Evidence of paranormal activity suspected at old middle school

Published in Oct. 2010

BC haunting pic1

South Padre Parade

Gathered in a circle and asking God for protection, several individuals – some who met for the first time on this night – prepared to enter a place that many have long believed haunted.

It was Saturday evening, the location was the old Berta Cabaza Middle School, and the people were real life ghostbusters.

Victor Perez, one of the founding members of RGV Paranormal Investigations, said the school piqued the group’s interest after hearing from many residents who live nearby. Apparently, people’s ghostly tales of shadowy figures roaming the old campus’ halls and sounds of children playing basketball inside the gym, not to mention the several articles and a DVD special produced by the News since 2006, were too much to pass up for this group.

It was Perez and fellow co-founders Thomas Hotcaveg and Bonnie Salazar who ran the show that night, but joining them were several other paranormal investigators – some who considered themselves mediums and others acting solely as photographers. Everything from digital cameras to infrared and night vision equipment was used during the group’s investigation of the old school, which was built around 1930 initially as San Benito High School. It wasn’t until the late 1970s that it became Berta Cabaza Middle School before its closure in 1998.

Armed with the school’s vague history, several willing participants and their hi-tech gear, the group entered the school at approximately 9 p.m. on the evening of Oct. 2. Though the temperature outdoors was cool, the interior of the archaic structure was quite warm without power. One classroom was filled with at least a foot of water (apparently from a leak somewhere in the room) and others that once represented bathrooms, a library, and offices were a mere shell of their former selves. What was left are rodents, graffiti from previous Halloween events, props left behind by law enforcement officers conducting training in the facility, and obsolete classroom materials.

The once proud school reduced to storage.

It’s no wonder how rumors of ghostly activity have run rampant there through the years. However, Perez and the rest of RGV Paranormal Investigations believe they’ve found proof of an eerie presence (or two) at the school.

“We saw movements and shadows, children playing up on the second floor of who we get the feeling were from another time, and in the gym we had so much activity. Photos taken inside the gym show ectoplasm, possibly of people playing basketball,” Perez said of the group’s findings.

He added, “We also think we might have a couple EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) recordings, but we need to see what’s going on in the background to make sure it wasn’t noise we were making. What it does sound like are a couple of growling noises in the gym and someone saying something to the effect of, ‘Coach, are you here?’”

Concerning the gym, RGV Paranormal Investigations co-founder Thomas Hotcaveg concurred with Perez’s assessment. “My personal opinion is I felt more activity in the gym, but we’re still going over evidence,” Hotcaveg said.

When asked for his overall view of the old Berta Cabaza Middle School, Perez said, “Like any other place, obviously there’s activity. Some places have more activity than others. But I feel there is happiness and good tidings here, it’s not always evil. In fact it was pretty neat.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.portisabelsouthpadre.com/2011/10/27/evidence-of-paranormal-activity-suspected-at-old-middle-school/


    • Carolina Salazar on July 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm
    • Reply

    I went to Berta Cabaza in 1991-1993 and I would very much like to know if a video was made public of the investigators findings. I would like to see the old halls once again. I have good memories there. Waiting for the bus in the gym,pep rallys, assemblies, all kinds of things. If there is any information you can give me I would greatly appreciate it.


    Carolina Salazar

    • Tina (Gonzalez) Fuentes on February 20, 2015 at 7:20 am
    • Reply

    Here lately I’ve been trying to find some records of mine there at the school where I last tended school 1984 which would have been my eighth-grade year and apparently they can’t find anything with my name on it or that I even attended the school..now how weird is that? I have not lived in San Benito in 25 years, and I’m just now hearing about all these ghost things, hearing things, seen people going on at the school. This is something very very new to me. My mother used to live there but she doesn’t live in San Benito anymore but I do still have one sister living in the town of San Benito and I’ve never ever heard of anything like this going on I am very surprised. I would love to still hear of anything that goes on around or in the school area. Happy hunting to everyone and I hope this doesn’t get everybody to scared about an old-school that still stands.

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