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Haunted Places and Centers of Paranormal Active:
Texas

The Alamo, San Antonio

The Alamo

A Brief History: Located at 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio Texas, sits the Alamo. In 1718 the Spanish mission San Antonio de Valero was established and built in 1724 as we know it today called the Alamo. In 1756 the church was built. For many years San Antonio de Valero was used for people to come and practice Christianity, but in 1794 the mission was closed and left abandoned. For many years to come there would be much conflict in the Texas territory that would lead up to the battle of the Alamo.

In 1803 the United States obtains control over the land called the Louisiana Purchase, which is very unclear to both sides of the United States, and the Spanish Territories; which consists of the west coast of the now United States and Florida. In 1810 Father Hidalgo calls for a revolt against Spain and the Spanish Territories. The United States notices that Mexico is trying to gain more territory, so John Quincy Adams makes a treaty with Spain called the Adams-Onis Treaty. The treaty states that Spain will give up Florida and Oregon Country for the United States to back off of Texas. In the meantime many Americans fled to Texas for a new start. One of these people being James “Jim” Bowie. He was a frontiersman who is famous for the Bowie Knife. He had a lot of bad debts from Louisiana and fled to Texas for a new start. Another person is William Travis. He was a schoolteacher at 19 years old and became a lawyer in his early 20s. Over the years he accumulated many debts and fled to Texas leaving his wife and son behind.

In 1821 Mexico declares its Independence from Spain taking control over the remaining Spanish Territories. Stephen Austin looked at this as a business opportunity, so he is granted approval from the Mexican Government to colonize Northern Texas. Over the years the rules for colonization would constantly change and he became a huge part of the fight for the independence of Texas. In 1830 the Mexican government prohibited emigrants coming from the United States, which added to the cause of a revolution in Texas. In 1834 Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna becomes the ruler of Mexico.

David “Davy” Crockett was a frontiersman, adventurer, woodsman, and hunter. Legend says that he killed a bear by grinning at it. He was a popular man of his time, and everyone, everywhere new of him. He was also a congressman for a period of time. When he decided to run for a 2nd term against a layer named Adam Huntsman, Crockett lost the election because President Andrew Jackson, and the governor of Tennessee backed Huntsman. Crockett’s reply to the election was “go to hell, I’m going to Texas”

On October 2, 1835 the Battle of Gonzales occurred. In 1831 the Mexican army gave the town residence of Gonzales a cannon to protect themselves from the Native American Tribe the Comanche. On September 29, 1835 the Mexican army requested that the cannon be returned. The Texans refused to give it back and came up with many excuses why not to, and within a few days over 100 Texans gathered to secure the cannon. No shots were ever fired and the Mexican army withdrew from Gonzales without their cannon.

On October 10, 1835 the Battle of Goliad took place. The Texas settlers seized an attack on the Mexican armies garrison at Presidio La Bahia, which was a Spanish Fort. The Texans took over the fort in just 30 minutes. Once they took over the fort they told the Mexican army to leave Texas.

Early December of 1835 was the Siege of Bexar. After the Battle of Gonzales the men made there way to Bexar. The Texan army grew in numbers to over 300 men, and James Clinton Neill and Stephen Austin became the Commanders of the Texans. The Texans headed to San Antonio where the Mexican army was, numbering over 650 men. As the Texans marched to San Antonio there numbers increased to 400 men, which included Jim Bowie and Juan Seguin. Austin Requested aid from General Sam Houston of the United States Army, which would keep getting postponed until after the battle of the Alamo. The Texan army spread out, and took over San Antonio. On December 9, 1835 the Mexican army surrendered and left San Antonio, leaving the Texans in control of San Antonio. Once the Mexican army left, many of the local Texans who joined the fight would return to their homes in Texas. Stephen Austin would be one of these men. He would later meet up with General Sam Houston. About 250 men stayed and took position at the Alamo, which included James Neill, Jim Bowie and Juan Seguin. On February 3, 1836 William Travis would arrive at the Alamo with 18 men. A few days later Davie Crockett would also arrive at the Alamo with 36 men. All of the men that took post at the Alamo in the winter of 1836 thought that the Mexican army would not march through the winter to the Alamo.

