Dragon In The Holy Place

Published on: November 15, 2013


Palm Beach Post, Friday, October 26, 1979

Miami (AP) – Students and teachers at a military school in Miami’s Little Havana section went “berserk” yesterday after a hypnotism session in a science class, kicking holes in walls, tearing down doors and screaming about demons, police said.

“The whole school went berserk,” Miami police officer Harry Cunnil said.  “Teachers and students were running around tearing up things.”

None of the 300 students at the Miami Aerospace Academy, which has kindergartner through the twelfth grade, was seriously injured, police said.

“Some of the kids were collapsing and falling over,” said Miami Fire Department spokesman Dan LeMay.  “There were students lying on the floor.  They seemed to be in a hysterical state.  It mushroomed.  Six or seven of them were flaked out all over the place.”

When rescue squads arrived at the school the boy was conscious, but “Somebody yelled downstairs that somebody else had collapsed,” LeMay said.

Firemen hastily called police for assistance.  When officers arrived they found, “People yelling and screaming as if they were possessed,”  Cunnil said.

Fire investigator, Lt. John Gilbert, said, “In one classroom the door was ripped off the hinges.”

The bizarre events were apparently triggered in the tenth-grade science class where a teacher was demonstrating hypnotism, Cunnil said.  Students told firemen there had been a recent class on the supernatural.

“One boy became hysterical and punched out a window,” LeMay said.  The youth, who was not identified, was taken to a local hospital.  No other students were hospitalized.

“It seemed they were induced by the sight of the others who became hysterical; it was like a domino effect,” Le May said.

Academy President Evaristo Marina vehemently denied any witchcraft or hypnotism classes were taught at his private school, attended mostly by Spanish-speaking children from the Miami area.

“We don’t teach those things here,” Marina said.  “This all got out of hand because everybody came at once.  When you are a child and the fire, police, health and media people all come at once you can go crazy.  It’s like yelling fire in a crowded theater.”

Marina, an owner of the school, refused to let reporters inside the two-story, pink Spanish-style structure, but many youngsters already were outside.

“I saw three girls.  They had fainted.  There was some screaming about ‘Bloody Mary’ and more screaming,” said a little boy, who was quickly hustled away by older uniformed students who told him to keep quiet.

Two other uniformed youngsters said several young girls had screamed about witchcraft during the rampage.

Marina identified the science teacher as Patrice Murphy and said he would talk to her about the incident.

“She is a science teacher; she has the right to teach science,” Marina said.  Marina, a candidate for the City Commission, blamed his political opponents for the incident.  “Somebody put the kids up to it,” he said.   “One week before the election and everybody is trying to get us.”

LeMay did not estimate the amount of damage, but said fire inspectors found “about half-a-dozen safety violations, including missing stairways and banisters and inoperable sprinkler systems.”  He said the school would be ordered to correct the deficiencies.

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Dragon In The Holy Place Booklet

Compiled by:
Morris E. Graham and Glen and Erma Miller

Printed in the United States of America – April, 1987 at Lake Hamilton Bible Camp

No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior, written permission of Lake Hamilton Bible Camp

Glen and Erma Miller
Lake Hamilton Bible Camp
P. O. Box 21516
Hot Springs, AR  71903
(501) 525-8204


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