Mrs. Oatney and Bob

THE GHOST, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND. According to, 18 percent of American adults claim they have seen or heard a ghost sometime in their lives. Two of Valley Heights’ very own staff members contribute to that percentage. Librarian, Kim Oatney, states, “I don’t believe in ghosts…but I believe in Bob.” Bob, named by Mrs. Oatney, has made numerous appearances at Valley Heights. “He for sure lives in the band room. Of course he will wander around the school, but his home is the band room.” Mrs. Oatney recalls playing the piano with her class, then leaving to help a student. When she came back to the piano, the sound was completely different even though no one had  been around the piano. “We’d lose music and then would find it in very strange places like behind the instrument cages. He’s done some weird stuff.” Mrs. Oatney believes that Bob was originally one of Beethoven’s friends or colleagues that somehow wandered from music room to music room until he found the right one for him. 

Winnie Hyde, a custodian at the high school, has had some pretty spooky interactions with Bob as well. For example, there have been multiple times that she has been cleaning while no one else is around. She would set something down and the next thing she knew it would be on the opposite side of the room. One day, she walked in to see the ice scoop literally in the air as if it had been thrown. She believes that Bob may have come from someone who had previously died at the school. 

Both Winnie and Mrs. Oatney agree that Bob is most active when no one else is around, whether that be in the summer or just after school ends for the day. Nonetheless, he still interacts with students on a daily basis. Spinning chairs, dropped instruments, and lights flickering, Bob shows his mischievous side. Harmony Conti, sophomore, expresses, “He for sure is a friendly ghost. He loves Valley Heights and that is why he sticks around.” 

Article by: Audra Steinfort