The Xterra Files
(Summaries of Some of Our Many Expeditions & Investigations)
The Orviss Burial Vault, Calvert, TX.
Click here for more information on D.A.Orviss and the Orviss family.
The picture on the left is of the famous Orviss vault circa late 1800's. This location is well-known to Casey from her childhood and is the paranormal hotspot for our team. This vault, as relayed to us, was built in the 1800's for big bucks and is the elaborate final resting place of D.A. and Louisa Bush Orviss. Orviss had been a Mississippi river boat captain in his day and also a wealthy landowner and owner of a dry goods store in Calvert, Texas. According to records we have seen, the Orvisses had no children, yet two children's coffins are inside the vault, one wooden, and the other an elaborate metal coffin. TFC has had multiple experiences and has collected many EVPs there. The middle picture is of the interior of the vault showing the desecration done by vandals over the years. And finally, the last picture is a close up of the Orviss name on the front of the vault.
Investigation Results: Numerous EVPs have been recorded at the Orviss vault, both in response to direct questions and in the
midst of team members' conversations. In addition, we have recorded many video anomolies as well as anomolous digital photos. Our clairaudient members have heard voices in both whispered and normal tone in direct response to our questions. This has continually been verified by concurrrently running audio recordings. Other members have seen shadows and shadow entities and have felt unseen touches. In light of the "children left" EVP, obviously in a childs voice, it is felt by the team that a child's spirit is there in limbo. To date, this is the hottest paranormal spot visited by us and something bizarre happens every time the team is there. You will see several EVP's on our EVP page as well as video from there confirming voices that we have picked up. You will also see photos on our "Gallery" page from there and you will also find stories in our "Media" section that includes interviews by us from several diffferent sources addressing our many experiences at Orviss. We are continually approached by both curious individuals and the media for stories and information about this location. Orviss has become TFC's pet project over the years and we seem to have made the place famous. To this day, we continue to use the Orviss vault to train new recruits and we go there regularly just to test the vibes all throughout the year. Give us a shout because we always love to talk about it.
Ghost Town Site, Sterling, TX.
The far left picture is of Robert Calvert's grave. Robert Calvert was the founder of, as you might imagine, Calvert. The next picture is the foundation of the old Cumberland Presbyterian church that was once on this site. It was moved to Calvert by oxen and logs. The next picture is of an elaborate grave at the site. And finally, the last picture is a rare one of the cemetery site taken before it was bulldozed. This sadly bulldozed and desecrated site is all that remains of the town, Sterling, that died and was reborn as Calvert, Texas.
Investigation Results: Our crew has collected several EVPs from this site. Ghost lights have also been observed in the woods. In addition, our clairaudient members have experienced hearing voices while there.
Calvert Hotel, Calvert, TX.
This is the famous Calvert Hotel on Railroad street in Calvert, Texas. Gottlieb Dirr built the Hotel originally as a five-room cottage in 1872. Dirr came to Calvert from Germany to work in the coal mines that were in production at the time. After a flood forced the mine's closing, Gottlieb Dirr made his living through the grocery/bakery he owned on Main Street. When Dirr died in 1898, his widow Hanna, added a second story to the home, plus an elaborate front with columns, a porch with railings, and opened the "Cottage Hotel." The hotel sat directly across from the Southern Pacific Railroad, formerly the Houston and Texas Central, and only two blocks from the station's depot. It caught the business of many traveling salesmen known as "drummers" and other commercial travelers who came through Calvert. In the early years, the salesman would visit the various country stores throughout the area. Returning to the hotel for their evening meal, they were provided with a large back room where they displayed their wares and wrote up orders for the day.The hotel expanded in the following years to support a booming cotton trade and the activity generated by the railroad. The original cottage was built on a foundation of logs whose tops had been smoothed level. From East Mitchell Street, a close look at the south porch and double doors will give you an idea of where it is incorporated into the present structure, surrounded on the west, east and north by additions. The hotel was one of the first Calvert structures to enjoy electricity and running water (1886). Initially, it was heated by a hot-air system fueled by a coal-fed basement furnace but was later served by oil and then by gas heat. This structure is no longer open as a hotel and is now a private residence.
Investigation Results: In one room of the hotel, lights went off, while elsewhere in the hotel, lights stayed on. Lights flickered elsewhere. Electrical disturbances happened continually while we were there. Several times the crew observed rhythmic knocking coming from the walls and ceiling. The owners stated they had not heard this before.
Hammond House, Calvert, TX.
Hammond House Official Website
Pictures (old and new) of the original Robertson county courthouse located in Calvert, Texas. Since it was the courthouse, this structure has also been a museum and a bed and breakfast. This structure has an extensive history which can be accessed in detail by clicking the link above.
Investigation Results: Aside from the not-so-paranormal dancing ghosts there, we have captured a very interesting EVP that appears to say “go ahead“. There is nothing much else to report aside from extreme dizziness and disorientation by some team members on the staircase.
Harvey Massacre Site & Cemetery, Calvert, TX.
