This former school is haunted by the ghost of a clarinetist

The quaintly named Valentine, Nebraska is a small town near the South Dakota border with a population of only a few thousand people. It holds the honors of housing Centennial Hall, Nebraska’s oldest standing school, built in 1897.

According to local legend, a student at the school was murdered in Centennial Hall in 1944. The young unnamed girl was a clarinetist, and her friend poisoned her clarinet reed. When the girl put the clarinet in her mouth to play, she died from the poisonous reed.

Before the school was converted into a museum, teachers would report seeing a ghostly apparition and feeling a feeling of dread or unease. Now, you can still hear the sound of music being played in the Music Hall (although the instruments were removed long ago), and rocking chairs will mysteriously rock without anyone around.

The former school was converted into a museum which now allows visitors to admire the building’s architecture and collection of historical objects displayed in the museum’s twelve thematic rooms.

Are you brave enough to walk through the corridors of Centennial Hall in search of this clarinetist ghost?


  • Michele

    I have lived in Valentine my entire life. I attended this school. I never heard anything about thg his until a couple years ago. There are no newspaper articles about this incident, and no elders that live here that know anything about this.

  • Jan Knispel

    I have to say that there are numerous residents of Valentine who believe this “myth” of the clarinet murder. However, research in local newspapers show no evidence or reports of any person dying in the old high school building now known as Centennial Hall.

    • jennyclarinet

      This is very interesting! One day, I would like to go and research the archives to see if I could trace how this myth began!

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