Hangman's House of Horrors has been scaring DFW for over 3 decades. The legend of Hezekiah Jones, aka "The Hangman", has now taken its place among some of the most popular haunt legends in the Lone Star State. Come see these legends brought to life at Hangman's House of Horrors as we present "Legends Never Die"
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.
Though encounters with the paranormal and the odd go almost as far back as the school itself, one particular part of its history that cannot be ignored was its time working as an overflow morgue during the World Wars. The school’s immense and labyrinthine basement temporarily held bodies that were shipped into El Paso in the wake of the Spanish Flu outbreak and combat deaths from World War II until the next of kin could be informed.
If that weren’t odd enough about the basement, there have been reports of faculty and students exploring the basements and discovering classrooms from the early 20th century in pristine condition (save for the dust) yet hastily blocked off, with no stated reasons given by the administration for their abandoned status.
Given the years the school has been in operation and the number of times it has been repeatedly altered to change with the times, discoveries along these lines are not uncommon.
Odd as these anecdotes are, there are more distinctly supernatural tales of bizarre goings-on at El Paso High. Over the years, people have reported slamming doors and the sounds of spectral pep rallies and games going on in the school gym, only to discover the building completely empty on further inspection.
One teacher told a story where, going home after a late night of work, he saw a girl in an old blue dress standing at the end of a hallway. Certain that she was not supposed to be there, he went to tell her to leave school. When she turned to face him, she looked at him sadly, and only then could the teacher realize that she was as intangible as mist and faded away from existence.
The sighting of ghost girls is a common occurrence at this school, with at least one being tied to a girl who’d committed suicide by slitting her wrists and jumping to her death from a balcony within the school. Though the hallway and stairwell leading to it have since been walled off, more than one person has reported seeing a girl standing in that balcony, occasionally leaping from it to her doom.
Those brave enough to have snuck into the blocked off hallways have reported strange slime dripping from the ceiling and a light mist that pours through at least once a day, only to quickly evaporate.
Another of the most famous El Paso High ghost stories comes from a class picture taken of the 1985 graduating class. Mixed in among a row of teachers is a faded young woman in a white dress. Only a few people in the picture seem to notice her, and upon questioning, nobody in the picture claims to know who she was.
The term “Haunted,” as any respectable Ghost Hunter will tell you, is a relative term and often misunderstood by the public; but one thing all paranormal investigators agree with is that the 1895 Victorian at 814 Water Street in Waxahachie is most definitely the residence of several earthbound spirits.
In 1984, Tom and Melissa Baker found the property, which had been empty for several years and while it was not the perfect location to start a restaurant, they both agreed that the house had a certain charm that could not be denied. 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 began to find that she was obviously not the only one with access. One day, she 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!
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 and 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 restaurant and its ghostly inhabitants to the Landis Family who invited the nationally acclaimed Association for the Study of Unexplained Phenomenon to re-investigate the locale. Using state of the art research equipment, the 40 year old ASUP confirmed several spirits, who freely interacted with the field investigators. All of the spirits at the Catfish Plantation are categorized as “friendly and positive,” according to the group’s chief investigator.
In a later TV segment filmed at the Catfish Plantation for the Travel Channel, one senior investigator was sitting in a side room talking about the history of the building, when he noted a shocked look on the faces of several of the folks in the room. A ghostly apparition had come to the doorway from the nearby restroom and hovered behind him for several minutes, only to dematerialize when one of the people interrupted him to say there was a ghost standing nearby. The ghost apparently was pleased to hear his story.
Today, the Catfish Plantation and the Landis Family is dedicated to offering the best in Cajun style cuisine, while keeping the ghostly traditions alive. The locale has been featured on a host of TV program on all the major networks, in newspaper and magazine articles worldwide and has welcomed those who want to learn more about their earth bound spirit residents while enjoying the best food and the warmest ambiance available anywhere!
Another Texas haunt legend 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.
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.
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.
As the oldest church in the Lone Star State, it only makes sense that San Fernando Cathedral might be one of the most haunted locations in all of San Antonio. The apparition of a white stallion galloping in front of the church has been spotted, as though the ghost of the Apache's peace offering from the 1730s has yet to leave the site of his death.
Guests on ghost tours have caught all sorts of paranormal phenomena, including brightly-lit orbs skirting past and the sight of dark shadows moving around.
Who are these spirits who still call San Fernando Cathedral home?
Although we can’t say for certain, it’s quite likely that it might be the energies of the people who were once buried within the walls of the church itself.
During the early years of the old San Fernando Church, it wasn’t out of the norm to actually bury people within the walls of church. The rankings of the people never mattered. From the highest-ranking men, to the smallest, poorest child, all ultimately found themselves interred within the walls of San Fernando . . . for a period of time, at any rate.
While the parishioners were given the walls, the priests and other prominent Catholics in the parish were given the floor of the church as their final resting place. Anthony Dominic Pellicer, the first bishop of San Fernando Cathedral, is buried under the head of the main aisle of the church. More strangely, the area where the Alamo defenders’ “remains” were found by the sanctuary railing just so happens to be the place where many officers who perished in the Battle of El Rossillo, on March 28 1813, were buried.
For years, many people who visit San Fernando have reported seeing faces appear in the exterior walls of the church. A gaping mouth, two sunken eyes—the features of a skull have appeared to countless of people visiting the oldest standing structure in Texas.
Are the faces on the rock wall only a matter of imagination, and interpretation?
While some might argue that the skull-like, spectral faces that suddenly appear on the outer rock walls of the church are the spirits of those interred within San Fernando Cathedral, there’s no mistaking the amount of people who have been buried within, as well as the amount of paranormal sightings that have occurred elsewhere on the cathedral’s grounds.
Other people meandering past the historic, yet haunted, landmark have reported the manifestation of other shadowy figures by the walls and next to the doors of the cathedral. According to some who have seen these specters, many of the ghostly shadows have appeared with hoods drawn down over their faces.
On one occasion, a guest on a ghost tour stood listening to her guide regale her with the tales of the church itself. But even as she stood there, her gaze continued to track a strange man who seemed to be following the tour. He trailed them, following them from the front of the cathedral and then again when they edged toward the back of the historic site. And then . . . then, he simply disappeared.
One of the most popular ghost tales of the Spaghetti Warehouse centers around a young pharmacist who was very dedicated to his job. One night he was very busy and had a pile of paperwork on his desk. He grabbed a stack of papers and headed back to the elevator. He was a bit careless and stepped into the dark without looking and he fell several feet to his death. He stepped into the open elevator shaft and not the elevator.
When he did not return home from work, his wife began to worry. She went to the warehouse in a hurry to find her husband only to see a group of people standing around the building and talking about the tragedy which had just taken place. Inside the warehouse, the wife found the remains of her husband crumpled at the bottom of the elevator shaft.
His wife was so traumatized by his sudden death that she herself also died a year later. It is said that their grief stricken souls haunt the area of the vast restaurant. She is said to rearrange furniture, leave the dishes and silverware in disarray, tap guests on their shoulders and pull their hair.
Diners have also reported seeing objects floating and unexplained cool and clammy breezes. Restaurant employees have their own fair share of ghost stories and most of them are too afraid to venture upstairs.
One waitress said she saw a floating wicker basket near the wooden staircase and she watched as it was gently set back down to the ground. She also reported hearing her name being called from an empty room. Another waitress was attending to guests when a bottle of wine was lifted from the table, floated through the air and landed upright.