They say it was a brisk October night back in 1882 when an angry lynch mob finally put an end to the murderous rampage of Hezekiah Jones, a man known simply as the Hangman. When the sun fell, he would stalk his victims along the banks of the Trinity River and hang them until dead. By his rope, one hundred twenty people died.
Then one October night, he was strung up by the neck with his own bloodstained rope. The mob watched as he gasped for breath through the blackened bag covering his face. They left him hanging there in the damp night air to die. But when the gravedigger came back in the morning, all he found was a broken rope dangling from the limb of a rotting oak tree down by the river's edge.
As legend tells it, the Hangman won't die until the souls of those 120 victims are gone. Every year he takes a soul from his rope to continue his horrible existence. But when they're used up, he will die. Unless of course, he kills again.
Last year over 30,000 people claimed to have seen the Hangman stalking victims throughout the city of Fort Worth in search of new souls to fuel his immortality allowing him to carry on his murderous wrath.
No one knows for sure how many new souls he has claimed. But there are telltale signs that he's looking for victims once again. The sound of jingling spurs, creaking rope and his growling, maniacal laughter have been heard in the area.
The fourteen stories of the notorious Baker Hotel towered over the small town of Mineral Wells, Texas like a brown brick giant. It had 460 rooms, two complete spas, and what is said to be the first Olympic-size swimming pool in the United States. The Baker was once one of the most lavish resorts in Texas, however the dark and mysterious stories of ghosts and hauntings began long before it ever closed.
A porter who worked there during the 50's and 60's was the first known witness of “The Woman on the Seventh Floor.” She was presumed to be the mistress of the owner of the hotel, T.B. Baker. Distraught from their affair, she threw herself to her death from the top of the building.
Many guests over the years have mentioned smelling the perfume of the woman in Mr. Baker’s large and luxurious suite, and her spirit is said to be quite flirtatious with men she may fancy. Recently a woman, who worked as a maid in the hotel, reported that on several occasions, she found glasses in the vacant room with red lipstick stains on the rims.
It was often reported that near the main lobby on the first floor, the distinct sound of a woman in high heels walking across the lobby was heard. On one occasion, a maintenance worker was on the 7th floor re-setting an electrical breaker to the Christmas lights, which continuously tripped every night during display. As he was inspecting the fuse box, attempting to locate the breaker switch, he heard the footsteps of an unseen person walking up to his left, quietly, as if not to bother him. A bit startled, he turned to look and saw no one.
Although the Baker Hotel closed its doors in 1970, the ghostly echoes of times past can still be heard, seen, and felt by anyone brave enough to enter.
People come from far and wide to drive onto the tracks of the infamous Bethesda Road railroad crossing in Burleson, Texas and place their cars in neutral in the dead of the night. After a short period of time, the car will be miraculously pushed off the tracks without any explanation. Many years ago, a gruesome event took place at the very crossing where this occurs, and people say that it is because of this that the phenomenon now exists.
A bus full of schoolchildren, who were on their way home from a class outing, had stalled out on the tracks. It was late, and the kids had fallen asleep, so their teacher was trying to restart the bus without waking them. Suddenly, she heard a train was coming. She knew she didn’t have time to wake the children to evacuate them, so she gave one last ditch effort towards starting the bus. She failed.
The bus was ripped in half by the speeding train. The train tore the bus apart and with it, all of the children inside. To this day, the spirits of these young souls will push anyone willing to test the tale off the tracks to safety.
Another Texas haunt legend centered around the railroad is the tale of a ghostly light often seen on Bragg Road, or “The Ghost Road of Hardin County.” The haunting story gathered steam in the 1940’s, ’50s and ’60s as more people traveled to the road. Explanations of the Ghost Light (or Bragg Light as it was called originally by locals) are varied and descriptive, although an eerie glow of a lantern down the tracks is featured in these tales consistently.
The most well-known story is that of a railroad man who was brutally decapitated in a train wreck. Many have seen the body of the man, lantern in hand, looking for his head which was never found after his gruesome death.