"The Searchers Revisited" (Harvey Massacre Story)
This is the final burial place of Anne Harvey Briggs, a notable woman in Robertson County, Texas history. This is only part of a cemetery that spans over many acres and is unkempt and basically lost in the woods. As one walks through the woods, graves can be seen everywhere. There was once a church in the area of the cemetery also. The far right picture is of the still-standing but severely delapidated home where Anne Harvey Briggs settled after her marriage and return to Texas in 1853. Ironically this house stands directly across from where her family was massacred years before. The following is taken from the historical marker on Texas highway 6 describing the infamous "Harvey Massacre" that disrupted Anne's life at a tender age and forever carved her name into the annals of Texas history: "At this site one Sunday night in November 1836, the family of John Harvey was attacked by an Indian raiding party. Harvey, his wife, and son were all killed, Mrs. Harvey's blood staining the open pages of the family bible. Their daughter Ann Elizabeth, aged 5, and a servant girl were taken captive, later to be sold as slaves. The price of Ann Elizabeth was a few blankets. After four years in Mexico, Ann Elizabeth was recovered by her Uncle, James Talbot of Alabama. In 1848 she wed Sanders Briggs and in 1853 they moved to Texas where they built a home -- ironically -- near the site of the massacre. [#10918/1972]"
Investigation Results: EVP's have been recorded out here along with shadows seen, and whispers and voices heard by clairaudient members of our team. One member reported seeing an apparition of a woman in white that left her more than a bit rattled. This is a very creepy place to be at night.
The Laughing Lady Tea Room (Formerly), Calvert, TX.
This building stands on main street in Calvert, TX. Although it has a new name, it was formerly nicknamed for a spirit of a woman whose laughs repeatedly echo throughout the building. There is an open courtyard behind it that was also an enclosed building at one time. It burned in late December of 1899 when a fire broke out at the then telegraph office and claimed 2 lives.
Investigation Results: In the courtyard area, cold spots can be observed as well as areas where team members experienced extreme dizziness. The whole area is very creepy and team members report hearing voices out there. A carousel has been observed to move by itself in the shop. There was a notable EVP recorded there saying "Hello" in response to, "Are you here?". The owner as well as many others have reported several different apparitions seen there, things having moved or moving, and things falling/flying off tables and shelves.
Port Sullivan Cemetery, Port Sullivan Ghost Town Site
Port Sullivan Ghost Town
The picture on the left was shot from the Brazos river bridge West of Hearne, Texas. It shows what is left of an old steamboat port that served the once thriving town of Port Sullivan, Texas. This town, which died and was reborn as Hearne, Texas upon the advent and relocation of the railroad, was the site not only of the port, but also of Port Sullivan Womens' College. The middle picture is a shot of some elaborate stones in the Port Sullivan cemetery. All that remains of the once thriving town of Port Sullivan are the port locks and the unkempt cemetery. The picture on the right is of some more stones in Port Sullivan cemetery. The vast majority of this cemetery is so covered with briars and unkempt that many stones cannot be viewed.
Investigation Results: Interesting audio has been recorded there that cannot be explained but cannot yet be classified as paranormal.
Buffalo Soldier Cemetery, Robertson/Falls County, TX.
This cemetery is the final resting place of several African-American soldiers known as “Buffalo Soldiers.” Several stones there are marked “Colored Infantry.” To quote Wikipedia, “Buffalo Soldiers originally were members of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, formed on September 21, 1866 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The nickname was given to the "Negro Cavalry" by the Native American tribes they fought; the term eventually became synonymous with all of the African-American regiments formed in 1866. Although several African-American regiments were raised during the Civil War to fight alongside the Union Army (including the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and the many United States Colored Troops Regiments), the "Buffalo Soldiers" were established by Congress as the first peacetime all-black regiments in the regular U.S. Army.”
Investigation Results: TFC has been out to this location about 5 times. This is a very remote cemetery on the border of Robertson and Falls county that in our opinion should have a historical marker but does not. Reportedly there was a church on the same location adjacent to the cemetery. Rumor has it that the church, whose foundations still remain visible there at the site, was burned by the Ku Klux Klan. This is only a rumor and not known for sure. While out there we have seen strange dancing lights, (blue) in the woods and a light that resembled what looked like a lantern being carried. We also have 2 EVP’s on our EVP page that seem to say “Would you get out?, ” “Help me,” and another one that is not on the site that mirrors one of our members when she comments that it’s cold. The voice appears to say “It’s cold outside.”
Mount Vernon Cemetery Road, Mount Vernon Ghost Town Site, TX.
The road around Mount Vernon cemetery and in the vicinity of the ghost town site of the abandoned Robertson County, TX community Mount Vernon is very creepy. History of this ghost town as quoted by the Robertson County website is as follows: "While Sterling and Port Sullivan were growing on the western border of Robertson County, other settlements developed east of the present Calvert. On the upland, between the tributaries of Walnut and Mud Creek, the Mount Vernon community was a settled area as early as 1840. Little Mississippi, six miles to the east, was its neighboring community. The first settlers in the area were from Mississippi. The economic panic of the 1830s drove them from the Old South and they moved westward in wagons. They were independent farmers who depended little on slave labor. The land they selected in Robertson's Colony was like that from which they came, upland with creek tributaries, and they made it provide all their needs.
They were farmers and depended entirely on cotton for revenue. They raised hogs and cows, grew grain and sweet sorghum. Families were fed well with milk, ham, molasses, and corn. In 1848, the school at Mount Vernon listed among its pupils: Thomas Webb, Joseph Webb, James Harrell, J. J. Hodge, E. Campbell, W. Blackburn, J. L. Parish, C. E. Gray, E. Bennett, George STrong, and B. Wheelis. Mount Vernon was on the road that ran from Sterling to Owensville. There was a trail into the community from Old Franklin that made communication in the center of the county convenient. The people over the one hundred square mile area became friends and traders, and the children of the first families became residents of other towns in the county. When Owensville became the county seat in 1856, a number of Mount Vernon families moved to the new town. When railroad work was available in 1869, more moved away. When it became evident that the hills and valleys were to be missed by major highways and rails, the population of Mount Vernon was reduced to only a few families.
