Is Chopticon High School Haunted?


A Ghost Haunts Chopticon High...

About a year ago I wrote an article on the Ten Most Haunted Schools on the US East Coast, and it got quite a response due to a particular section written about a ghost haunting Chopticon High School. I am an alumni of Chopticon High School, and while I went to Chopticon High School I would hear many stories of a female ghost that was said to be the unsettled spirit of a woman who once taught at Chopticon High School...a woman by the name of Mrs. Heater.

The story varies from person to person, and many of the accounts told debate the true occurrence surrounding the untimely and tragic death of Mrs. Heater, but one thing mostly everyone agrees on is the fact that Chopticon High School is most definitely haunted by someone...or something. Is the ghost that haunts Chopticon High School the ghost of Mrs. Heater or is this "hogwash" as some might claim?


Mrs. Heater's Death

Mrs. Heater was a teacher at Chopticon High School. The topic that she taught is debated by the Chopticon High alumni now, but she was either an English teacher or a Business teacher for Chopticon High back in the 1980s. Mrs. Heater was a teacher that was well-loved by much of the student population, and everyone knew who she was. When she was murdered, the student body and surrounding citizens in the town were quite shaken...not to mention her family was thrown into a battle of emotions and imminent mourning.

A man by the name of Lester Broome (no it's not a made-up name as some claim) was Mrs. Heater's murderer. Apparently Mrs. Heater was at Chopticon High School one day when a disturbed individual took a knife to Mrs. Heater...taking her life. One source says that she was working at the school during the summer of 1983 when this Lester Broome who was a part of some work-release or handicapped program of some sort was cutting grass at the school. The story goes that Mr. Broome hated Mrs. Heater and wanted to take her out...and so he did. Some say that he stabbed her many times and dragged her body from a classroom to the nearest bathroom on the second floor. Other sources say that he tried to hide her body in the ceiling of the bathroom.

Where were the other teachers that day? Didn't anyone hear this going on or see something strange? One Chopticon High alumni says that a music teacher named Mr. Jester was also at Chopticon High that day but was in a totally different section of the building, thereby disabling him from hearing any of the activity. When Mr. Jester went to close up the school and check on Mrs. Heater, he found a trail of blood leading from Mrs. Heater's classroom to the bathroom. That was where Mr. Jester found Mrs. Heater's body.

Lester Broome was tried as a competent adult for the murder of Mrs. Heater and is apparently still in jail to this day. Some references state that Lester Broome's lawyers tried to get him off of the charges with an insanity plea...but that plea was said to have been thrown out by the judges.

Now, I have to stop here and say that I truly feel sorry for the victim in this story and her family and my heart goes out to them, even to this day. My stepsister knew Mrs. Heater's children well and confirms that this story is indeed truth...and a very sad truth at that.

Now legends and stories circulate St. Mary's County and Southern Maryland about a very haunted Chopticon High School. Could these hauntings be the ghost of Mrs. Heater? While we'd like to think that Mrs. Heater is in a better place, it is sometimes true that ghosts reside in places where their lives were tragically it is quite possible.


A Haunted Chopticon High School

So what sorts of creepy things occur at this haunted Chopticon High School in Morganza, MD? Footsteps are among the most common occurrences and paranormal experiences documented about Chopticon's haunted hallways and classrooms. One source even claimed that she and her friends were standing in one of the hallways of Chopticon High School when they heard phantom footsteps...footsteps sounding like high heels clicking down the hall and walking right up next to where the girls were standing. Needless to say, they were all very spooked and fled the hallway immediately.

When I went to Chopticon High School, I spent the night the smaller auditorium during a cheerleading fundraiser night. The girls and I were very creeped out to stay at the school, even though the stories of hauntings weren't quite so popular back then...the school still carried an air of "something isn't right here" and tended to creep most of us out to the point where we didn't want to leave the auditorium without a large group of girls present. I never experienced footsteps or any paranormal activity directly, except the feeling of something being around us...a feeling that I never quite shook from that night.

