'Haunted Old Town Spring': Ghost Capital of Texas Apr 2, 2018 16:10:49 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Apr 2, 2018 16:10:49 GMT -5
Haunted Old Town Spring: Ghost Capital of Texas
HOUSTON – Do you believe in ghosts? You may not know this, but Old Town Spring, just north of Houston, is often called the ghost capital of Texas. There are hundreds of accounts of spooky things happening in the area.
“I have seen many things,” author and photographer Cathy Nance said. “All my years of doing this [and] I have seen many things.” Nance is the founder of Woodlands Paranormal, a group that hunts ghosts and investigates things the unexplained.
Old Town Spring is a small area featuring more than a hundred shops and restaurants and 40 of these locations have reported ghostly activity and inexplicable incidents. In fact, it’s such a popular ghost stop that Nance has written a book about it: Haunted Old Town Spring. “The book is really a daytime walking guide to Old Town Spring,” Nance explained.
One of the haunted locations is Simply Texas Gourmet Foods, where owner Matthew Potter admitted, “I heard it when we moved in. I was a skeptic, as well. It’s been seven years now. There have been a lot of things that have happened.” Sometimes when he shows up for work in the morning, things aren’t the way he left them. “That’s happened several times. The night before, it’s all normal and I come in in the morning and it’s like duk-duk-duk-duk,” he added, making the sound as he demonstrated moving bottles. “That’s a weird thing. There's been a couple of times they smash a bottle here and there, but most of the times, no damage [is done].”
Jessica Lynn, owner of Ellen’s Café, said, “I really didn’t know the haunted history of Old Town Spring, but quickly when we moved in, we started having experiences of our own.” The hospitable atmosphere and unique ice cream selections make the café a popular spot for visitors, especially a particular “guest” who always seems to leave behind a mess. “And they said it was a guy named Henry and he worked for the railroad and he was partial to tea,” Lynn continued. “That all started to make sense because we would have tea kettles and stuff like that fall off the shelves and stuff. The physical things he was doing – he would move things around.”
Then there was that time at the Noble Street Tattoo shop when a party quickly became frantic when owner Tommy Phillips thought someone was locked in the bathroom. “I banged on the door [and got] no response,” Phillips explained. “Then I busted it open, broke the lock [and] stepped in. There was no one in the room – bars on the windows [and] no way of exiting. The lock is a latch lock. It’s a hook that goes through a hole and you have to manually put it over.” There’s also a glass dog beside the register that has been mysteriously knocked off and broken several times.
But even if you don’t enter one of the many haunted business establishments when you visit Old Town Spring, there’s a chance you might meet a headless railroad man stalking the streets. According to Nance, the man “was said to be running with a lantern, trying to tell the train to stop” and “tripped and fell under the oncoming train. He’s here now. People see him.”
“I don't believe in no ghosts,” Phillips insisted. “But there were some things that happened around here that were kinda strange.”
Potter reiterated his skepticism. “I’m a skeptic. I’m not necessarily a believer in everything,” he asserted, “but I’ve seen it happen right in front of my face, so I don’t know what to say. You know? It’s bizarre, for sure.”
There’s no rational reason why Old Town Spring is haunted. Some theorize it’s haunted by American Indians or that it has something to do with the nearby railroad that runs through the town. Nance said it was because people were constantly asking her about ghosts in Old Town Spring and she was drawing maps and diagrams of the haunted locations that led to her decision to write her book.
If you visit Old Town Spring, remember it’s more than just a quaint place to shop or dine, it’s also populated by a number of otherworldly residents. There’s “Uncle Charlie,” who still fusses about the historic Wunsche Brothers Café, the oldest commercial structure in the area. The spirit of a young girl who died in a barn still plays with her friends in Doering Court, while a headless switchman runs after phantom trains in an attempt to prevent a collision. Nance regales visitors with these and many other stories as she leads groups of thrill-seekers through the streets of Old Town Spring, one of the spookiest sites in Texas.
Sources: KPRC, October 23, 2017, and Arcadia Publishing.