At the turn of the century, the community was practically gone. In 1920, only four old homes remained. The contribution of Mount Vernon to the story of the county was the fact that early families produced teachers, ministers, public officials, and business leaders over the state. Some became prominent; one was President of Southwestern University. A few rail fences remain in the woodlands, a native stone chimney, and the Mount Vernon cemetery is still there."
Investigation Results: One of the most chilling experiences TFC has ever had was on the road adjacent to the cemetery. You may read about this night in detail under "Casey's Stories" on the site. The story is called "The Menacing Figure" and it is a must read. It details TFC's harrowing experience with a tall, dark, shadowy figure that kept pace with our truck. We have seen multiple shadow figures out there. We have recorded breathing into a recorder left on the hood of the truck while we were all away from it. We have recorded an EVP that seemed to whimper, "Let's go!" We have seen dancing lights in the cemetery, had many bizarre vehicle electrical failures, heard rhythmic knocking on the truck, seen shadows moving around the truck, and the list goes on. We cannot pinpoint anything tragic that happened out there to poison the area but there is some seriously bad mojo in one particular area on the road adjacent to the cemetery. Above you will see a pic from the front of Mount Vernon Cemetery that looks harmless. Next you will see a couple of pics of some very old graves there and a pic of the infamous creepy perimeter fenceline where we have all of the activity. Then the last 5 pics are shots taken of the dark, creepy road along the perimeter of the cemetery where all of the events that we described above tend to occur. While we do not see anything particularly out of the ordinary in these pics they are here merely to illustrate and describe. TFC's advice is.....you go out there and judge for yourself. Enough said.
The Falls Hotel, Marlin, TX.
This once elaborate multi-story structure sits mostly vacant in downtown Marlin, TX and is Conrad Hilton's 8th hotel. The upper stories sit vacant today and there are a couple of shops and a restaurant on the lower floor. The elaborate main ballroom is still used for dances. Notice the Fallout Shelter marker above the historical marker pictured above at the entrance to the hotel. There is also a very creepy basement and now closed tunnels that used to link the hotel via underground to the once thriving mineral bath houses across the street. Pictured is the historical marker mentioning the once thriving mineral water industry of Marlin amd the last picture is an image showing the Falls Hotel on the right and on the left the imposing Marlin Sanitarium Bath House that once stood across the street and was linked to the Falls Hotel via underground passage.The historical marker is all that remains of the huge bath house structure that was once there.The final 2 pictures are vintage brochures advertising the famous mineral baths that once fueled Marlin's economy back in its heyday.
Investigation Results: Lots of creepy feelings, members of our crew report having a radio change stations by itself and having the same radio inexplicably slide and fall off the stage in the ballroom. Reports from individuals indicate that caretakers who have had the task of staying on the upper floors repeatedly leave one after another citing noises, voices, apparitions, and all manner of paranormal activity as pestering them to the point of leaving. The most recent caretaker, a man from Mexico, was interviewed by our team and stated that he could not take it anymore and was going back to Mexico due to the paranormal unrest there. He eventually did leave. We have recorded EVP's and have had one member pushed by an unseen force. The sheer size of the place makes investigating a daunting task and we have yet to have been able to adequately investigate this huge structure.
Bell Bottom Bridge, Marlin, TX.
There are no pictures of this area due to the fact that we are always out there at night and good pics are difficult to get. This is an unusually wide bridge to be out in the middle of nowhere on a narrow, creepy, cow trail of a road. It is off highway 7 out from Marlin, TX. in a very remote area. We were directed to the area first by a guy who lives in Waco and had been out there many times in the past. He stated that there is said to be an old and basically lost African-American cemetery in the area also and it is reputed to have had a suicde or two out there. This man went on to tell us that he and friends had been out there and had seen orbs float up from under the bridge and chase their vehicle. This same type of thing has also been reported by several other parties who report that the orbs are large and blue and resemble a cell with a nucleus in the middle.
Investigation Results: One particular night as 3 members of our group were out there we were in the midst of a turn in our truck and were sideways on the road, we were startled to see a huge blue orb floating down the center of the road headed towards our vehicle. It disappeared just as it got very close to us. You may read about this experience in detail under Our Stories/Personal and Media and then under Casey's Stories. It is titled "The Blue Orb."
Jefferson Hotel, Jefferson, TX.
Jefferson, TX, which became a town in 1848, is located close to the Louisiana border on the Big Cypress Bayou. Jefferson originally gained notoriety as a riverport town and has been described as the "Riverport to the Southwest." In Jefferson's heyday, boats would come up the Mississippi River into the Red River, through Caddo Lake, and up Big Cypress to what was known as, and still is termed, the "Turning Basin" where the stern-wheelers loaded and unloaded cargo. At a time before railroads came to North Texas, all towns and farmers were dependent on port cities to import and export their goods. Jefferson had the distinction on being the only dependable port in North Texas. Today, although the town of Jefferson is not thriving in its once populous glory, it still remains as a potent and bustling tourist attraction boasting beautiful Victorian homes, antique shops, historic hotels, B&B's, tours, restaurants, and many, many historic structures reminding us of a bygone era. Along with these impressive historic structures come many paranormal remnants of a bygone era. Jefferson also boasts the title of "Most Haunted Town in Texas." Pictured from left to right: Jefferson Hotel, Excelsior House, Jefferson General Store, Main Street, J. Gould Rail Car, Saloon, Haywood House, Jefferson Historical Society Museum, Scarlet O'Hardy's Gone With The Wind Museum, and, last, Schluter House.
