Abilene is not without its share of scary ghost stories or urban legends. I doubt that you can find an Abilenian that hasn't heard about the 'Lady Ghost of Fort Phantom' or the mystery surrounding the 'Anson Lights'. Here are some local 'urban legend ghost stories.'
The Lady Ghost of Ft. Phantom
This ghost story began in the mid 1940's when Mona Bell agreed to meet her boyfriend who had just returned from the war.
They were to meet at Lake Fort Phantom where he would flash his headlights three times. As she went to hug him, he flew into a rage and strangled her. His best friend had (jokingly) told him that he kept Mona company while he was away.
Realizing what he'd done, he tossed her lifeless body into the lake. Witnesses claimed Mona was not dead because she screamed and then her screams turned to gurgles as she drowned.
'The Ghost Lady In the Lake' makes herself known today, by causing your headlights to flicker when you drive by the lake. She also surrounds your car with a dense fog. Those that have witnessed it, say it's a hair raising experience. The video below is a fictitious reenactment of the urban legend.
As this legend goes, one night during the Depression, a young mother searches frantically along a dirt road looking for her missing toddler that wandered away. Slipping on the icy ruts as she stumbled through the darkness with her lantern searching for her son.
She succumbed to the elements and died searching for him. Her body was later discovered and It was presumed the toddler froze to death too, although his remains were never found.
The mother's spirit still lives on around here, searching for her child, holding her lantern high to light the way. Thus the 'Anson Lights'
This story gained validity when Unsolved Mysteries reported on it years ago. The reporters in the video below saw the lights near the Mount Hope cemetery just outside of town. As they drive closer to the light, the "light" instantly disappears.
The Old Weather Bureau on North First
The old Weather Bureau building on North First Street is said to be haunted. As the story goes, the first Bureau Chief was working one stormy West Texas night.
The Chief needed to check something in the basement so he ran to the stairs and before he took his second step, he fell down the stairs and broke his neck. He was discovered the next morning by his staff.
It's said that his ghostly spirit is still in the building, surprising and supervising those who work there today. I personally believe this story to be true.
Because, while I was at the Weather Bureau Building taking the photo for this article. I thought I'd make my way down to the basement from the outside stairs. I noticed right off it was dark down there and when I took my second step down, I slipped and busted my butt.
I sat there for a moment, I then got up and looked around to make sure nobody saw me fall and I got the heck out of there. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Hangman's Bridge in Anson
As this urban legend goes, authorities hung a man off the Clear Fork Bridge. He was accused of raping Mrs. Presley, a Jones County resident, then hiding her body under the bridge.
Days later the Sheriff and two Deputies found a man 'they believed' to be the rapist and hung him off the bridge. It's that mans spirit that today roams the 'Presley Bridge' as the locals call it now, looking to exact his revenge on the Sheriff and his Deputies for hanging an innocent man.
Strange USA.com has the location of the old 'Presley Bridge' on CR-429. The bridge is all metal and made lots of noise when driven over. However the bridge is off limits to vehicles today. I've been told by the locals that the wind can be heard blowing on one side of the bridge, while the other side is calm.
The one strange abnormality that I personally experienced while researching this story and photographing the bridge is that, underneath one side of the bridge was hot and breezy while the other side was calm and "very" cool. BTW, I took the photo in July. I say, there's something strange going on there. I got out of there as fast as I could.
I then contacted Jones County Attorney Investigator Mike Middleton who said "I've heard the stories but the old all steel bridge was replaced with a new bridge many years ago." The old bridge remains in tact about fifty feet from the county road. Maybe that's why the urban legend has died down some.
No word if Investigator Middleton or the Jones County Sheriff have ever been on the Presley Bridge late at night.
The Ghostly Children at the Railroad Tracks
I'll be the first to admit that this urban legend completely freaks me out, I just had to include it. This one is from outside of San Antonio on Cindy Sue Road.
According to Legends of America, there was a horrific school bus accident at the railroad crossing. Several children and the bus driver died in the accident.
It's been said that if you stop your vehicle on (which I do not recommend) or about the railroad tracks, put the vehicle in neutral, you will then feel your car being pushed up a small incline. Supposedly by the ghosts of the school children and bus driver that perished.
People sprinkle baby powder over the bumpers or trunks of their cars, only to find small hand prints in the powder. They say, it's the ghostly children trying to help stalled motorists across the railroad tracks.