The haunting of the high school
Built in 1909 of locally-quarried sandstone, Mancos High School is the oldest high school in continuous use in the state of
Colorado. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
From the Mancos High School Blue Jay Chronicle, May 2001
By: Veronica Moreno, sophomore
Around 1934, the story of the ghosts in the high school bell tower began. The rumor was that a couple hung themselves in the bell
tower. Since Mancos High School is so old, students have always wondered if there really is a ghost.
Some people believe the ghost stories and others think they are only rumors. Sophomore Jori Yeomans said, " I think there is a
ghost in the high school, and there are experiences to prove this."
Sophomore Elizabeth Roberts said, "There's no such things as ghosts in the high school."
Dixie Robbins, worked as business manager at MHS for 28 years. She remembers an incident when she was working late one
night in the high school building. Suddenly, she started to hear loud noises, like people running around on the floor above her.
She said that she thought someone was playing a joke on her; she went with some other teachers to see who, or what, was up
there but found nothing. She said she was not sure what it was, but it might have been the old building creaking.
High school custodian Kim Bondeson has also had several odd experiences. Bondeson works late hours at the school. She said
that she has heard noises and creaks in the building late at night, but she said it could be anything from the high school settling,
to noise in the water pipes.
At other times she has heard the televisions in the classrooms being turned on and off, and the volume getting louder. Some
computers have also been found turned on. About twelve years ago, when the lockers were new, Bondeson would hear the
lockers open and shut. Sometimes when she feels tired she sees shadows, but she is not sure if it is real or just her imagination.
Technology teacher Dick Young was working late one night back in 1993 or 1994, and he started to hear noises in the hall. He
called, "Who's there?" No one answered. He went to see who was there and found nothing. One thing these people have in
common is that they were never afraid to be alone in the high school late at night.
Source: The Mancos School District website
Established in 1904, Mancos High School graduated its first class of seniors in 1908. There were only six, but Mancos was
prosperous and growing, and the town's citizens voted to build a larger school. The first classes in the new building were held in
1909. Since then, every generation of Mancos high school students have studied their lessons in the same building. It is a living
historical monument, doing the same job today that it did in 1909.
In November of 1913, fire destroyed the third floor and roof of the high school and damaged the second floor. Classes continued
in the damaged building, at a nearby church, and in the gymnasium. That year the Mancos High basketball team repeated as
southwestern Colorado champs. It was not long before the high school needed more room, and in 1920 the building was expanded
to the rear, doubling its size.
By the early 1980s, the high school building had become obsolete, and Mancos students needed a more modern facility. Unwilling
to part with the old high school and the memories it held, the citizens of Mancos voted to renovate the building rather than replace
it with a new structure.
In the late 1990s, the exterior of the high school was showing it age. Mortar was loose and missing, wooden eaves were rotting,
and the roof was leaking. The Colorado Historical Society came to the rescue, awarding two grants that corrected these structural
problems and also improved the appearance of the building by covering several concrete block additions with stone masonry.
Back in 1909, the people of the Mancos Valley were proud of their handsome stone high school, and we still are today. It is the
jewel at the center of our campus, and it is the heart of our community.
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