Investigation Results: The first trip to the hotel, about October of 2003, was, in a small way, the impetus of TFC. On this trip was the old trusty Hitachi VHS camcorder brought along to capture vacation video as it had at many other vacations before this one. Well, you can imagine how surprised the users were, after they got home and played back the video of the vacation they'd just been on, of the snow - yes pure TV, no-channel SNOW - right between a perfectly visible side trip before, and another perfectly visible side trip after! The in-between snow part was of the, you guessed it, Jefferson Hotel room 19 footage, as predicted by the staff and doubted by the vacationers! During this same trip, Casey experienced phrases being whispered in her ear that each time woke her from a deep sleep! In addition, archaic tobacco smoke smells emanated from this room of the entirely non-smoking building! My invisible friends left no evidence on the instrumentation this round (if they did the first time).
Von Minden Hotel, Schulenburg, TX.
This historical hotel on 607 Lyons Ave was built in 1927, and contained 41 rooms. Besides being a hotel it also contains the local movie theater. The theater opened in November 1927 and the hotel the following year. Today, this hotel is the only one in Texas with a functioning theater featuring the latest films.
Investigation Results: The investigation began like any typical one. We set out cameras and took preliminary readings without serious incident. We went out for a bite to eat, and afterwards began the investigation of the Hard Times Café. Other than a few electromagnetic readings and a few bizarre smells of cigar and lavender, it was pretty uneventful. About 1am, we decided to retire for the evening so Casey went up to Room 37 and Jen, Roseanna, Trish, and Wanda retired to Room 7. This is when the activities began. Roseanna was the first to wake up when she thought she heard a woman’s voice from the corner of the room. Once we turned the lights back on, we realized that something or someone had also turned the air conditioner to the off position. We set the air back on low and tried to go back to sleep. Throughout the early morning hours, Trish, Roseanna, and Jen continued to hear the woman’s voice saying something that sounded like “go.” We also heard whispering, whistling, and what sounded like doors closing throughout the morning hours. The air conditioner mysteriously turned itself off three other times. Trish also heard what sounded like a horse drawn carriage and a mysterious knocking sound from outside of the window. The door leading out of our room into the hallway opened twice on its own throughout the evening. In addition to hearing the various sounds, the electromagnetic reader was marking high. All and all we did not get much sleep that night. While numerous personal experiences occurred here, concrete evidence could not be obtained from instruments.
LaSalle Hotel, Bryan, TX.
The LaSalle Hotel originally opened in 1929 when Bryan was a prominent railroad stop between Houston and Dallas. The LaSalle was Bryan's premier hostelry. The original 100 guest rooms on the third through seventh floors housed travelers, many of whom arrived on the West 28th Street Passenger Depot.
Investigation Results: Wanda studied up on this place to make sure we'd start in the most likely productive areas of this large hotel. We toured these areas this round and really had no unusual happenings. The instrumentation agreed. We plan to revisit in the future.
Log Cabin, Easterly, TX.
This is an impressive 2 story log cabin structure on private land out from Easterly, TX. We still do not as of yet have historical data on this structure. All that we do know is that a suicide reportedly occurred there around 1900 and that all who frequent the area report extreme feelings of fear, apprehension, and overall uneasiness.
Investigation Results: On May 27, 2006 the team investigated an historic log cabin in Easterly, Texas for the first time. While we had been there before, our previous trip was only a preliminary visit. The story is that a man committed suicide in this structure around 1900. From the start certain team members had feelings of anger and confusion. Inside we all noticed that the air was thick and heavy, even though all the windows are broken and there was a lot of air flow through the cabin. The attic/loft/second floor was a hot spot. We all heard voices and noises coming from upstairs. While we were outside we could see what looked like a shadow near the front door that seemed to disappear when someone was close by. A couple of members experienced a sighting of a small child peak out from behind a tree while the EMF meter spiked. We experienced several cool/cold spots (a change of a few degrees-85 to 76 or so) outside and short spikes on the EMF. Near the same tree where the child was sited we could hear whispers while noises came from inside the cabin. It felt like someone was watching over us through the window. Team members also experienced some physical symptoms. Some of us felt dizziness, nausea and had their arms and hands go numb. While preliminary results have been analyzed on audio with some bizarre noises already noted, the rest of the evidence is still being examined. Stay tuned for details.
Bara-Hack Colonial Ghost Town Site, Pomfret, CT.
Lost Village of Voices
This settlement, near Pomfret, CT, was founded in 1790 and was named “Bara Hack” which is said to be Dutch for the breaking of bread. The last burial occurred in 1890 in the still present graveyard. Bizarre things began to happen as soon as the area was settled and are said to continue to this day. The original settlers reported seeing spirits in the great elm tree which still stands to this day outside the cemetery wall. Original settlers as well as modern day visitors have reported ghostly voices ringing through the woods as well as other creepy phenomena. These phenomena originally witnessed by the settlers have been reported to have resulted in the eventual abandonment of the settlement. Whispering voices have been and are still reported today along with the sounds of wagons and horses and children laughing. There are books written on this area with the most famous one being “The Village of Voices” by Paul F. Eno who at one point took a team of paranormal researchers into the area for an investigation.
