Monday, May 14, 2012


Choctaw was settled in 1890 and by statehood in 1907 the town could claim less than three hundred souls. Today, it is a modest and pleasant community under 20,000 with most growth occurring in outlying portions of the community. 

In the older heart of the town at the north end stands an elementary school and right next door is a junior or middle high building.  A few blocks south is the new (since destruction by the May 3, 1993 tornado) public library.  It's original incarnations were first as a book mobile and then a corner in the old community center (just off the shopping center dead center of town). It was a daytime only library for most of its life until it moved into the building destroyed by the tornado and then late hours were a modest closing by 6 p.m. or 8 p.m.

Persistent urban legends claim ghostly activity at both of these places.  Yet, detailed investigations into the claims results in classing them as distinct urban myths probably begun by bored local youth. Boredom, controlled substance abuse, high spirits, pranks, and hoaxes are often behind many such local stories. Since this is how most  urban legends begin it is not too surprising they seem to 'hang' in mid-air with out context, beginning, or end. 

Take the tale of the elementary school.  In the front of the middle school is a place where one may sit and in the day you can hear children playing - from the school yard just over the wall!   At night, there are enough surfaces to generate whistling wind, scrapping branches, and dried leaves enough to set a heart racing and the imagination busy.

The library, staff and customers, many of whom where long time regulars, could not verify any unusual incidents of books flying off the shelves late at night.  The cleaners also could not provide any information. In addition, the hours , line of sight, security cameras and customer flow at all locations which had housed the library make it unlikely the tale has any validity.   

Additionally, no local news, events, or stories corroborate a rationale for the alleged visitations.  This also adds to the conclusion the initial investigation was correct to label it an urban legend. 

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