Hey! Teacher! Leave Them Kids Alone: An Unusual Bridgewater Triangle Haunting

By Kristen Good

In January of 1886, a Middleboro schoolhouse temporarily closed its doors due to panic over a ghost. The ghost--believed to be that of a young boy who died from traumatic injuries after a "severe flogging"-- had a reputation for helping children who were in danger of being punished by the teacher, even assisting the children in solving math problem by writing out the arithmetic in phantom writing mysteriously appearing on the chalkboard. But when Miss Nancy Butler--a young woman who lived a short distance from the school--claimed that the ghost chased her home from work one night, joining her as she passed by the small school house, the children's fear grew into an all out panic.

One local newspaper reported on January 28, 1886, "Miss Nancy Butler, a young woman living a short distance below the school house, tells her shop mates at the straw works that no longer ago than one week the ghost escorted her while passing down the road by the school house lat in the evening. She was frightened at the sight of the goblin, all in white, and ran, and the ghost pursued and "chased me home she declared excitedly. Many times the school bell has been rung in broad daylight when no one was in the hallway at the bell rope."

Middleboro area residents claimed to have seen a lamp glowing in the midnight hours in the school room, only to look in the windows and see a young boy diligently studying at his desk. "Stories are told of late passers by in the dead of night who have seen a light in the school room, and at intervals, the bell would ring out sharply--always one single stroke--that then the dim form of a boy dressed in white and carrying a lighted lamp would be seen to walk about the school room, and finally seating himself at ta desk, would place the lamp upon it and bend over as if in deep study." Witnesses claimed that daytime of appearances of the spirit boy would always be in particular spot of the in hallways, always with a a beam of light coming out of him. But at night, witnesses claimed described him as "traditional goblin, dressed in white and of extremely ghoulish appearance."

"In the meantime numberless stories are told of the pranks of this spirit of a boy said to have died soon after having received a severe flogging at the hands of a pedagogue. It is related, that on several occasions in a single night, or after the school had been closed for the Saturday holiday and over Sunday, when the school room was opened to the morning the black boards were found to be covered with elaborate designs in scroll work and lettering in a peculiar handwriting entirely different from anything seen on those board at any other time. Sometimes an example of in arithmetic that had puzzled some dull scholar to the verge of desperation would thus be found clearly demonstrated upon the board in the morning, and would be recognized by the scholar at once as intended for his or her befit and would doubtless prevent some punishment from being inflicted. In this way the ghost came to be recognized as a friend of the unfortunate but deserving scholar, who stood in the wrath of a teacher inclined to be unjust or severe."