Haunted Best Southwest: The Real Thing

cawith text over moon and gravestone

When asked to name some of the haunted locations around the Best Southwest that are truly haunted and not just another haunted house for Halloween, I did some research and found a few that are legitimately worth retelling for this year’s spooky season.

Cedar Hill Ghost Road

Seems like every city in the USA has a story about a road that has at least one ghost walking up and down the parameter looking for a ride.

Mt. Lebanon Road in Cedar Hill seems to be that city’s version of a ghost road.

One story I researched tells the story of a group of ghost dogs that live/lived in the abandoned housing edition on the east side of the highway.  The story was told that if you visited the area at dusk and parked near the back of the property facing south you could hear the dogs barking as the sun went down. One person relaying the story of his experience there even said that as the sun sets the barking gets closer, but you had better wait for the phantom dogs to pass because if you try to start your car before that time your gas tank will read empty.

Another story I found was also a Mt. Lebanon memory of a cemetery located nearby the road. Rumors were of people in long black cloaks near a fire burning in the woods. The legend is if they see you and you try to drive away a car will follow you all the way to the service road and then disappear.

Also, in Cedar Hill and in my book “Haunted Dallas” is the Pleasant Valley Cemetery off Texas Plume Road. At the time I wrote my book the cemetery was fenced in and sat near a residential area. The cemetery was established in 1848 and it sits in the area of Cedar Hill with rolling hills nearby Joe Pool Lake.  It was known that many had referred to this area as Witch Mountain or Old Spook Hill for years and even today it has been referred to as Ghost Mountain. The history of the cemetery lies in the fact that at one time this was part of the Old Chisolm Trail heading to Fort Worth.

An old timer named Jacob Gardner Boydstun settled in the area where the cemetery is located, setting three acres aside for a church and a graveyard. He was buried there as was his wife and others. The haunting here seems to revolve around what people have called the goat man who prowls the cemetery looking for grave robbers, which were commonplace at this cemetery before the Texas Historical Commission named it a Texas Historical Landmark in 1995.

Duncanville High School Auditorium Haunted or Not?

School auditoriums always seem to have spooky stories and, in this case, the haunted tale I uncovered was about the Duncanville High School auditorium. There are two separate ghosts that supposedly live there. One story is about an old man said to haunt the lighting booth. People have sworn that they have watched the lights in the booth turn off and on even with no one in the lighting booth area. There is no malice, it just seems that for those who have experienced the presence, the old man just wants to let people know he is there. However, no one seems to know where the man originated from and when he began haunting the auditorium.

In 1970 when the Alexander auditorium was built at the high school there were “Juliet towers” as part of the construction. The story is that the school put on “Romeo and Juliet” one year and during one of the rehearsals the girl cast as Juliet fell out of the balcony to her death. Apparently for some time the apparition of the girl was also seen from time to time in the lighting booth too.

Hutchins Highway Ghost

If you are ever near Hutchins at I45 and I20 late at night, there is a woman said to roam that area of the highway intersections wearing a white dress.

Waxahachie Oddfellows Building

The Oddfellows Building on South Rogers Street in downtown Waxahachie, now used for the Waxahachie Rebekah Lodge No. 381 has been rumored to be haunted for many years. Through the years this building on Rogers Street has seen a lot of history and last year I did a ghost tour with ghost hunters Sandy and Andy Emmons during one of their paranormal events. The Emmon’s have all the equipment and knowledge to shake the ghosts out of this old building, and lots of stories to share as well. The building where the Emmons give scheduled tours known as the Oddfellows Building was built in 1891 and was the Texas Mortgage Banking Company.

On the second floor of this building there were businesses and doctor’s offices. The building did not house the local Independent Order of Odd Fellows chapter until 1911 after a fire destroyed their original headquarters. On my tour of the building we went upstairs and explored the various rooms with the proper equipment to detect a ghost, which we did locate at least a few times before the tour ended.

Also in my Haunted Dallas book is a fantastic bed and breakfast on Main Street in Waxahachie called Chaska House. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was built in 1900 reflecting the Revival Style attitude of that time. One of the strange occurrences in the house that I wrote about in my book did not happen until after it had changed hands a few times after the original owners had passed.

During a renovation when the entire phone system in the house was replaced the owners at that time heard a phone ringing and they discovered it was a phone from the old system that had been disconnected. The story goes it kept ringing until it was answered and a person on the other end ask to speak with a Mrs. Curline who had never lived in Chaska house, but who had apparently been a neighbor.