Investigation Results: On our visit years back, we found this to be a very creepy place. It is now illegal to go there as it is posted. We would love to return if permission could be obtained. The cemetery, cellar holes, and many rock retaining walls are all that still stand in the forboding woods. We experienced whispering voices, one of which seems to be on video on the Videos page.
Little People Village Ghost Town Site, Middlebury, CT.
Little People Village
Little People Village in Waterbury, CT is a very fascinating yet very creepy place. The legend, which changes based upon whomever you ask, includes something about a man who moved out into the woods with his wife. The story is that he married a witch who tortured him mentally to the point that he began hearing the voices of dead children telling him to build a little village of houses to house these dead childrens’ spirits. There is indeed a village of small and very articulate houses out in the woods along with all manner of structures and artwork on a hillside. There is also still the remains of what was said to have been the home of this man and his wife. It is a bizarre, hodgepodge structure thrown together with all manner of hastily chosen building materials, rocks, metal, etc., and with all manner of strange openings and portals underneath it and with seemingly no common theme or continuity. Some say that the man killed his wife in a bizarre stone throne which he fashioned which is no longer there. Others say that it was the other way around. Nevertheless the story continues to change.
Investigation Results: On our October, 2002 visit, the stone walls and foundation of the home were still there covered in leaves and there was still a stone staircase leading down into what was thought to be the cellar. From a therapist’s viewpoint, this is truly the work of an unstable and tortured mind. This place is in a wooded area in the middle of town with car sounds all around but is creepy as Hell nonetheless. Audio and video collected while there did not reveal anything paranormal.
Dogtown Ghost Town Site, Cape Ann (between Gloucester and Rockport), MA .
The story of Dogtown in Massachusetts is that it was populated by many odd people and settled in 1623. To this day there are biking and hiking trails that go by large granite boulders that have carvings and words on them. These boulders are said to have been carved by a Roger Babson. The story goes that most of the men were lost at sea and the women all had dogs for company and to protect themselves from sea raiders. It is also said that there were more dogs in the town than people. The first mill was built in 1635 and began production. The town lasted till 1750 at which point decline started. This was reportedly due to families pursuing farming as opposed to fishing and it is said that some houses in the area of the town were occupied well into the 1930's. There were said to have been many colorful residents in Dogtown including witches and a matador that would fight the cows and bulls.
Investigation Results: On our October, 2002 visit, these rocks as well as town block markers could still be viewed along the trails. We experienced nothing paranormal there but it sure made for a fascinating visit.
Salem, MA .
Salem, Massachusetts was founded by a group of settlers led by a Roger Conant. It arose out of a fishing village originally started in 1623-1624 and was renamed Salem in 1629 for Shalom, the Hebrew word for peace. Salem is best known for the legendary witch trials of 1692. In January of 1692, the daughter and niece of Reverend Samuel Parris of Salem Village became ill. The village doctor was called in when they failed to improve. His diagnosis of bewitchment put into motion the forces that would ultimately result in the hanging deaths of nineteen men and women. In addition, one man was crushed to death; several others died in prison, and the lives of many were irrevocably changed.
Investigation Results: While we have explored around Salem every year at Halloween for the last 10 years, we have never actually stayed there because of the sheer volume of people partying there due to the holiday and the inavailability of rooms anywhere in the city, more importantly the cool, haunted bed and breakfast places. While we have been everywhere in the city, there has been no opportunity to investigate in private/quiet due to all of the loud partying and activity there. At some point we need to go there to investigate another time of year when it's calmer and quieter. To date nothing compares to the charm, allure, and dark history of Salem, MA.
Spring Creek Park, Tomball, TX.
Confederate Powder Mill, Tomball, TX.
Near Spring Creek in Tomball, TX. is the historical marker noting the explosion of a Confederate Powder Mill in 1864 (The marker mistakenly gives the date as 1863). Three men, William Bloecher, Adolf Hillegeist, and William Wunderlich, were killed in the explosion. This site is within a 114 acre county park and the monument commemorating this tragedy sits adjacent to a crater left by the force of the explosion. Part of this crater is now a retention pond.
Investigation Results: While there and followed by the Tomball Potpouri newspaper in October 2008, TFC had a radio that would respond each time a question was asked such as "Are you here?, What is your name?, Are you one of the ones who died here?" This went on for quite some time and each time seemed very deliberately in direct response to questioning. Other TFC members as well as members of a group who accompanied us called "Vast Eco Exploration" had strong psychic impressions. Shadows figures were also seen and EVP's collected. However, the EVP's collected were not presented b/c they ended up not being classified with certainty as actually being parnormal. TFC only had one evening there which went way too fast and we definitely plan to return, hopefully at night if allowed. We were not as lucky to have seen an apparition/apparition(s) of Confederate soldiers while we were there as some people have. See the details of this investigation in the original Tomball Potpouri article from 10-29-08 in out "Media Stories" section.
Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos), Oaxaca, Mexico
Day of the Dead/Dia De Los Muertos
To quote Wikipedia, "Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a holiday celebrated by many in Mexico and by some Mexican Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on November 2 in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. The Day of the Dead is a time of celebration when eating and partying are common. Due to occurring shortly after Halloween, the Day of the Dead is sometimes thought to be a similar holiday, although the two are celebrated differently."
