing of all," Spackman said with a laugh.
"Then there was the summer before last and I was here all alone," Spackman said. "I was working on the student handbook and I heard a man clearing his throat. No one was around and no one came in. I walked all around and there was no one here. It happened a second and third time. It was weird. It was like it was right beside me. It was Oscar."
One day a paper clip took off across Spackman's desk and flew across the room all on its own. People in the office at that time saw it.
Custodian Mark Hinkle shared a story that happened to him a few days ago.
"I was upstairs and turned on the lights in the hallway and went into a classroom to clean. Another custodian hollered to me to turn on the hall lights. I went back out in the hall and all of the lights were off," said Hinkle.
Most admit that Oscar is most fond of opening locked doors and turning on and off lights. He also likes to open closed gates and close opened gates.
Let's face it. There are plenty of spooky places in Havre High School and they are even more spooky without students. And strange things have happened there, sort of like the poem by Robert Service. But two things are certain for Carla Spackman.
"Oscar never haunts students or teachers. He likes to tease secretaries, administrators and custodians," she said.
End of interview and no doors slammed shut, no one cleared his throat, and the elevator did not go up and down. Bother Spackman? Not one bit.
"That's my story and I'm sticking to it," Spackman said, with a ghostly laugh.