While middle school years can be tough in terms of emotional growth and development, I have fun memories of Daviess County Middle School.

DAVIESS COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL--MY (GHOSTLY) ALMA MATER

I attended DCMS from 1977 through 1980 and was overwhelmed as an 11-year-old sixth-grader when I got there. Gone were the one building and the one main hallway of Masonville Elementary School--replaced at the middle school by three levels and several classrooms outside in mobile units. The addition of the front half of the school in the early 1990s eliminated the need for those outdoor classes, which technically weren't outside; you just had to GO outside to get there.

However, it was INSIDE the main building where all the possibly otherworldly activity was taking place. When I was a kid, I always thought it looked haunted but really didn't hear very many stories at the time about noises and spirits...not until now, that is.

THE STORY OF RICHARD AND BETTIE MONARCH

I talked with Daviess County Middle School librarian and manager of the DCMS Media Center Katie Albers about a post I saw on Facebook about the old mansion that used to sit on the property where the school is now on East 4th Street. The beautiful old home belonged to Richard and Bettie Monarch, who were in the distilling business, and, in fact, it was their actual home that formed the center of the old Daviess County Middle School before it was removed and replaced with additional classrooms in 1960.

The story is fascinating and has led Katie--a great storyteller in her own right--and others to wonder if the Monarchs have something to do with the weird, unexplained occurrences that have been reported over the years. There have been stories of lights flickering and unexplained noises, but it goes deeper than that.

THE HAUNTING OF DAVIESS COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL

There have been accounts of the sounds of water running and toilets flushing in the third-floor girls' restroom when no one was in there. One teacher had a clock that kept dying on her. She'd put in fresh batteries only to have them drain far too quickly.

The night custodian has noticed a projector left on in a classroom even though the teacher who uses the room swore she turned it off. Music has been heard late at night, as well.

The security system used by the school has been triggered by sound when the building was empty--including the sound of children's voices.

THE CREEPY OLD DAVIESS COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL GYM

But the one story that genuinely sent a chill up my spine was about a teacher who returned to the school one night to grab a computer she'd left there. Inside the gymnasium, she heard the sound of a bouncing basketball. Of course, she was the only one there and it stop her cold in her tracks. THEN, a basketball just rolled out of one of the sets of bleachers. Needless to say, she left the computer and took off.

I'm with her.

WHY WOULDN'T IT BE HAUNTED?

Years after I roamed the DCMS halls, in 1999, I was watching The Sixth Sense. When it got to that scene where young Cole looks up the staircase and sees those people hanging there, it occurred to me how much those stairs resembled the old stairs at the middle school. And that GYM at DCMS. All that old brick and those incredibly tall windows--who's surprised that beautiful old structure has been so inviting to, well, WHOEVER it is.

Of course, the current Daviess County Middle School has entered its final year as kids will be reporting to the new school in 2022.

Honestly, let's hope it's at LEAST as haunted.

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