Sunday, January 16, 2011
At the turn of the season when the first cool snap moves in, and the Pineywoods are speckled with red and gold autumn leaves, east Texans begin to notice it is getting dark earlier. The dense pine trees cast a shadow that make the darkest night darker, every surrounding sound seem louder, and the hair on the back of one’s neck stand straight up.
East Texas is home to many creatures of the night that humans fear, and occasionally claim to encounter. East Texas has given way to Bigfoot sightings, alien encounters, and close calls with blood–sucking creatures. Individuals claiming to have come in contact with numerous unexplainable creatures all share one thing in common, and that is a certain look engraved in their faces, that can only be made by fear of the unknown.
East Texas is known for its legendary, hairy, apelike creatures said to dwell deep in the pineywoods. The bi-pedal creatures have been spotted all along the Texas-Louisiana border, making little known towns famous. What Houston and Anderson County creature seekers may not realize, is these woolyboogershave been reported in the area on a somewhat regular basis.
Bigfoot, otherwise known as Sasquatch, the Forest Giant, or the wild man of the woods, has been a topic of discussion for over 400 years. Sighting of the illusive creature have reached the thousands, and many of those reports have come from East Texans. Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s Bigfoot made headlines in East Texas by way of local newspapers. The Pineywoods are said to provide the perfect conditions and plentiful food sources that would allow the creature to not only survive, but thrive in the area.
Many of the individuals who have claimed to encounter the hairy legend wandering about East Texas describe the first impression as undeniably human-like. Bigfoot is said to have 10 fingers and 10 toes, human-like facial features and expressions, and capable of walking upright.
Those who cross the hairy creature almost immediately notice a profound difference in size to that of a human. The overall massiveness of the creature, which is hard for witness to put in proportion, makes up the powerful build that many witnesses report. Others report a malodorous smell permeating in the air.
According to the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy(TBRC) many witnesses who spot the up-right walking creature hesitate to share their stories of the strange animal. Though each sighting that does get reported varies in some form or another, the details of the creature are always similar, if not the same.
The Neches and Trinity rivers produce regular sightings of the creature. Hunters camping on the banks have made numerous claims of encounters with large, hairy creatures. The Davy Crockett National Forest is also said to be home to Bigfoot, and has produced several sightings in recent years. Anderson and Houston County also have a history, nearly a half century long, of sightings coming from within county lines.
In 2004, a hunter filed a report with TBRC concerning a sighting in the Davy Crockett National Forest of not just one, but two sasquatches, one male and one female. The observation made by the hunter was a lengthy encounter, during which he claimed to have witnessed the pair moving about the brush and feeding, at approximately 8 a.m.
The witness reported to TBRC Investigator, Mike Hall, that he heard mewling, guttural noises, accompanied by whistling and clicking noises coming from the animals. He believed the two creatures were mates and communicating with one another through the various noises. Hall interviewed the witness extensively, and referred to the encounter as “compelling.” Hall also recorded in his in depth report and analysis that he could find nothing that lead him to believe the witness was fabricating the story.
Just north of Houston County, along the outskirts of Palestine, area residents have laid claim to encounters with the creature said to roam the area.
In 1998, during the cold winter months of February, two young men, approximately 16 years old, were rendered speechless after encountering, what they claim, could have only been a Bigfoot. While on a camping trip, on family owned property, near the Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area, the two teens allegedly got a look at massive upright creature from roughly 20 yards away.
At approximately 2 a.m. the young men were spotlighting for rabbits. The two teens were slowly fanning the spotlight when they saw something much larger than a rabbit. Just ahead of the light they noticed something big, allegedly eight feet tall, and moving quickly trying to avoid the light. The boys said the creature appeared to have grayish-brown hair covering its body, and long arms. The creature allegedly crossed a five-strand barbed wire fence with no hesitation and great ease. The witnesses reported hearing no sound in the event of the crossing.
This report was published after the two boys’ parents saw a special report with Jonna Fitzgerald on NBC Channel 56 of Tyler and Longview, about the TBRC and Bigfoot sightings in east Texas. Parents of the two teens contacted the TBRC and put the boys in touch with researcher and investigator, Craig Woolheater.
