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More Than Just Ghost Stories

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					     Stomping
              GROUNDS
                         history                                                                                                                                                                                                        The bank area
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      seems to be the


                                                               More Than Just Ghost Stories
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      preferred site for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     ghostly activity at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Spaghetti
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Warehouse.




                                                                                                                                              “I don’t stay late at night,                               chandelier from New York’s Penn
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Station are just a few of the incredible
                                                                                                                                              and I don’t come in early                                  antique pieces that add an air of
                                                                                                                                                   in the mornings.                                      mystique. But for many, the
                                                                                                                                                                                                         fascination with this restaurant
                                                                                                                                                I make sure I’m never                                    seems to come from the entities that
                                                                                                                                                      here alone.”                                       inhabit the building, with no
                                                                                                                                                                                                         intention of leaving anytime soon.


                                                                                                                                           S
                                                                                                                                                  andra McMasters, General Manager                           According to legend, the tragic,
                                                                                                                                                  of Houston’s Spaghetti Warehouse, is                   accidental death of a husband causes
                                                                                                                                                  never embarrassed to describe her                      a grieving widow to “haunt” the
                                                                                                                                           reluctance to risk an encounter with the                      building. After falling down the
                                                                                                            Presidio La Bahia, Goliad,     spirits that are said to haunt the popular                    elevator shaft (which is now in the
                                                                                                               makes Pete Haviland’s
                                                                                                            Top Ten Most Haunted List
                                                                                                                                           downtown restaurant. Texas seems to be                        kitchen), the man was found dead. Exactly             During an investigation, paranormal
                                                                                                                                           alive with ghostly encounters and paranormal                  one year later, it is said, the woman died of a   research team Lone Star Spirits was told
                                                                                                                                           activity, and Sandra is just one of many who                  broken heart. Sandra says there is a female       table arrangements change spontaneously,
                                                                                                                                           has experienced the phenomena. Are these                      spirit with long, flowing hair wearing a          dishes and silverware fly off the racks in the
                                                                                                                                           experiences borne of an overly active                         billowing gown that can be seen, on occasion,     kitchen, and employees feel a sense of being
                                                                                                                                           imagination? Are they preconceived notions                    standing on the staircase. Supposedly, she is     watched from the second floor stairs.
                                                                                                                                           from movies and television? Or is there                       searching the building, looking for her lost          Many employees, once skeptics, have
                                                                                                                                           something very real about “things that go                     love.                                             become believers in the possibility that there
                                                                                                                                           bump in the night?”                                               But she is not the only “ghost.” There are    is more to life and death than meets the eye.
                                                                                                                                               The Desel-Boettcher Warehouse, built in                   stories of numerous paranormal occurrences
                                                                                                                                           the Historic District of Houston in the early                 that take place in the restaurant. Most of the    The unexplainable at Goliad
                                                                                                                                           1900s, was renovated in the 1970s to become                   activity takes place on the second floor.             Goliad’s Presidio La Bahia is home to
                                                                                                                                           The Old Spaghetti Warehouse. A grandfather                        Because of a lack of proper burial            what’s been regarded as “the darkest day in
                                                                                                                                           clock from Europe, a beautiful ornate                         grounds, many times ashes were kept in an         Texas history.” The Goliad Massacre
                                                                                                                                           staircase from a castle in England, and a                     urn, secured in an urn cabinet. According to      occurred on Palm Sunday, 1836, during
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Sandra, based on accounts from patrons and        which time Col. James Walker Fannin and
                                                                                                                                                                                                         employees, children’s laughter and voices can     341 soldiers were brutally executed during
                                                                                                                                                                                                         often be heard coming from the urn cabinet        the Texas Revolution. It is at this site that
                                                                                                                                                                                                         upstairs.                                         paranormal investigator Tom Kennedy had
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           his role as skeptic challenged.




                                                                 X AS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               A chemist by profession, Tom is a man of




                                                               TE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           scientific background. But in December,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        >>




                                                                                                   STRONG
                                                                                 RAPHY BY CONNIE
                                                                STORY AND PHOTOG
                                                                                                                                         Most of the paranormal activity at Goliad takes place here, within the walls of the fort



22 September•October 2009 | TexasLiVE | www.texaslivemag.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                     TexasLiVE | September•October 2009 23
      Stomping
              GROUNDS
                          history                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The noose, now on display
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     in the museum area, rep-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     resents the many hangings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     that took place at the Jail.