Investigation Results: While not an investigation per se, TFC has attended the quintessential Day of the Dead celebration twice in the mecca of it all which is Oaxaca, Mexico. TFC was there in both 2004 and 2007. While there we visited several cathedrals, cemeteries, and the ancient cities of Monte Alban, Tulum, and Chichen Itza. Each time it was rather impossible to get reliable data due to all of the celebrating and activity but the awe and mystical wonder was definitely omnipresent. Note, the stock images used here are cross referenced off Bing images and were not taken by TFC. Three depict "offrendas" or altars made to honor the dead, one is of sugar skulls or "calaveras" that are a staple of the holiday. Also pictured are 2 photos of decorated cemeteries done in honor of the dead.
On May 26th-May 28th 2007, TFC ventured to and stayed in Lawton and Cache, OK to investigate an old ghost town site. On the grounds where we were are the remains of an old amusement park that reportedly operated from 1958-1972. Said to have performed there in its heyday were legendary acts such as Brenda Lee and Reba McIntyre. This old park is spooky enough in itself but it is only enhanced by what lies just next to it. The gentleman who owns the location has created a ghost town of sorts right there in Cache, OK. On the grounds he has bought and placed an old Buffalo Soldiers barracks, an old ranger station, a Native American school, general store, church, and to enhance things, the actual home of the legendary Frank James, and Star House, which is the former home of the last great Comanche chief, Quanah Parker. The house was occupied by Quanah, his three wives, and many children, until Quanah passed away in 1911. The actual bed he died in is still housed within the Star House. The elderly gentleman who owns the location has had much misfortune with his venture there but was kind enough to grant us a tour of the site. We were informed of and sadly encountered signs of vandalism there along with graffiti of an anti-Native American nature. Although appalled at the ignorance that we saw, we had a great time. Sadly our stay there was cut short due to factors beyond our control. However, we had a great time there and we want to return.
Investigation Results: Shadow figures seen, EVP’s collected, a door inexplicably moved, a loud breath was heard in an upper story room after a verbal prompt, and cold spots observed. Pictured in order are: Star House, church interior, church pulpit, bed in Quanah Parker house, another bed, children's beds, Quanah's wheelchair, and the very last photo is VERY curious in that it was captured by Christine as she turned and attempted to snap a picture of Brenda Twofeathers (a psychic medium) and Jordan as they were holding hands and Brenda was doing an "energy transfer" between she and Jordan in order to enhance his psychic abilities. It is very interesting that she captured this when she was snapping a picture of the two of them but.... you decide for yourselves (contact us for the 1600 by 1200 original).
Old Fayette County Jail, La Grange, TX.
On April 25th and 26th of 2009, TFC ventured to La Grange, TX. to the old Fayette County Jail to do an all-nighter. This gothic structure pictured above was built in 1883 and bears a resemblance to a cathedral. The Old Fayette County Jail housed famous prisoners including Raymond Hamilton and Gene O’Darev who were members of the Bonnie and Clyde gang and the Widow Dach, who starved herself to death while imprisoned there. The jail also housed the famous Jim Flournoy who was the Fayette County sheriff at the time of the famous closing of the Chicken Ranch. The old jail closed in 1985 when a newer jail opened and rendered it obsolete and then sat vacant until renovation occurred in 1995 making it the new home of the La Grange Chamber of Commerce.
Investigation Results: Two TFC members felt touched in the basement, the chain and shackle in the display cell rattled on its own, and whispering and footsteps were heard. No video was collected that confirmed paranormal activity and the audio collected verified what we heard yet was too low of a frequency to be presented. We believe that activity is going on there but follow up is needed to confirm more.
Bragg Road, Kountze, TX.
Picture of the Bragg Road sign in Hardin County close to Kountze, TX. TFC went there on 10-16-09 to try and observe the mysterious ghost light occurring there. To quote Wikipedia, "The strange light is often described as changing from yellow to white, and sometimes appearing red as it may approach the observer. Some witnesses have observed that the light will sway back-and-forth, as if someone were carrying a lantern and walking. Another common attribute given to the strange light is its unpredictable nature. Some eyewitnesses have attempted to follow or approach the light with no success. However, there are some that claim that the light has actually followed or entered their vehicle while traveling the dirt road at night." There are many theories for the light that range from swamp gas to the lonely spirit of a decapitated railroad worker wandering in limbo searching for his head. The road is near the ghost town of Bragg Station and runs the exact path of the railroad that was once there.
Investigation Results: It is a very creepy road but had much human activity that increased as the night progressed. Due to the straightness of the road coupled with the activity, we were able to debunk what we did see. We did not see the strange dancing lights that you see posted on youtube. Nonetheless, it was fascinating and we plan to return.
Cocoamoda, Calvert, TX.
Pictures of the front facade of Cocoamoda chocolate factory that sits on main street in Calvert, TX plus a curious pic we later found upon insepection of pics taken while there. To quote their website, "Cocoamoda is a Texas-based gourmet chocolate business operating out of the historic town of Calvert, TX. Our mission is to produce the highest quality truffles and confections utilizing the finest grade of chocolate and freshest ingredients. We have two facilities on Calvert's main strip: A factory, where our chocolates are made fresh daily, and a restaurant and boutique, directly across the street." TFC has now investigated the factory several times.
Investigation Results: TFC was called in due to lots of creepy occurrences and while there we were able to document a few. A few times TFC members were positioned near doors, inside and out, and heard very deliberate knocking which was very loud. This knocking was so loud that it appeared someone was wanting in. Each time the door was flung open only to find no one there. This was especially creepy when it was the back door leading to the back alley. Each time it happened no one was there and there was nowhere out there for any living person to hide. Update from March 2011, see the second pic showing a door that seems to have a transparent figure peering in. This was in an area where a shadowy figure has been seen several times.
