we're all sitting around waiting for the 2000 Census figures, we thought it might
be a good time to visit a few places where the inhabitants are few and easy to
count (although sometimes hard to see). Before we visit our latest towns, let
us warn you that Texas ghost towns may not fit the image in your mind's eye.
Tumbleweeds are in short
supply, so if you're a purist, you might want to bring your own. Stop by your
local nursery and get a few of their drought victims. They're cheap and you can
lash them to the top of your vehicle. You may also want to bring a can of WD 40
to quiet those signs that always swing from half broken chains. Real ghost towns
underwent a slow, usually agonizing decline, so don't expect to find still-warm
coffee cups and half-eaten meals.
courthouse in Stiles|
Special note: If a kindly couple offers you lodging for the night (and you
accept), leave a silver dollar on the coffee table so you can find it in the burned
out building the next day when you return with the skeptical people from the diner
where you had breakfast and mentioned you had spent the night with the kindly
old couple in the house on the hill that had died in a fire 40 years before.
In other words: Follow the script.
Make sure you have had a
recent tetanus shot and bring some pliers to pull those pesky nails from the soles
of your feet. We'd recommend bringing some food, so you won't be competing with
local coyotes. We also recommend some extra water, and an unopened bottle of hot
sauce. A can of Spook-be-Gone would be comforting insurance. What you don't use
on this trip can be employed against trick-or-treaters for Halloween. The hot
sauce does double-duty as both an antiseptic and a condiment.
ghost towns are uninhabited. If you come across people who live in the area, try
to get them to approach your car and see if you can see their reflection in any
of your car's mirrors. If you can't, then tell them you left a roast in your oven
and get the hell out of there. If you can see their reflection, do not, under
any circumstances, tell them Texas Escapes sent you.
some of those self adhesive convention nametags that say "Hello, my name is _____."
Fill in your name and add the following: "My blood type is_____." Then fill in
your appropriate blood type. If the ghost town you're visiting was founded by
Transylvanian-Texans, then don't add your blood type. Let's not ask for trouble.
these simple guidelines should bring you back to your loved ones with some nice
memories and a few good stories. Be sure to come back with everyone you left with
and if you don't come back, be sure to offer future visitors "lodging for the
night." It's in the script.
- Texas Ghost Towns List
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© John Troesser
Before taking a ghost town trip, please read Readers' Comments & Warning
below. - Editor |
Readers' Comments (and warnings) :On
6/1/02, on the way to Langtry, we stopped to visit Pumpville having just read
about it on your website. I would like to pass along a word of warning to others
who might be interested in "poking" around old railroad ghost towns ... be extremely
Be aware of the possibility of encountering illegal immigrants.
These sometimes desperate fellows ride the rails that pass through these towns,
unaware that the nearest highway may be miles away. [After encountering a group
of men] and with stories of the recent "Railroad Killer" still fresh in our minds,
we cut our adventure in Pumpville short. .... - Ralph Kepp, Horizon City, Texas,
June 2, 2002
went to Doole on Saturday, July 28. ..... I visited the bleachers and was welcomed
with shots from a rifle. No, I don't think they were shooting at me, but they
sure didn't stop! Everytime I walked away from my car, the shots were more frequent
and when I stepped back inside, I could hear the rifle being reloaded. Wild! Needless
to say, I left there rather quickly! - Lisa, July 29, 2001
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