On February 14, 1836 Commander James Neill had to leave the Alamo because he was needed back at home because his family grew ill. Neill would put Travis in charge of the men at the Alamo. This would cause conflict between Travis and Bowie. On February 23, 1836 General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna arrives in San Antonio with his troops after a long winter march that no one thought he would make. When they arrived they made it aware that they were there to put an end to the frontier rebellion. The Texans retreated back and took fortification in the Alamo. Travis would use Juan Seguin as a messenger to ride to General Houston and request aid. Travis and Bowie would put their differences aside and Travis would command the regulars and Bowie would command the volunteers. General Santa Anna sent a messenger to the Alamo requesting the Texans to surrender. Travis responds by shooting off a cannon ball. General Santa Anna would order his army to raise a red flag, which would state “death to all traitors”. General Santa Anna would allow any civilians to leave the Alamo within the next day. Some of the civilians took the offer and left the Alamo, as others would stay including woman and children. Travis sends Seguin out with another letter requesting aid from General Sam Houston. While the Alamo was under attack the Texas Government organized a declaration at Washington declaring the Independence of the Republic of Texas on March 2, 1836. General Santa Anna would never receive the declaration, and in the early morning of March 6, 1886, Santa Anna would surround the Alamo on the north, south, and west giving the orders to charge and seize the Alamo. In 90 minutes the battle was over and about 200 Texans were killed including Jim Bowie and William Travis. Legend says that 2 men were able to escape but there are no facts on that. Legend has it that one of the last men standing and captured was Davie Crockett. Santa Anna gives the order to execute him. One of his officers tries to plea with Santa Anna requesting to spare his life. Santa Anna refuses and orders the execution of Davie Crockett. Once the battle was over the Mexicans continued their march through Texas.

On April 21, 1836 General Sam Houston realized that General Santa Anna had split up his troops, and Houston took the opportunity to seize and attack Santa Anna’s army. Before General Sam Houston ordered the attack he yelled, “Remember the Alamo”. In 18 minutes the battle was over and General Santa Anna was captured. Santa Anna would agree to give up Texas in return to spare his life. On May 14, 1836 the Treaty of Velasco was signed and Texas gained its independence.

In 1845 the Republic of Texas becomes the 28th State of the United States. In 1859 the U.S. Army repairs the church and the structure of the Alamo. In 1861 Texas exceeds from the Union and joins the Confederate States. The Alamo once again is occupied, this time by the Confederate Army. No battle of the Civil War was ever fought there. In 1865 when the civil war ends, the U.S. Army takes back the Alamo, turning it into an army depot. In 1883 the State of Texas buys the Alamo from the U.S. Army. In 1935 the Alamo is renovated and improved. In 1966 the Alamo becomes a registered historic landmark.

Haunted History: In 1836 after the siege of the Alamo General Santa Anna ordered one of his generals to demolish the church in the Alamo. The general would pass the order down to one of his colonels to take care of the mission. The colonel took a couple of men to go and shoot a cannon at the church and as they were lining up, 6 apparitions that looked like Monks appeared. They replied, “Do not touch the walls of the Alamo”. The colonel and his men ran off frantic. Once they returned and told the general, he himself would go to the Alamo with a few men and destroy it. As he lined up with a cannon the same 6 Monks appeared and replied, “Do not touch the walls of the Alamo”, and threw fireballs at the general. His men would run off franticly, and the general would follow, not ever returning to the Alamo.

Through the years park rangers and tourists have encountered ghostly apparitions of guards guarding the Alamo and then disappear. People have also claimed to feel extreme feelings of sadness, cold spots, and hear cries for help and gunfire and cannon fire. Next time you’re in San Antonio checking out the historic past, and maybe having a personal paranormal experience of your own don’t forget to “Remember the Alamo”.


The Emily Morgan Hotel, San Antonio

The Emily Morgan Hotel

A Brief History: The Emily Morgan Hotel is located at 705 East Houston Street San Antonio Texas. The building stands 13 stories high and was built in 1924 and developed by JM Nix, and designed by Ralph Cameron. It first opened as a medical arts building used as a hospital, which had surgery rooms, a psychiatric ward, as well as a morgue. In 1976 the building converted from a hospital to an office building. A year later in 1977 the building was deemed a historical landmark. In 1984 the building would turn into The Emily Morgan Hotel, as we all know it today.

The hotel got its name from Emily Morgan aka Emily D West. She grew up under slavery and was a servant for Colonel James Morgan. At the time it was a custom for servants to use their masters surname, hence Emily Morgan. On April 16, 1836 Mexican troops captured multiple servants from Colonel James Morgan. The story goes that General Santana grew a liking to Emily, and she would be forced to stay in his tent. On April 21, 1836 the Texan troops were getting ready to charge and somehow Emily knew of this, so she would stall General Santana. General Santana was unable to give the orders to guard the camp and attack the Texans, causing him to lose the battle. This being one of the reasons why the Mexicans lost the overall battle of Texas.

After the loss of the battle, Emily was let free and it is believed that she returned to her home state of New York. There isn’t much more documented history on Emily after this occurs, but Emily’s legend would keep growing. Some people believe that she was the inspiration for the song “The Yellow Rose of Texas”.

