Morganza, MD- Southern Maryland is no stranger to ghost stories, and hauntings. Dr. Mudd’s House, Sotterley Plantation and Mansion, Point Lookout State Park and Lighthouse…

One place you may or may not have heard of is the haunting of Chopticon High School in Morganza, MD. The legend itself originates from the true story of the murder and rape of a teacher in the early 1980’s.  In August of 1983 Lester Broome, a 18-year-old summer custodian was charged and eventually convicted in the stabbing death of Beverly Jo Heater(33, Mechanicsville,MD).

Ms. Heater was apparently a wonderful teacher and tutor and loved by the students and community, alike. The surrounding community and family was shaken to its’ core following this attack. 

The legend ( and police report) say Mr. Broome disliked Ms. Heater. On the fateful afternoon he attacked her, drug her to a men’s bathroom, and stabbed her multiple times. There are many different reports of what transpired through the years, but there are a few consistent ones. 

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.

Some students in the past have said they have had feelings of impending doom, and an air of uneasiness when in the school. Some believe that those are the feelings are emitted from the ghost of Ms. Heater. But some say that the hauntings could go back further than that. St. Mary’s County and Southern Maryland in general has had a tumultuous past. 

Before English settlers began inhabiting and building on the land, Native Americans, specifically the Piscataway People lived in Southern Maryland.  They were also referred to by the names of their villages: Moyaonce, Accotick or Accokicke or Accokeek, Potapaco or Portotoack, Sacayo or Sachia, Zakiah, Yaocomaco or Youcomako or Yeocomico, or Wicomicons.

Related Algonquian-speaking tribes included the Anacostan, Chincopin, Choptico, Doeg or Dogue or Taux, Tauxeneen, Mattawoman, and Pamunkey.Possibly slightly more distantly related tribes included the Accomac,Assateague, Choptank, Nanticoke, Patuxent, Pokomoke, Tockwogh and Wicomoco.

Piscataway fortunes declined as the English Maryland colony grew and prospered. They were especially adversely affected by epidemics of infectious disease, which decimated their population, as well as intertribal and colonial warfare. After the English tried to remove tribes from their homelands in 1680, the Piscataway fled from encroaching English settlers to Zekiah Swamp in Charles County, Maryland. There they were attacked by the Iroquois but peace was negotiated. 

Could these be the ghosts that haunt the land? One can only speculate, but through the years numerous people have retold their encounters and feeling upon spending time at the school. 

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...