Woolheater’s report said after the sighting the two young witnesses’ encounter they sat “in stunned silence” for a few moments before leaving the area as quickly as possible.
Hunters regularly claim to encounter the wild man in East Texas, due to the amount of time they spend in the woods. Hunters are outdoors in remote areas, significantly more than the average person, seeking the perfect hunting spot. Though hunter’s reports of Bigfoot encounters are perhaps more lengthy than others, they are certainly not the only people encountering the creature.
According the TBRC, in Oct. of 1998, another report was made near the South-East Houston and Anderson County border. The report did not come from a hunter, but rather a local man that had to pull his vehicle over in order to relieve himself. The man allegedly stepped from his truck over to the edge of the woods, approximately 20 yards away, and began to take care of business. The witness said he began to hear leaves crunching, under what sounded like heavy footsteps. The nervous and quickly headed back towards his truck and away from the woods.
According to the report made to the TBRC, as the witness made his way back to his vehicle he noticed that when he stopped walking, so would the footsteps of the unknown stalker that were coming from within the darkness of the woods. Suddenly the heavy footsteps that had been stalling began to gain speed.
The frightened witness bolted for his truck. He jumped into his truck and fled the area. The man claims that as he was speeding off he looked into his review mirror and saw “something big and black, standing on two legs” in the road behind him. The witness’s report to TBRC, researcher and investigator, Daryl Coyler, claimed the “wide and thick” creature was within 10 yards of his tailgate at one point. The Anderson County witness could not discern further details, due to making such a quick getaway.
East Texas Tales of the legendary Bigfoot have captivated and haunted locals for many years. The deep dark Pineywoods are capable of implanting fears in those who enter their piney domain, and instilling skeptics with new found beliefs of the creature’s existence. Though there is no hard proof that Bigfoot inhabits the Pineywoods, those who claim to have come face-to-face with the legend are convinced the creature lives among us, and is watching us.
The TBRC is funded by membership dues, fundraisers, and the annual Texas Bigfoot Conference, in addition to donations and grants. It is the TBRC’s desires to enhance the credibility of Bigfoot research, as well as facilitate a greater degree of acceptance by the scientific community of the likelihood of a biological basis behind the sasquatch mystery.
Posted by Dana Goolsby at 4:16 PM
Huntsville – Bowden Rd, perhaps better known as " Demons Road,” has a steady flow of reports regarding the experiences travelers claim to have had while driving down the old road. People that wander off down “Demons Rd” tell tales of disturbing encounters, and an eerie feeling that sweeps over anyone who dares disrupt the spirits said to be lingering down “Demons Road.” The old road leads to an old cemetery known as Martha’s Chapel Cemetery.
Locals warn curious people who desire to brave the path or visit the graveyard not to provoke the spirits. Many of those warnings are spoken by those who claim that a spirit followed them home after being in that area. In May of 2010 a women reported the encounter her husband and their friends had while at the cemetery. She claimed they saw a man wandering through the cemetery one evening, but did not pay much heed to the wanderer. A few days later, as the woman was getting into the shower, she turned around to close the shower curtain, and much to her surprise, there in her bedroom, stood the same man they had seen wandering through the cemetery.The man disappeared after instilling immense fear in the woman, and she has not reported seeing him since.
According to one man’s story, he and a buddy saw a hand protruding from a grave in the cemetery off “Demons Road.” Eventually the whole arm was said to be out from within its grave, and grasping around in search of something, or anything. The man moved towards the grave against the persistent urging of his friend. He said he bent down to touch the hand, with his friend pulling at him desperately the whole time. His friend’s pleadings did not stop him from making contact with the hand, which in turn, allegedly grasped his hand and began to pull him downward toward the grave. He was able to pull free from the hand. He turned to his horrified pal, who asked if he was ok, before noticing that there was someone standing just behind his friend. He darted towards his friend in an effort to protect him from whoever was behind him. Just before he reached his friend, the man behind his friend lifted his head and looked at him. According the man the figure that had been standing behind his friend looked exactly like his friend who had been begging him to leave. When he turned to look at his “real” friend, he was not there. The man then says he bolted and headed for the vehicle. As he raced up to the car he noticed handprints in the dust on the car. The man said that as he climbed into the safety of the car, he realized his friend was dead in the back seat.
