Ghost Stories and Urban Legends of Katy, Texas Oct 27, 2017 2:04:35 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Oct 27, 2017 2:04:35 GMT -5
Ghost Stories and Urban Legends of Katy, Texas
Ghost stories may be more fun to tell around Halloween, but paranormal activity is a subtle part of Katy’s history and culture year-round.
The Katy witch. It’s a tradition almost as essential as football games or prom – many high school students in Katy visit the witch’s grave at least once before they graduate. That is, if they want to risk being cursed by the hexes rumored to be guarding her 106-year-old grave. The legend concerns the grave of Barbara Snyder in Katy Magnolia Cemetery. Snyder was a German immigrant who settled in Pennsylvania with her husband, according to an article in Katy Lifestyles and Homes by historical author Carol Adams. Snyder eventually moved to Katy with her daughter and son-in-law before she died in 1911.
Snyder’s grave large tombstone is partially responsible for her status as the subject of a local urban legend. That and her eerie epitaph, which reads:
Remember me as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I:
As I am now, you soon shall be,
Prepare for death and follow me.
According to Adams, Snyder was not a witch, and, in fact, attended the Methodist Church. The inscription was relatively normal for the time period, but the morbid-sounding words earned Snyder the title of witch in modern folklore.
Reported unusual activity at Snyder’s burial site has strengthened the legend over time. After visitors of Snyder’s grave read her epitaph out loud, legend has it they will have bad luck, according to Adams. “Story variations include a number of black cats that would congregate near the grave, strange voices, and whistles and cold breezes that blow even in the summer,” Adams wrote.
Local paranormal investigator Laurie St. Cyr of KT Paranormal doesn’t believe the legend of the witch’s grave, but has documented other possible paranormal activity at Katy Magnolia Cemetery, including the apparition of a young boy. “We feel that he was making his presence known,” St. Cyr said. “Several of us had seen him peek behind graves, one of us saw him sitting on top of a grave kicking his legs, how little kids do.” According to St. Cyr, she did not notice until about six months later that she and her team captured a picture of what they believe is the spirit of a three-year-old boy.
A woman in white. If a so-called witch buried in a Katy cemetery is too much horror so close to home, fasten your seatbelt, because the list of legends hasn’t ended. Near a bayou off Greenhouse and Clay roads, a female spirit in a white dress is rumored to appear at night. When St. Cyr and her team investigated the legend a few years ago, a few members of KT Paranormal saw the woman. St. Cyr wasn’t sure if the sightings were a trick of the light or evidence of the supernatural. She wore what looked like female farm attire from the 1800s; she had a long white dress, a bonnet and possibly held a baby in her arms, St. Cyr advised.
Ghostly fingerprints. Another local legend involves spirits on the Patterson bridge who leave fingerprints. Drivers traveling slowly over the bridge between Highway 6 and Eldridge have reported being pushed by ghosts while in their vehicle, according to St. Cyr. KT Paranormal team member did not find any promising activity during their investigation, however some people claim the ghosts leave fingerprints behind on the backs of cars. Haunted Places.org mentions the legend, indicating that anyone who parks on the bridge may hear tapping on the outside of their car.
While the legend claims the ghosts are soldiers who died during a Civil War battle near the bridge, there are no battle sites near that area from the Civil War according to a map from the Texas Historical Commission.
These urban legends mainly involve unnamed spirits, or people who died before this century. Some parts of the legends are difficult to prove or disprove, but some stories involve the history of real families. St. Cyr believes it is important to look for truth in these rumors. “Know the history,” she recommended. “If you don’t know it, look it up, see what you can find out. Families are involved in these things and it’s not fair for that family to be stuck with that stigma because of urban legends.”
Source: Emily Lincke, The Houston Chronicle, October 11, 2017.