Feelings of impending doom and an air of uneasiness are quite often felt by students and even teachers that go to Chopticon High School to this day. Could these feelings of discomfort and phantom footsteps be attributed to Mrs. Heater's ghost? They could very well be; however, I am also a believer that sometimes imprints are left on the it is possible that the land that Chopticon High School sits upon is actually haunted...and not necessarily the school itself. If you think about the history of St. Mary's County, then you would know that much turmoil has left its energetic imprint on the land.

Before and during the time that the English settlers came and began building in St. Mary's County, there were Natives living in this area of Maryland. Most of these Natives were eventually driven out or have since is it possible that the Natives could be haunting the land where Chopticon resides? What about the battles between the Catholics and Protestants in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries? If one is to do research on the troubles between the Catholics and Protestants in Maryland, one would see that much fighting occurred between the English settlers...possibly causing a residual haunting upon the land of Southern Maryland...and possibly the land where Chopticon High School sits.

What do you think? Is Chopticon High School indeed haunted by the ghost of the woman who died tragically in the summer of 1983 or are these hauntings simply residual energetic imprints left behind by more tumultuous times in Maryland's thick history?

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Comments 39 comments

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 2 years ago from the Ether Author

Hailster - I've actually heard Mrs. Willingham's story because I had her for English my freshmen year, I believe. My mom also knew the story because she attended Chopticon in the early 80s. Thanks for adding to it! :)

Hailster 2 years ago

My mother had her in 83 and it was told that mrs willingham was after school one night and heard high heels looked at the door mrs heaters was standing there only one in the school she grabed her keys and went out the emergency window

Hailster 2 years ago

The only reason. He did that because he thought she made a rude jesture so he flipped out

Butt head Megan welch 2 years ago

It's just stupid you idiot

Hailster 2 years ago

It's true my mom had her

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 3 years ago from the Ether Author

Thank you.

Alum 1993 3 years ago

Beverly Heater was the DECA advisor and was in charge of the book store. She was also a member of FBLA. She educated at CHS from August 1972 until the time of her death in August 1984.

1993 Alum 3 years ago

Beverly Heater was the DECA advisor and was in charge of the book store. She was also a member of FBLA. She educated at CHS from August 1972 until the time of her death in August 1984.

Mike 3 years ago

Lester was released a few years ago and is still living in St. Marys County. 7th District

CY 3 years ago

It is true, it it was during the day (Aug. 3, 1984). As any of the band students would attest, we showed up to band practice that day and were told to go home. The parking lot was full of police cars. According to the story as I remember, it was Mr. Copsey and Mr. Jester that found her. Mr. Broome was with a group from the Loretta House (which was a home for troubled youths in the 80's) working in the fields next to the school. Now the part I heard as rumor back then was that they had cut a watermelon as a snack, and he took the knife from that into the school. He killed her upstairs in the women's bathroom and hid the knife in the ceiling. He did plead guilty to the charges.

Tim miller 3 years ago

This story is true about miss heater I had her for a teacher in the 80's the year that it happened is wrong . I got out in 84 and this took place after that . But it is true I knew Lester also and he was definitely not right.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 3 years ago from the Ether Author

Thanks, Cindy!

cindy 3 years ago

I went to Chopticon and Mrs. Heater was also my teacher, a very sweet lady. She maybe haunting the school to watch over all the students. She was a good teacher and cared for the students in the school. I hope she finds peace some day but until then, students shouldn't have no fear of her. I graduated in the year 1975.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 3 years ago from the Ether Author

Absolutely we hope nothing but the best for her and her family. This is simply a legend circulating the area, and that is why I wrote of it. Meant no offense to anyone. Thanks for reading.

concerned 3 years ago

yes,that was a true story she was a business teacher and a very nice teacher, she was my teacher, she was working after hours. She had small children at the time this happen. If the school is haunted by hwe ghost she will not hurt you., she would not hurt a fly. let in rest in peace, love you MRS. HEATE

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 3 years ago from the Ether Author

Awesome, thank you!