Insite Group Printing Building, Bryan, TX.
The Insite Group
This building is located at 123 E. William Joel Bryan Parkway in Bryan, TX. It is the central location for the Insite Group's printing presses. The upstairs which we were directed to was absolutely frozen in time. We were told that it had been an old boarding house and also thought to be a brothel. There is a wide open area in the middle with all manner of numbered rooms around the perimeter. The rooms are pretty much untouched by time with the middle area used for storage. Employees had reported seeing dark figures up there as well as one employee having seen a full body apparition of a fat man. There was also a report of someone hearing a voice state, "Get out of my closet." Pictured above you will see pictures of the building past and present along with some photos taken of the area upstairs that we investigated.
Investigation Results: On 11-6-10, TFC went to investigate and our DVR was left running overnight. While there and over in one particularly active area, 2 TFC members' 2 way radios went off with distressed whimpering and crying voices coming over them that sounded like children's voices. One was a baby crying. Each time this was in response to requests for anyone there to give us an audible sign of their presence.
America's Stonehenge, Salem, NH.
For those of you who don't know, yes America does have a Stonehenge. America's Stonehenge is a wonderful and fascinating Neolithic site on a place known as "Mystery Hill" in Salem, NH. It stands today still as much of a mystery as the world-renowned Stonehenge in England. To quote stonehengeusa.com, "Built by a Native American Culture or a migrant European population? No one knows for sure. A maze of man-made chambers, walls and ceremonial meeting places, America's Stonehenge is most likely the oldest man-made construction in the United States (over 4000 years old). Like Stonehenge in England, America's Stonehenge was built by ancient people well versed in astronomy and stone construction. It has been determined that the site is an accurate astronomical calendar. It was, and still can be, used to determine specific solar and lunar events of the year. Various inscriptions have been found throughout the site including Ogham, Phoenician and Iberian Punic Script. Dr. Barry Fell of Harvard University did extensive work on the inscriptions found at the site. They are detailed in his book America B.C."
Investigation Results: TFC was there on 10-28-10 and the weather was wonderful. We were able to walk around in our shirt sleeves and film. It was great and a very magical place. While nothing parnormal has been noted on our film or audio, we had a blast. Check out the website link to learn more.
Monument Hill State Park/Kreische Brewery, La Grange, TX.
Texas' First Brewery
Kreische Family and Brewery History
Monument Hill State Park
To quote the Texas Parks and Wildlife site, "Visit the monument dedicated to the 1842 Dawson and Mier Expeditions, famous for the legendary "black bean" incident in Texas history; Mexican President Santa Anna decreed that captives draw one of the 17 black beans from a pot that also contained 159 white beans. Those drawing black beans were executed. The monument is a tomb for Republic of Texas patriots, a place recognizing fallen heroes. A beautiful view from the bluff overlooking the winding Colorado River is one of the many stops on a nature trail that connects the monument and brewery historic sites. Heinrich Kreische, a master stonemason, immigrated to Texas in 1846 and purchased this property overlooking the Colorado River near La Grange. During the 1860s, Kreische changed his occupation to that of a brewer and started one of the first commercial breweries in Texas." TFC went to see the Kreische brewery remains and home. The Kreische home is impeccably intact built on a hillside with a ground level entance on ome side and apearing as a two story structure on the other.
Investigation Results: On 12-10-10 TFC visited this location. This was more of an expedition for the sake of history rather than an investigation. However, the vibes and history are omnipresent. Check out this gem of Texas history hidden in La Grange, TX.
Oso Ghost Town Site and Pine Springs Cemetery, Fayette County, TX.
Oso, TX. Ghost Town Site History
The fate of the ghost town of Oso, TX. in Fayette County is one that is all too familiar. The town that was given the name of the Spanish word for bear was bypassed when the railroad came in and located at what is present day Flatonia, TX. The advent of the railroad seems to have been a definite "townkiller" back in those days. The town had 3 stores and a post office at one point and produced cotton and firewood. A school also operated there from 1858 to 1946 adjacent to the cemetery.
Investigation Results: TFC was there in the late afternoon on 6-23-12 and the only evidence we saw of the town was the sign for the school, the delapidated but well-hidden cemetery with the cedar-lined path and stone bridges leading up to it, and a New England style stone retaining wall type structure in a creek bed. We found it peaceful there and noted not only lots of children's graves but also the fact that there seem to be no graves, that we saw, interred there past the 1880's. Our expedition was more of a historical one but we would love to go back possibly at night if permission can be obtained. Sadly, signs of vandalism abound everywhere there which is very sad. This is a great find worthy of much more exploration in the future.
German House on FM 485, Hearne, TX.
The following are some theories about a house we investigated on FM 485 in Hearne in 10-12-13. The family was having all manner of unrest there and were contemplating moving from there. It was thought that they were being bothered by the spirit of a man with some Nazi leanings. We were never able to figure out exactly what transpired there but the family did end up moving........Address of the place is on fm 485 Hearne and it was built in 1950 and .4 miles away from the Camp Hearne POW camp, 7 minutes walking distance.
Guesses about the history-Courtesy of John Causey.
Can’t find any evidence as to what is behind the story of “German man who kept Jewish Prisoners”.
