Compostela Valley school suspends classes due to ‘malevolent spirits’
TAGUM CITY, Philippines—Classes at a public high school in Compostela Valley were suspended starting Thursday after more than 50 of its students were supposedly possessed by “malevolent spirits,” school and local officials said.
At least 56 students suffered seizures and fainted, drooled and hurled invectives before their terrified classmates and teachers at the Compostela National High School in Compostela town, according to high school teacher Hilda Gales.
The incident happened shortly before 7 a.m. as students streamed out of their rooms and formed lines on the school quadrangle for a flag ceremony, said Gales.
She said the “spirits” who “spoke” through the students demanded the demolition of an eight-room building constructed last year as it disturbed their dwelling place.
“Students started to pass out one by one, only to squirm and struggle wildly later when their fellow students and some teachers tried helping them. More students also collapsed and went hostile as teachers attempted a pray-over,” said Julius Conejos, a staffer at the mayor’s office, adding worried and terrified parents rushed to the school hours later to fetch their children.
Gales said the alleged possession actually started Friday last week, afflicting several freshman students. But it was on Thursday when it peaked and affected 56 students, she said.
Compostela town Mayor Jessie Bolo said he has asked the provincial schools division superintendent to suspend the school’s classes.
“There was pandemonium as parents rushed to the school to take their children home. I already ordered an investigation into this unusual incident. In the meantime, classes were being suspended,” Bolo said.
Gales said the students were brought to a chapel to be prayed over and “were sent home after recovering.”
“It’s the first time such incident happened here,” said Gales.
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