Witnesses report large handprints being left on their vehicles. Some witnesses claim the handprints appear to be where someone or something unseen grabbed at their car. Almost 100 car owners who found prints on their vehicle have reported their encounters.
Reports of mysterious red lights seen along “Demons Road” are also often made. Those who claim to have seen the lights say that the number of lights that appear depends on the number of people traveling in the vehicle. One group of four said that as they were leaving the road, at approximately 4 a.m., four red lights appeared out of nowhere. Suddenly four handprints appeared on the hood of the truck, according to one of the men in the group.
Some say that a cult, believed to be that of the KKK, has been spotted down “Demons Road” holding ritual ceremonies. It has even been said that members of the cult have been seen drinking blood from a sacrificed dog.
Others allege that they were visited by apparitions of a young child, with glowing eyes, riding a tricycle while on the road. A strange, faceless, threatening creature is also said to appear to some people. Whatever form the spirits choose to reveal themselves in, the spirits have never been reported as anything less than hostile, and terrifying, or at least frightening.
So if you must go down “Demons Road,” or if you just cannot resist the urge to explore the unexplained, please remember not to provoke or disrespect the spirits along your way. Steer clear of those who have passed on but are attempting to escape their graves, and avoid becoming the legendary cult’s next sacrifice. Oh and never let a ghostly “hitch hiker” follow you home.
Posted by Dana Goolsby at 3:56 PM
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Locals that have been involved with the house have reported a mysterious doll, that allegedly has a mind of its own, even though it tends to lose its head from time to time. Some claim that the doll’s head has been seen separate from its body, and at other times some claim the head was missing entirely, and nowhere to be found.
The doll is said to move about in the attic. One day the doll might be near the window, as if it is gazing out across the lawn, and on another day the doll might be face-first in a corner of the room. No one has ever been seen moving the doll, and no one has taken the credit for a prank well played.
The house is said to possess a presence that can be undeniably felt, especially if alone. While some have been frightened by their experiences in the house, others believe the spirit is playful, and thankful that the house has been preserved in the absence of the families that loved the home.
Posted by Dana Goolsby at 10:12 PM
The old Memorial Hospital in Palestine appears to be little more than a dilapidating building these, but was once a busy medical center, where area residents sought care, worked, or visited loved ones. Locals also say the basement of the building was once the city morgue, where bodied were stored until either identified or claimed.
The old hospital has been abandoned as a care facility, however locals claim the facility has not been entirely deserted. Supernatural tales have lived within the old hospital far prior to the closing of the facility. Former patients that checked in, but never checked out are believed to haunt the building, as well as the stirring spirits of unclaimed bodies in the basement.
Apparitions of deceased patients have allegedly been seen in the building. Spirits have allegedly made their presence known over the years in many ways. Those who claim to have witnessed ghosts in the building have been forever changed by what they saw.
Claims of paranormal activity in the building resonate through legends of the old hospital, and continue to drive fear into the hearts of locals to this day. Former employees who once walked the halls of the old hospital, checking patience and dispensing meds, say they would never return to the building where they witnessed the living dead.
Apparitions of patients are said to wander the halls of the old hospital in search of their loved ones. Some have reported seeing a man in a wheelchair traveling the hallways. The man bound to the wheelchair is said to be looking for his wife, who passed just days after he did in their home. The man can allegedly be heard weeping and moaning in great sorrow as he passes through the halls calling out for his beloved.
Posted by Dana Goolsby at 10:02 PM
Posted by Dana Goolsby at 9:44 PM
Grapeland harbors several haunted places, of which only the bravest residents dare to investigate. Tales of ghostly apparitions, strange lights, and noises that send chills down one’s spine linger in the autumn air. In October, the legendary ghost stories begin to rear their heads, leaving residents spooked and leery of certain areas.
Posted by Dana Goolsby at 9:25 PM