                                                                                                                                                                 in their home that cannot be explained.                                                                  and a woman’s voice could be heard
                                                                                                                                                                 Sometimes the reported ‘energy’ is not                                                                   whispering “Hello.”
                                                                                                                                                                 friendly. I have been scratched and bitten                                                                  One of the spirits seems to be that of
                                                                                                                                                                 during poltergeist activity.”                                                                            Mary Dach, indicted on three counts of
                                                                                                                                                                     Peter and his team have investigated the                                                             murder for the gruesome killing of Henry
                                                                                                                                                                 Spaghetti Warehouse twice and confirm                                                                    Stoever. Sentenced to death by the electric
                                                                                                                                                                 that, indeed, most measurable activity takes                                                             chair, Mary decided instead to starve herself
                                                                                                                                                                 place on the second floor.                                                                               to death, grieving all the while for her
                                                                                                                                                                     Peter feels strongly that there are multi-                                                           children.
                                                                                                                                                                 faceted components to any paranormal
                                                                                                                                                                 experience. Many times, a traumatic event                                                                The bottom line
                                                                                                                                                                 can trigger poltergeist phenomena, and             County jail. Although stories of ghostly                  Whether you believe, or disbelieve, there
                                                                                                                                                                 through identifying the “trigger”—and at           encounters here are legendary, she remained           are certain facts that can’t be disputed.
                                                                                                                                                                 times, through applying his knowledge as a         steadfast in her practical approach. However,         Pe o pl e w h o e x p e r i e n c e t h e t r u l y
                                                                                                                                                                 trained and clinical hypnotherapist—Peter          after hearing footsteps on the stairways,             unexplainable, come away with a different
                                                                                                                                                                 can get the haunting to cease. Occasionally,       witnessing lights flickering, experiencing            perspective. Do spirits and ghosts exist
                                                                                                                                                                 depending on a person’s religious belief, a        moving objects, and numerous other                    among us? According to Diane, “Yes.”
                                                                                                                                                                 Priest, Cleanser (Native American) or even a       hair-raising events, she is now convinced she         Sandra has decided to acknowledge, honor
                                                                                                                                                                 Shaman may be brought in to help eliminate         is not alone in the building. “In the                 and respect their presence. Steve believes
                                                                                                                                                                 the haunting.                                      beginning, the thought of leaving occurred at         that there are spirits among us, but that they
                                                                                                                                                                     At times, the help of a medium/psychic         least twenty times or so; but, I’m still here!”       mean us no harm. Paula keeps an open
                                                                                                                                                                 such as Diane Gremmel may be enlisted. In          says Paula.                                           mind. Pete and Debra? They keep searching
                                                                                                                                                                 addition to working with various law                   According to an analysis by Houston               for clues, researching and investigating.
                                                                                                                                                                 enforcement and investigative agencies,            Ghost Hunters’ Debra Warley, there IS                     The question of the ages remains: What
       The Horlock House, Navasota, Tx.                                                                At the Horlock House, this piano is able to make          Diane is now part of the Lone Star Spirits         evidence of ghostly activity. During her              awaits us on the other side? As Tom says,
                                                                                                       music-- without the help of human hands.
                                                                                                                                                                 team. She says she possesses the ability to        investigation, audio recording noted three            “We really won’t know until we get there.” •
                                                                                                                                                                 communicate with those who have “crossed           gunshots—history confirms that a prisoner             Read the 1933 newspaper article of Mary Dach at:
          2001, during an investigation of the fort’s                                                              Steve reports that a city employee found      over.” Diane will go into a haunting with no       there was shot three times by the sheriff. The        www.houstonghosthunters.com/index_fi les/
          grounds and Our Lady of Loreto Chapel,                                                              that the bathtub on the second floor had           previous knowledge of address, names or            ceiling fan turned on and off spontaneously,          HGH090228info.htm.
          Tom encountered things that could not be                                                            filled with water of its own accord, with no       details. Based on “what it feels like in the
          explained logically or scientifically. He                                                           one else in the house. This has happened on        house,” she deciphers “who” may be
          explains that the group of four spent much of                                                       two separate occasions. As rational human          inhabiting the residence. Using her interpre-
          their time in the quadrangle of Presidio La                                                         beings, we want to find reasonable, logical        tation, Peter then proceeds to verify historical
          Bahia. In addition to the unexplained sound                                                         explanations. But…                                 details of the house/business.                                                    The G hosts of Texans Pas sed:
          of footsteps walking through dry leaves, the                                                                                                               When asked what she would say to a                                                              What was that again?
          most significant challenge to his skepticism                                                        The experts’ opinions                              skeptic, Diane replied, “Don’t assume. There                                      Cold Spot: An entity that drains thermal energy from
          came in the form of an orb. “A softball size                                                             Orbs. Cold spots. Ectoplasmic mist.           may be explanations for what we sometimes                                         an area in order to manifest
          ball of light passed directly in front of me,        Economic Development Centers—and a few         Poltergeist. The list goes on, terms used by       experience that have nothing to do with                                           Ectoplasmic Mist: A misty or foggy image that is captured
          climbed about 6 feet, and then dissolved into        friendly ghosts that make their presence       men and women who resemble nothing even            tangible evidence. There is an entire ‘frontier’                                  in photos or videos
          the wall,” explained Tom.                            known.                                         remotely close to the “Ghostbusters”               that includes another realm of existence that                                     Orb: A ball of light, or circle of energy, that is said to be the
                                                                   Director of Economic Development           pa ra nor ma l invest ig ator. T he rea l          we have yet to discover.”                                                         manifestation of a spirit
          Navasota’s Horlock House                             Steve Maddox says there are two paranormal     “ghostbusters” take their work seriously.                                                                                            Poltergeist: German term meaning noisy, or rattling, ghost.
          has a visitor                                        investigation groups that have visited and     Sophisticated equipment is used in the             The haunting at the                                                               Also defined as “personal ghost.”
              Robert Augustus Horlock, and his wife            documented positive findings during their      investigation process.                             Fayette County Jail                                                               For more extensive explanation and additional
          Agnes, moved from Alabama to Navasota in             studies. Evidence was found on both audio           Peter Haviland, President and Lead               Paula Sanders-Hollas was a skeptic when                                        terminology, please visit www.lonestarspirits.org.
          1871. By the early 1890s, they had built a           and video equipment. During one investi-       Investigator of Lone Star Spirits says,            she accepted the marketing/communications
          beautiful Victorian home. Today this                 gation, the piano began to play—with no        “Usually when a person or family contacts us,      position with the LaGrange Chamber of
          residence is home to Navasota’s Tourism and          logical explanation.                           it is because they are afraid. There is activity   Commerce, located in the former Fayette                            Children’s voices and laughter can be heard, at times, coming from the urn cabinet.



24 September•October 2009 | TexasLiVE | www.texaslivemag.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        TexasLiVE | September•October 2009 25

				
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