BUT, the German POW’s worked throughout the area for Farmers and Ranchers making about a dime an hour in “Canteen Coupons”. They did farm labor work and construction. After the war they stayed to complete the harvest and most had become good friends with the farmer/ranchers and the community. According to history many returned at the end of the 40’s/beginning of the 50’s to America if they could and went to work for people that they had worked for as POW’s. There was Nazis in the camp (they murdered one of the POWs), they did work for locals as prisoners of war, some of the people they worked for were Jewish farmers.
My guess is that a Jewish farmers had Nazis working for him. Then later a prior POW returned in 1949 or 1950 and built the house. It may have been something other than a house prior like a prison camp office being it was so close to the camp, which would have been built by German POWs, then purchased by a free German who returned to the States and made it into a house. This would explain the odd layout and surrounding yards walls.
I did find that a previous owner was named Joyce J Ivie and is listed as 82 years old. Listed with her is David L Ivie (cant find his age). Ivie is Anglo-Saxon name. he may be a returning german and is the right age range. I figure he may have returned to people who told him they would put him to work and an old camp office building would be cheap to buy since the camp was closed down and no longer in use. In summary, I think a Jewish American Officer supervised two Nazis who built one of the camp offices. Then it was purchased by a free ex-POW who transformed it to a home.
Next, The why of why have it in Hearne was the wanted it in a small town and to be over a 150 miles from the coast. Why away from the coast? According to war docs the German Nazi Naval command dispatched 22 u-boats into the gulf of mexico, we only sank one of them.
There were escapes, three floated down the Brazos until caught, one walked off to Franklin and was caught because he was marching along singing German songs, and others escaped to New Braunfels cause it sounded German and when he got there they beat him up and sent him back.
A link to my theory of the house being a shell bought and brought over from a half mile away, then converted to a home is the following part of a article and the picture comparison I sent with this, 2010 kiiitv channel 3 reported-
When the war ended, the U.S. government sent the prisoners back to Germany, stripped down the compound and sold everything but the concrete slabs on which the barracks used to sit. Plus the command building of the camp was sold to the American Legion of Hearne.
It had to have to been that the over 1,000 soldiers and their officers had to live in surrounding buildings and houses, and maybe even had an office for meeting with the public away from the camp for safety reasons. Hearne citizens asked the government to build the camp there so that they could have cheap labor to harvest their crops, being that their old low income labor went to war, but they found afterwards that POW’s can’t be made to work and only 20% did voluntary work for “Canteen Coupons”. I believe those many sets of doors in their living room was originally small clerk type of offices for processing prisoners and/or paperwork.
It was only around 2009 that anyone started fixing up the camp site which had gone completely back to nature, and this past week they had Live History event at the camp with a guard and a living ex-pow from the camp there to speak.
Was there a risk and need for separation of the command and the prisoners? Well, In 2005 PBS ran a story about
Camp Hearne. According to declassified papers that Mr Waters (Prof Texas A&M) read the Nazis took over Camp
and had control of the postal system throughout the US for the pow camps. They even had a secret underground
Room that they had a shortwave transmitter in and held nazi trials of other prisoners.
They(Nazi POW) killed over 150 other prisoners thru out the pow camps in the US (it says in another article), and some
Think that the Nazi underground court in Hearne (Hearne was one of the biggest camps) was sending out the others
To kill or force suicide of non-nazi Germans . the guy that was murdered at Camp Hearne told the amercians about a
Hidden shortwave radio and that was why he was killed. The hearne Nazis controlled the US POW camp nationwide
Postal system for a while and sent letters out instruction out to other camps.
Chapter V entitled "The Segregation Of Nazis From Anti-Nazis," Krammer writes the following on pages 177 and 178: " . . . Despite the War Department's painstaking precautions to protect its anti-Nazi prisoners, it was not impossible for groups of determined Nazis to penetrate the screen. For example, the PMGO purposely created anti-Nazi camps near enough to regular camps so that their mailing address would not attract undue attention and, perhaps, reprisals against their families in Germany. In this case, however, a group of Nazi NCOs simply infiltrated the central prisoner of war postal service, headquartered at Camp Hearne, Texas, which was responsible for the distribution of all mail to POWs in the United States. Working under the supervision of American personnel, the German postal workers secretly studied camp censorship and postal markings, gained access to restricted camp rosters, and even steamed open letters.V-82 That this ring was ultimately discovered and the entire postal operation transferred to the relatively safe hands of Italian prisoners at Fort Meade was of little comfort to the small segment of German anti-Nazis who felt that the risks resulting from their decision were not worth the benefits."
Investigation Results: TFC was there in 10 and 12-13 and we got 2 interesting EVP's posted on our EVP page that appear to say things in German. Due to time and schedule constraints, however, TFC was never fully able to give the attention we wanted to provide to this location and the owners ended up moving due to their discomfort with the level of activity there.
Old Hearne High School/Hearne Junior High, Hearne, TX.
This is the old Hearne High/Junior High School building in Hearne.
Investigation Results: TFC was there in 12-15 and 1-16 just before this structure is slated to be torn down. While there we recorded an EVP that corrects one of the members as she says she hears 3 voices on the frequency scanning equipment and she is corrected by a voice that says in response to her saying "There are 3 voices." The response says "No... there are 2." TFC then planted a baseball upstairs only to find it downstairs in the auditorium way down the hall after we had all vacated the building for quite some time. A couple of members also saw and heard shadows and voices at the same time while in the same area looking opposite ways. And most bizarre was the fact that the founder's initials were scrawled on a chalkboard upstairs in and abandoned classroom.