Urban Legends About Abilene – Our Top Five [VIDEO]
Abilene and/or West Texas is not without its share of scary (whether true or not) ghost stories and urban legends. Only a few are very popular. The most heard of story is the Lady Ghost Of Fort Phantom. I seriously doubt that you can find anyone that hasn't heard about the Lady Ghost or even the mystery surrounding the “Anson Lights”.
The Lady Ghost Of Ft. Phantom
The Lady Ghost of Fort Phantom was originally known as "The Lady In The Lake" when the ghost story began in the mid 1940's. She was to meet her boyfriend who had just returned from the war. The meeting place to be, was Lake Fort Phantom, a popular meeting place for many love starved young people in the 1940's. She, Mona Bell, would know where to find her young soldier because he promised to flash the headlights on his car three times. The meeting went as planned, but she got there and went to embrace him and he flew into a rage because one of his best friends told him (jokingly) that he kept his girl company while he was away at war. The story goes, he wrapped his hands around her neck and he strangled her and then realizing what he had done threw her lifeless body in the lake. Some of the witnesses of the day claimed that Mona was not dead when he threw her in Fort Phantom Lake at the dam. They say she screamed and then the screams faded into gurgles where she finally drowned.
Today it is said that "The Lady Of The Lake" likes to make your headlights flicker off and on while you're driving, and she also surrounds your car with a dense fog that is only on your car. Those that have seen her say it's a very hair raising experience. For the record, and to clarify some misconceptions, the reason that the fort got it's name "Phantom" was not because of the "Lady" ghost. It was officially called the "Post on Clear Fork of the Brazos". Its everyday name became "Phantom Hill" either from prevalent mirages or the sighting of ghostly Indian silhouette in the moonlight. Thus called Fort Phantom Hill.
The Anson Lights
Now, on this one I have seen the Anson lights with my own eyes. At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, when I realized that there has got to be some kind of optical illusion to this story. Yes, optical illusion has to be the explanation because the ghost story involves kids and that is just too creepy for me. As locals tell it, one night during the Depression a young mother ran frantically along the road searching for her missing child, slipping in icy ruts as she stumbled through the cold winter darkness. She never found her little one; the child had wandered away from the house and was presumed to have frozen to death. The mother's spirit still searches for her child, holding her lantern high to light her way in the dark night. Yet another version of the story has the "son" much older and working for the railroad. The mother and son had a signaling system of sorts using a lantern. When he arrived back he would flash his lantern three times towards the house to let his mother know that he was on his way home. This one starts out at the "Mount Hope Cemetery" near Anson Texas outside of Abilene. The story was given validity when the television show Unsolved Mysteries reported on it a few years back. West Texans from Anson to Abilene have witnessed the phenomena of the mysterious lights. The Mount Hope cemetery is in the country just outside of town. At night the lights are only seen by driving down the dirt road about a half mile or so. As you drive closer to the cemetery towards the mysterious moving lights they instantly disappear.
Ghostly Children at the Railroad Tracks Near Albany
As the urban legend goes there was a terrible accident in Albany Texas at the railroad tracks. A school-bus was hit on a railroad track, killing several children. It is said that if you park your vehicle on the tracks, you will feel your car being pushed or rocked back and forth off of the tracks by unseen forces, supposedly by the ghosts of the school children that perished at that very spot decades ago. People claim to have sprinkled baby powder over the bumpers of their cars, only to find small hand prints in the powder. It's said that the ghostly children try to help stalled motorists off the railroad tracks. There is a very similar story with the same identical instructions about a railroad crossing in San Antonio.
Hangman's Bridge in Anson is Haunted by Hanged Victim
Anson Texas, again has yet another haunting, but this time it's not a building or cemetery that is haunted it is a bridge on the old CR-455 and CR-447. Yes a haunted bridge named the Bitter Creek Bridge, where many an execution took place during the 1800's. As this urban legend goes, the authorities hung an innocent man. So now his spirit roams the bridge where he was put to death he's looking to get his revenge on the Sheriff and Deputies that executed him. The fact that the bridge is an all metal construction may be the primary reason it is loud and makes lots of noise when driven over. Wind can be heard blowing on one side of the bridge, while the other side is as calm as can be, it's almost as if the was a wall separates the two. It has been reported by those who live in the area that the creaking and moaning sounds the bridge makes are those of the ghostly victim trying to scare off any who cross his bridge. The final sense you get when crossing the bridge is "chilled" as if you just walked into an ice cold freezer, even during a hot West Texas day. The strangest fact to this "Urban Legend" is that I drove for miles searching for the bridge, then I remembered you have to have a creek with water in it to necessitate a bridge. The water now, is a major sticking point here, because we in West Texas have very little of it. I search for three days then I contacted the sheriffs office. Thank you Sheriff Larry Moore and his staff of deputies to show me the way. Sheriff Moore said "the old bridge was all steel but was torn down and replaced the a new all steel and concrete one many years ago by the state." That maybe the sole reason we haven't heard much about this once popular urban legend. No word if Sheriff Moore has ever been on the Bitter Creek Bridge late at night by himself. If he does go rest assured you will read about it first right here.
The Old Weather Bureau on North First
Tina Cargile me reminded of this one. The old Weather Bureau building on north first Street. I've had many friends and acquaintances over the years tell me "that weather bureau building at night is just flat creepy." And Miss Cargile has had first hand experience dealing with the "haunted basement". The story was once told that the very first Bureau Chief was working one stormy West Texas night. Since he was the first to occupy that building it was taking him a little getting use to, having more space and all. He needed to check something in the basement when he ran to the stairs, and before he took his second or third step he took a nasty spill down the stairs and broke his neck. He was discovered the next morning by his staff that was coming into work for the day. His ghost is said to have stayed in the building, surprising and supervising those who work there today.