Jessica 3 years ago

There was a Lester Broome found guilty of 1st degree murder for something done in 1986. Not found guilty until 2000. You can find anything on the MD Judiciary Case Search. link is below ;)

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 3 years ago from the Ether Author

Brandy - I've never been able to find one online...but I'm sure you could check the libraries in St. Mary's County for old newspaper articles (I don't live in MD anymore, else I would).

Brandy 3 years ago

Was there ever a newspaper article on this? If so, any idea where I can find it?

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 3 years ago from the Ether Author

Thanks for sharing your story, Ryan. Yes, it is an awesome school but creepy at night for sure!

Ryan 3 years ago

I to also went to Chopticon and it happened on the second floor at the top of the first stairwell if you were coming through the old main entrance. I can recall running the halls late at night trying to work off the last couple pounds for wrestling and always feeling very uneasy. That place was definitely spooky when it was empty and dark. I love that school but there is definitely something going on in there for sure.

Tammy 4 years ago

Did the police say that she was raped and killed or just killed? weird that they didn't say the real reason behind this story and did mr broome admit why he did it? soo much questions going on my mind but yeah i feel very sorry for her :(

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

I hear ya. I think I know the exact bathroom you're talking about at Chopticon. Thanks for writing!

ambisoprettymitch 4 years ago

i went to chopticon a few yrs ago n there is a bathroom tht didn't rub me right could verywell be tha woman but i also feel it could be the land and not to mention theres a cemetary not to far away from tha school

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Amber - Yes, the story does tend to differ from person to person. I don't think anyone truly knows because we were not there when it happened. But it did happen and many do believe that there is a presence in the high school. I graduated there in 2003. :)

Amber 4 years ago

I'm a freshmen at CHS now and I've heard of these stories a lot. I've heard that it was a mentally handicapped kid during the summer working and he dragged her in one of the boys bathroom and raped and killed her but you know these kind of stories differ from the person you ask but I do believe she was killed somehow and haunts the school

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

What a great hub for which I have to award an up up and away.

Take care and enjoy the rest of your day.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

TH - Too creepy! Thanks for sharing.

tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 4 years ago from home


I went to a school where 16 or 17 kids and a teacher died in a firei never knew it t- no one said anything until I was in 7th grade- out of the school.. but I do remember smelling firewood fire smell at times-but the fire happened almost 40 years earlier...

!!! who knew!!!!


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

lucy - No, I wouldn't think she would have any reason to inflict harm in others. Thanks for reading. :)

lucybell21 profile image

lucybell21 4 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

Great hub. I think the school is haunted by the teacher, though she does not appear to be doing anything bad to anyone.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Paradise7 - Yes, it is quite intriguing. My mom used to tell me this story before I ever went to school here, and I never thought it was a real story until I went and a teacher confirmed that it did indeed happen. After writing a different article on the hauntings there, dozens of Chopticon High alumni commented and debated the story...but it is very true. Thanks again!

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York

Interesting, and I feel intensely sorry for Mrs. Heater. I hope she is at peace now.

TBucsuperbwlchmps 4 years ago

You really know how to cut to the core of a man. I'm going to cry myself to sleep now.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

TBucssuperbwlchmps - Didn't your mother ever tell you "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"? P.S. The Bucs aren't going to the Super Bowl.

Audrey - Thanks...and I agree, I wonder that myself.

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Interesting story--I often wonder of some hauntings are related to really old energy in the land---

TBucsuperbwlchmps 4 years ago

Unfortunately this is the price of a public education. First Chopticon, next Columbine - both haunted institutions.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

No, I don't think it's ever been professionally investigated. Thanks for reading & voting. :)

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

Interesting. It could be a combination of both sources of haunts. Has the site ever been professionally investigated? This might be an interesting case for T.A.P.S.

Voted up and interesting.

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