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    Texas | Ghosts

    Ghosts of Wilson County

    by Lois Zook Wauson
    Wilson County in Texas is almost 150 years old. Several months ago I wondered if there were stories of ghosts seen in these old buildings or ruins. I decided that most buildings around 100 years old have certainly got some ghosts stories passed down through the years and I was going to find out if that was the case in Wilson County!

    Back in 1879 a letter was written by someone who signed it “Pedestrian” about how he and a friend made a trip to the site of the old Las Cabras Mission. They walked to the river from Floresville and then waded across the river to the old Mission. It was already deserted then. He wrote about the ruins, then finished the letter with this story:

    “There is a wild legend told by the Mexicans, and you shall have it as I heard it: When all the elements of nature seem to be at war, and the night is dark and dreary; if you should go alone to the old ruins, you will soon have the pleasure of hearing your teeth chatter. On such an occasion and old spirit that inhabits the ruins will take its accustomed walk, and mounting the top of the wall, will wave a light back and forth as though he were signaling to someone in the distance. However I did not remain to test the truth of the legend, as I am somewhat addicted to whistling when passing even a graveyard.” (Taken from a compilation of letters from Wilson County in 1879, sent to the Floresville Chronicle Journal for the Centennial Edition in 1960, by Afred E. Menn of Austin, Texas) I don't know if I believe that story, but I won't go out at Rancho de las Cabras by the river, at night.

    In a building as old as the county courthouse, built in 1884, I knew there were bound to be people who knew something. I was right. I interviewed one person about a ghost sighted in the courtroom upstairs.
    Wilson County Courthouse, Floresville Texas 1939
    Wilson County Courthouse in Floresville
    1939 Photo courtesy of TXDoT

    A pretty lady in a red dress with beautiful long legs was seen by someone in the middle of the day when they were alone cleaning the courtroom. The “lady-in-red” walked by the judge’s desk and as the person turned their back to turn off the vacuum to tell the lady no one was allowed in the courtroom, turned around, the lady-in-red was gone. I am wondering who the “lady-in-red” was. Maybe someone who was on trial in that courtroom, a hundred years ago, coming back to visit?

    When walking by the County Clerk Offices, people have felt someone brushing against them, and a sense of cold air as they walked by, they turn and no one would be there. Maybe ghosts from the past coming back to check on their family history stored in the ancient books in the chambers behind those doors?

    I met a man from a telephone company when I was up at the courthouse the other day interviewing people, he said one day he found himself locked in the courthouse after hours. He was working and they had forgotten he was there. He called 911 to send some one to come let him out. As he waited and he walked up and down the hall downstairs he said he felt the hairs on his neck rise, as if someone was there. But there was no one there. He could hardly wait for them to come let him out! Wonder if the ghosts walk the halls at night?

    Not so, said a former custodian who has worked there for years. When a storm came through many years ago and broke all the windows in the courthouse, while they were being repaired he and another man took turns spending the night at the courthouse to keep watch over it. He never saw or heard anything unusual. So maybe the ghosts knew someone was watching over the building and they didn’t have to?

    © Lois Zook Wauson,
    April 4, 2012 Guest Column
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