A staple in the old Texas town of Granbury, the Granbury Opera House holds one of the strangest national haunt legends known to be: the claim that Granbury resident John St. Helens was the one and same John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. John St. Helens confessed to Lincoln's assassination on his death bed in a Granbury doctor's office. The only problem is, St. Helens didn't die that day, and shortly left Granbury unannounced.
Local stories around Granbury, depending on who you talk to, have it that St. Helens was a big fan of the Granbury Opera House and, as a well-known thespian, may have performed there on several occasions. In fact, the restored opera house is said to be haunted by a stately figure in black wearing large black boots and a waist coat to match. The apparition is said to be well versed in Shakespeare and has been known to launch in a tyrannical performance of passion and prose.
The few who have said to have seen the apparition later, after examining photos of Booth, say the ghost and the assassin appear to look very much the same. Is it the ghost of John Wilkes Booth who haunts the Granbury Opera House? Or are the tales and stories nothing more than legend and fable?
Now in operation as the University Hospital of San Antonio, the Bexar County Hospital located in the south central region of Texas was once home to the cruel (and recently re-convicted) Genene Jones, a nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in the late 70’s and early 80’s. While many reports of spiritual activity remain active, the true and twisted tale of Jones that dubbed her the “Angel of Death” is more chilling than any haunt legend.
Working at several medical clinics in and around San Antonio, Jones practiced possibly the most heinous life-and-death games in American history, injecting innumerable babies with life-threatening drugs. Jones found a thrill in putting the small children in mortal peril and thrusting herself into the role of hero when the children pulled through. Unfortunately, many did not.
Though periodically investigated and even being dismissed from two separate medical facilities when suspicions about infant deaths centered on her, Jones continued to inject babies with chemicals. She was even directly accused by a fellow nurse before her dismissal from the Bexar County Medical Center, which conducted three separate investigations into the string of deaths but could never implicate Jones directly.
The sadistic nurse was finally indicted on charges of murder. She went on trial in 1984 and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. She was also indicted on just one of her many murders in May of 2017, which she will stand trial for in Bexar County after her scheduled release from Gatesville March of 2018.
It has been speculated that “Angel of Death” Genene Jones may have murdered almost 50 helpless infants dating back to the beginning of her nursing career in 1977, and that many of the souls taken much too soon remain in the hospital, forever a reminder of the tragedies that took place.
Built in 1895 as residence for a Waxahachie farmer, the Victorian-style home now known as the Catfish Plantation Restaurant has a lively history that the current owners will happily share with any and all guests. Located deep in Ellis County, this restaurant holds a handful of the strangest hauntings known to Texas.
In 1984, Tom and Melissa Baker found the property, which had been empty for several years, and started a restaurant. Neither were big fans of the paranormal but shortly after purchasing the property, things began to happen that would make them true believers.
While only the couple had the keys to the building, Melissa came in to find a large tea urn, with neatly stacked coffee cups inside, which had somehow been transported to the middle of the floor, far away from where they belonged. On another morning, she came in to find fresh brewed coffee waiting for her in the completely empty building.
Once opened, employees began to tell strange stories; a fry basket levitating in the kitchen, a glowing blue light illuminating a room that was otherwise empty, the ghostly figure of a bride standing by a front window. The sheer number of reports was overwhelming and paranormal investigators were invited to give their impressions of the old house. What they found was a list of characters from Waxahachie’s past, each with distinct personalities, each existing independent of one other at the restaurant.
Among the resident spirits is a man who likes to “flirt” with female guest by touching their knee or shoulder or playing with their long hair; a young female who seems confused by her surroundings and “Caroline,” a previous owner who sometimes becomes short tempered because she sees herself as still being the head of the household.
In 2007, the Bakers sold the Catfish Plantation Restaurant and its ghostly inhabitants to the Landis Family who are still dedicated to keeping the tales alive, almost as alive the spirits that continue to haunt the restaurant.