Tag Archives: haunted school

Main Piece: Mad Bess

Background: The informant’s elementary school is said to be haunted by the ghost of a former tenant of land, Mas Bess. The school’s campus is very old and used to house many of the town’s silver mines in the late 19th century. The buildings have been remodeled, but never torn down. The school’s headmaster tells the students that if they are destructive towards the land or the buildings, Mad Bess will not be happy and will curse us all. 

Context: I asked the informant if she had ever seen a ghost before and she told me that she has yet to see her with her own eyes, but knows that Mad Bess is always looming around school. She promised me she was not afraid of Mad Bess, but some of her classmates are. She told me that she would never litter on the campus or disrespect the playground or the classrooms because she is certain Mad Bess would cause a miniature earthquake at her school. 

I also asked the informant if the teachers speak about Mad Bess frequently and she responded very matter-of-factly “Of course they do. Mad Bess is part of our community. The school would be incomplete without her. She has been on campus longer than any of the rest of us and deserved to have her home taken care of.” 

Thoughts: I attended the same school as the informant about a decade ago. While I was at the school, we had a different headmaster, but the legend of Mad Bess was the same. She was spoken about in two contexts. One, she was a legend of entertainment that served as a community point of connection. Two, she gave the teachers a threatening ghost story that they could strategically use to make the children behave. They could scare us into being respectful because the consequences of not doing so were grave. This is a folk legend that has been circulating and bringing together people on the campus since its founding. Ghost stories have so many purposes!    

The Ursuline Ghost

(trigger warning: talk of self-harm)


INFORMANT: Do you remember the ghost story about the nun that haunts Ursuline?


ME: Yes I do, but go ahead and tell me about it.


INFORMANT: Okay so in the entryway of the highschool Ursuline, they have an old picture of a class where you can actually see this ghostly figure in a window in the background. The legend is that the nun killed herself in the school and is now cursed to walk the halls for eternity. I remember when I took a tour of the school, I got goosebumps and instantly creeped out. I didn’t even know the story at the time but I knew that place was haunted. It’s also just super old and creepy looking



The informant fully believes that the school is actually haunted by the nun and found the picture that everyone references online. She originally heard the story from one of her friends who attends the all girls school and has since passed it onto her friends at her school as well.



Ursuline Academy is an all girls private Catholic school in Dallas, Texas. The informant is currently a student at a different, co-ed private school in Dallas.



The idea that the nun was forced to haunt that school as a result of killing herself is a statement about the catholic roots of the school. In Christianity, suicide is considered a sin instead of a result of depression. This concept that suicide is a punishable act may have contributed to this story (it should be noted that there is no record of a nun ever dying on the school’s grounds- much less commiting suicide on school grounds). On the other hand, Christians believe in Heaven and Hell and therefore don’t believe in ghosts. So the idea that a servant of God would be damned to haunt Earth forever is a naturally rebellious idea that goes against traditional beliefs.