In 2012 The Emily Morgan Hotel went under a multi million-dollar renovation and became part of the Hilton Hotel chain.

Haunted History: The Emily Morgan is claimed to be the 3rd most haunted hotel in the world according to USA Today. Many guests who stayed at the hotel experience unusual things such as unexplained voices, an apparition of a woman dressed in a white gown, and feelings of being touched. Some believe that the most haunted floors of the hotel are the 12th and 14th floors, which was were the operating rooms when it was a hospital. There are also claims of activity on the basement level, which is where the morgue was. Guests have claimed that when they would take the elevator, it would bring you down passed the floor you were going to, and arrive at the basement level. When the doors opened up the guest said that they felt a sudden chill and an intense smell of metal. The doors would then close and you would arrive on the floor you originally wanted to get off at. So next time your in the area, check out the Emily Morgan Hotel and maybe you’ll have an experience you wont forget.


Rail Road Tracks, San Antonio

The rail road tracks at San Antonio, Texas

 

The Urban Legend:

Back in the late 1930s a school bus carrying approximately 10 to 15 young school children, was crossing the railroad tracks by the Shane Road Crossing and stalled on the tracks. At that time a train was approaching, but it was already too late, there is no gate, or warning lights to warn motorists of an approaching train, so train hit the school bus killing the conductor of the train, the school bus driver, and all of the children who were on the bus. Years later the town decided to name the surrounding streets after the young children who died that day in that horrific accident. Some of the names of the children who died that day are as follows: Bobbie Allen, Nancy Carole, Cindy Sue, Laura Lee, Richy Otis, and Emilio Guerra.

 

Intersection of roads at the tracks.

 

Haunted Occurrences:

The locals’ say that you can hear the sound of a train approaching, the sound of a steam whistle, and the screeching of wheels, but the train never arrives. Many locals have gone to this location and put there car in neutral approximately 15 yards from the track, and the car moves on it’s own going faster up and over the tracks. Legend has it, that is the children pushing your car out of harms way. There have been experiments done, where people have put baby powder on the back of their car covering the bumper and the trunk. Many people claim to have had little fingerprints and handprints on the back of their car after they rolled over the tracks.

Facts:

  • It is true that there is no warning lights or gate to warn motorists of an approaching train. These tracks are still in use for cargo trains.
  • There is a decline on the road before the tacks, so when you put your car in neutral 15 yards away your car will start to roll toward the tracks building up enough momentum to go up hill and over the tracks.
  • There is a small hill right before the tracks.
  • When using baby powder or flour for this experiment, you must clean and scrub the back of your car before trying this experiment, because any handprints or fingerprints that you had left there in the past will show up when you sprinkle baby powder or flour over the area, giving you the assumption that those are the children’s fingerprints that died in that horrible accident that day.

View down the tracks
 

The Investigation:

While investigating the tracks we used digital audio recorders, video cameras, and EMF meters. We did not pick up any EVPs. There was no unusual activity through the video camera. While standing over the tracks there was a high EMF, but it was normal. We tried the experiment with the baby powder and did not get any handprints or fingerprints. We also tried pulling the car up closer to the tracks in between the decline of the road and the incline of the tracks so the car was not in motion when put in neutral. We stayed in neutral for a couple of minutes, but then sure enough the car moves up hill and over the tracks on it’s own, which was interesting.

Overall there may be something going on at the tracks, but LIPI believes more experimenting and investigating needs to be done before giving a final conclusion.


View down the tracks (opposite directions)


San Antonio Lunatic Asylum

San Antonio Lunatic Asylum

A Brief History: The asylum is located at 3621 Farm Road San Antonio Texas, and was built around the 1890s. According to the Fort Worth Gazette on November 29, 1891 in the article “Terrell all Right” it discusses the San Antonio Asylum and if the land it sits on is fit for the asylum. They talk about the agriculture of the land and the artesian well that is located there, and if there is a sufficient amount of water supply for the asylum. The asylum has a total of buildings, which were used for a security/personnel building, doctor’s offices/patient housing, patient/admissions building and a maintenance/power plant. The Asylum finally closed it’s doors between 1995-1996, due to the treatment that became available at home and in local hospitals, and the lack of government funding that would support asylums like this to stay open.

Haunted History: There have been many encounters with the paranormal at this asylum. Many people that have gone in there have reported hearing screaming, doors opening on their own, and doors slamming shut. You can also hear random conversations going on in the main building as well as the office building. There have been claims of seeing mists and shadow people all over the area especially in the shower room in the office/patient building. There have also been many claims of feeling cold spots in the hallways of both main buildings.



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