Halloween season is upon us and the cool weather couldn’t have got here soon enough! Of course it also means we can look forward to some of Denton’s favorite fall events, like Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival and Coffin Races along with a slew of great GDAC programs and the CHOSM Park After Dark. We’ll have a line-up of other local Halloween events next week, but first let’s have a gander at a few of Denton’s top haunted places that you can easily explore… if you dare.
5. Denton County Courthouse
The historic 1896 Courthouse on the Square ain’t just one of the most beautiful in all of Texas, it is also said to have more’n a few ghosts lingering around. The basement used to contain holding cells and there’s plenty who have experienced strange noises as well as the feeling that they are not alone. Outside, looking up into the highest windows, others claim to have seen a shadowy figure moving around, or a weathered-looking cowboy peering down from the upper floors. True enough, there’ve been several deaths and killings in the grand ole Courthouse. Regardless, the museum inside is always worth a wander-around and is even open on Saturdays from 11am til 3pm with a cool new exhibit previewed in the DRC.
4. Bayless-Selby House
The beautifully restored Bayless-Selby House is another local museum that tells the history of Victorian-era Denton. But as we scooped y’all last year, it also has a spooky spirit connected to some murderous intrigue that occurred in the house almost 100 years ago. You can take a tour of the house on Saturday’s during the Denton Community Market, but you’ll have to ask for the good-n-scary ghost stories that WDDI previewed… they don’t dole out the good stuff to just anybody! Tell ‘em we sent you.
3. The Campus Theater
Spirits in the theater are considered good luck according to stage superstition, so it should come as no surprise that our own Campus Theater embraces their beloved benefactor. This popular venue is most definitely one of Denton’s most haunted and most show have some story about the antics of the Campus Theater’s Mischievous Manager, Mr. Harrison.
2. The Emily Fowler Public Library
We’ve told about some of Denton’s ghostly guardians before, one of the most famous being the haunting spirit who also happens to be the namesake of the Emily Fowler Library. There have been numerous paranormal investigations that led to encounters with this lingering librarian, and several witnesses who knew her well enough to recognize Emily still skulking around the stacks long after she’d been dead and buried. You can wander around the public library to do some ghost-hunting for yourself, or you can check out Nerd Nite Denton on October 25th when Emily Fowler librarian Laura Douglas will be discussing some of the spectral shenanigans.
1. Old Alton Goatman’s Bridge
The oldest ghost legend in Denton is the creepy tale of the Old Alton Bridge Goatman. You may have heard that the television program Ghost Adventures kicked up a ruckus awhile back by filming a re-enactment at the historic bridge using actors in KKK robes? Well the old stories are even crazier than that. You can watch the video for more stories of scares and encounters that have been spooking locals for generations.
You can bet there is plenty more to see and do around Denton this fall, so be sure to tag your Instagram pics with #WDDI so we can see and maybe share the ghostly photos of your favorite Denton haunts!
Shaun Treat is a former professor at the University of North Texas and founder of the Denton Haunts historical ghost tour. Doc has written about numerous local places and personalities at his Denton Haunts blog, and is forever indebted to the great work of our local keepers of history like Mike Cochran and Laura Douglas at the Emily Fowler Library for their tireless work in helping preserve Denton’s intriguing past. Be sure to check out our local museums curated by the fine folks at the Denton County Office of History & Culture, and follow @Dentonaut on Twitter for local happenings.