Ghost Stories of Texas

Ryan Dube
A Haunted Homestead

Of all States throughout America, ghost stories of Texas represent some of the most haunting and intriguing tales.

Ghost Stories of Texas Scare and Entertain

Texas is such a large U.S. State that there are countless regions which offer folklore and legends based on real events from decades ago. Stories of murder, accidents and other deaths result in certain regional hot spots of hauntings and other unexplainable paranormal phenomenon. A few particular stories have prevailed through the ages. Two of the spookiest include:

  • McDow Hole of Erath County
  • The Black Hope Horror

The Cursed McDow Hole

In the 1850s, Charlie and Jenny Papworth settled into a cabin on the east side of a creek in Alexander, TX. It was difficult living as these settlers struggled with droughts and flooding, depending on season. They were involved in the community and had a number of good friends in the local area. After about five years, Charlie's parents passed away, and he was informed that they'd left him the family furniture. In order to retrieve the furniture, Charlie needed to make a 200 mile trip by wagon. While he was gone, Jenny lived at the cabin by day, but traveled every evening, with the children, to the cabin of their friends, the McDow family. After a month of such difficult living, Jenny and the kids didn't arrive one night at the McDow's. By the following day, the McDow's and other neighbors became concerned and checked the Papworth cabin, only to find small signs of a scuffle and some blood on the floor. During their search, they discovered one of the young children hiding under the bed. The community organized a search party, but weren't able to locate Jenny's body. One member of the community, an obnoxious man named Brownlow, accused the local Indian tribe, the Comanche Indians, of killing her. Local members of the community began suspecting Brownlow himself, especially when one of his belongings was discovered near the Papworth cabin. However, no one could ever prove that Brownlow committed the horrible crime.

After a few problems with Brownlow and the town, Charlie and his son left the cabin forever. However, that's when the hauntings began. A neighbor, Keith, and his son stayed at the cabin one night and heard scratching at the door. Upon opening the door, he saw Jenny Papworth and her baby. She screamed and disappeared, scaring the two so much that they left through the back window. The next resident of the cabin, a skeptical man named Charlie Atchinson, lived there for a short period. Local men arrived one day to find the doors and windows blocked from the inside. Upon breaking in, they found Charlie lying dead, on the floor, with a horrified look on his face. Years later, two young men took up a bet with the Saloon bartender that they could stay at least three nights at the cabin without running away. When the locals checked on the boys in three days, they found bullet holes in the walls and discovered that the brothers had run away.

Many other people witnessed the ghost of Jenny through the years. In 1890 a young man fired his gun at the ghost who was approaching him after he'd crossed the creek near the McDow place. Engineers and travelers of the local train witnessed seeing Jenny multiple times, standing near the tracks, just holding her baby. Two boys fishing at the McDow hole saw her apparition rise out of the water. Jenny and her baby were even reported to appear at the foot of Brownlow's deathbed, after which he finally admitted to the killing. Locals continued reporting countless sightings of the apparition at McDow hole throughout the years. Presumably, the ghost of Jenny Papworth has never found rest.

The Black Hope Horror

The Black Hope Cemetery is an old burial ground where slaves were laid to rest for generations. Unfortunately, residences in this Newport area were built over this old cemetery, making the spirits of these slaves restless. Stories of these poltergeist-style hauntings were outlined in various articles throughout the 1980s in the local and national newspapers. A number of residents of the subdivision on Hilltop Drive reported what they considered "evil" activity, including apparitions and much worse phenomena. One particular family described some of the horrible phenomena that took place in their home. Ben and Jean Williams became unnerved when they discovered ants colonizing their dishwasher. While this event was odd, it was only the beginning. Their toilets would flush on their own, objects would move on their own, pets would act crazy, birds would appear to attack them, and worst of all, their friends and other local residents would grow sick of diseases that ended up fatal. Residents all confirm sighting the ghosts and shadows throughout the neighborhood and in homes. Ben and Jean eventually wrote a book titled The Black Hope Horror about their experiences. A TV movie titled Grave Secrets was created in 1992 based on the events in this community. Countless residents have fled their homes after realizing what living in this Hilltop community entails.

Final Words

Texas is probably one of the most haunted states in the entire country. A testament to this are the multitude of stories, throughout the State, outlined at Ghosts of America.

For additional information about ghost stories, check out these LoveToKnow articles:

Ghost Stories of Texas