Urban Legends And Ghost Stories From Lufkin/Nacogdoches -Our Top 5
Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, it’s always fun to hear a good ghost story. You’d be surprised how many haunting tales lurk here in East Texas, especially in the Lufkin/Nacogdoches area. I don’t know about you, but I find stories about the supernatural oddly fascinating, even if they are just fables. After all, it’s always fun to have a little scare once in a while, right? So turn on some lights and lock the doors, because we are bringing Halloween to you a few months in advance! Here are my top 5 favorite urban legends and ghost stories from Lufkin and Nacogdoches.
1. Cry Baby Creek
Jack Creek is a stream running about 16 miles near Lufkin by FM 2497, but to us locals it’s often referred to as ‘Cry Baby Creek’. On a stormy night back in the 70s, a woman and her infant child were traveling across a bridge over the creek. Suddenly, the car veered off the slippery bridge, sending the woman and infant plummeting to their death at the bottom of the creek. Legend has it that if you visit the creek at night, you can faintly hear the sounds of a baby crying in the distance. If you walk up and down the bank of the creek, you won’t find anything, but as you close on the end of the bank you can hear the cries of a child from the direction you just came. Another tale suggests that if you leave your car unattended at any time, infant hand prints will be found on the windows when you return.
2. Stephen F. Austin State University
Nacogdoches is the oldest town in Texas, after all, so it warrants a few spooks. The university itself has had numerous paranormal reports and some of the buildings are allegedly home to a couple of ghosts.
Turner Fine Arts Auditorium: A ghost by the name of “Chester” reportedly roams the halls and stages of this theater building. Chester is reputed to be the ghost of the building’s architect, who took his own life when the building’s blueprints were interpreted incorrectly, and the building was erected backwards. Others believe Chester is the ghost of a former SFA drama student. Either way, this creative ghost has been seen as a face on stage curtains and once appeared in a play as an extra ghost back in the 60s. SFA drama students have continuously reported strange noises within the halls as well as intensely cold spots in the building.
Mays Hall 11: Before the building was a dormitory, it served as a hospital with a morgue located in the basement. At the opposite end of the basement is a ruined bomb shelter that was built in the late 1940s. The Mays Hall basement is kept locked, but from time to time curious college students attempt to break in and explore. It is rumored that the basement harbors ill feelings of negativity and sadness. There is a false wall closer to the bomb shelter, but no one has been so brave as to find out what lays behind it. Students speculate that the ghost of someone who was stored in the morgue must be unhappy and haunt the building.
Griffith Hall: Residents of this dorm claim to be haunted by a former resident assistant, who leapt to her death from a third floor window after playing with a Ouiji Board. The community shower lights reportedly flicker every night at the time of her death, and a girl in tattered clothes has been spotted at the end of the hall numerous times, but when students do a double take, she is gone. At approximately 2 a.m. every night, running footsteps can be heard in the south wing. One resident claims that she watched out the peephole of her door when she heard the running footsteps approaching, and although she did not see anything pass by, she felt a rush of cold air under her door.
3. Bonner Mansion
Although it is now only remnants, Bonner Mansion was notoriously known as ‘The Perfect Haunted House’. Resembling that of Disney World’s Haunted Mansion ride, Bonner Mansion was located west of Lufkin, on Old Bonner Road in Hudson. Young youth would travel to the deserted manor in search of adventure, only to leave in sheer terror. Rumor has it that Bonner Mansion was haunted by a copious amount of spirits, some of those who were shot at the residence, and others who drew their last breath within the house. But the most infamous ghost which resides at the mansion is referred to as The Lady In The White Dress. Various encounters at Bonner Mansion have included the same scenario: a lady dressed in all white looking out the window or walking towards the door.
Bob Bowman, a local historian, writes about the Bonner Mansion in his book “Ghosts of the Pineywoods”:
“At one time, the house was a two-story mansion, one of the largest in Angelina County, built by a family prominent in business enterprises, including farming, lumbering and oil.”
According to Bowman’s book, the mansion was built in the 1800s by W.H. Bonner Jr., who fought for the South during the Civil War. Bonner had a wife and 9 children who resided in the mansion.
Bonner Mansion was torn down last year, because it was deemed a hazard due to storm damage and the property is now owned by the Vines Family. However, one can’t help but wonder: did the spirits go along with the house? Or have some of them stuck around just waiting for someone to drop by?
4. The Chupacabra
The Chupacabra is a legendary mythical creature, ranked No.3 after Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster. The name itself comes from the spanish words chupar “to suck” and cabra “goat”, literally translating into “goat sucker”. Sightings of this creature first surfaced in 1995 in Puerto Rico when dead, blood drained goats began showing up. Soon the rumors of the Chupacabra traveled to Texas, when livestock began to mysteriously vanish from farms.
A myth became reality for one farmer in Cuero, Texas when she came face to face with the culprit who had been stealing her farm’s chickens. The Cuero Farmer found what looked to be a mangy canine dead on the ground. However, although it looked like it could be some sort of canine or coyote hybrid, its physical characteristics were unique of any animal seen before. The creature had no hair, except tufts along the edge of its spine, with grayish-blue skin, big ears and a long snout. With 2 incisors on the top and bottom of the jaw-but no other teeth-it was clear the creature relied on blood for sustenance, because it could not possibly chew. The hind legs of the dog-like creature were longer than the front, with different paws as well.
In 2004, a sighting of a creature fitting the exact description of the Chupacabra was reported in Pollok, about 20 minutes outside Lufkin. Some people believe the creature is simply a coyote with the mange, and others believe it is a new breed of dog that suffers from some sort of skin ailment. But this mysterious vampire-like creature has popped up all over the country, from California to Maryland, and manages to baffle both scientists and zoologists.
5. Largent Cemetery
Although it’s cliché, it is difficult to talk about ghost stories without mentioning at least one involving a cemetery. Largent Cemetery in Angelina County is thought to be home to paranormal activity of stratospheric proportions. According to Lufkin Daily News‘ interview with Chad Hughes, founder of Lufkin Paranormal Investigations group, Largent Cemetery is crawling with the paranormal.
“All of the cemeteries in Angelina County are pretty active, but the most active is Largent Cemetery. Our camera messed up the last time we went there.”
It is also rumored that the ghost of Robert Faigen resides in the cemetery, and often wanders to nearby houses in search of his family. He is also reported to be a rather mischievous ghost, playing tricks and pulling pranks on unsuspecting victims.
Do you believe any of these stories? Have you heard of any other urban legends or ghost stories in your area?