For someone like me, October is not a great month. I am terrified of all things scary, so commercials for the newest horror movie, haunted houses, and even fake ghosts and goblins hanging in people’s yards are “real” enough to keep me curled up in the fetal position as soon as night falls. But what’s even more terrifying than those are the scary stories about Texas that have been told throughout the years. Whether these stories claim to be real or fiction, they are beyond creepy.
However, for those of you out there who love a great horror story, we thought it would be the perfect time to recall some of these chilling tales to get people in the mood for Halloween. So, here are 3 scary stories about Texas in honor of this coming Halloween.
1) Let’s first begin with the well-known legend of the “Lady of White Rock Lake” that takes place outside of Dallas. According to the site www.watermelon-kid.com, this story has been circulating in Texas since the 1930’s. It also states that a woman named Anne Clark was one of the first to write about the legend, and her short story was even included in the Texas Folklore Society’s 1943 publication, Backwoods to Border. Here’s how the story goes:
One hot July night, a young city couple, having driven out and parked on the shore of White Rock Lake, switched on the headlights of the car and saw a white figure approaching. As the figure came straight to the driver’s window, they saw it was a young girl dressed in a sheer white dress that was dripping wet.
She spoke in a somewhat faltering voice.
“I’m sorry to intrude, and I would not under any other circumstances, but I must find a way home immediately. I was in a boat that overturned. The others are safe. But I must get home.”
She climbed into the rumble seat, saying that she did not wish to get the young lady wet, and gave them an address in Oak Cliff, on the opposite side of Dallas. The young couple felt an uneasiness concerning their strange passenger, and as they neared the destination the girl, to avoid hunting the address, turned to the rumble seat to ask directions. The rumble seat was empty, but still wet.
After a brief, futile search for the girl in white, the couple went to the address she had given and were met at the door by a man whose face showed lines of worry. When he had heard the couple’s story, the man replied in a troubled voice. “This is a very strange thing. You are the third couple who has come to me with this story. Three weeks ago, while sailing on White Rock Lake, my daughter was drowned.”
2) Bandera Pass, located in the Kerrville area, is the setting for the ghost story of “Bigfoot and the ghost of El Muerto.” According to Americanfolklore.net, the story begins back in the days of the Wild West and a Texas Ranger named Bigfoot Wallace. He was signed up to help defend San Antonio from their enemies. He and his comrades were faced with cattle-stealing bandits and dealt with the thieves by hanging them after they confessed and leaving their hung bodies to deter other bandits. Somehow this didn’t stop the thieves from stealing.
So Bigfoot Wallace decided he needed to take a more severe approach when the famous raider and cattle thief, Vidal, and his gang stole a bunch of horses from a fellow Ranger. After capturing the thief, Bigfoot decapitated Vidal’s head, and he and his fellow Ranger tied the body to the saddle of the wildest horse from the stolen herd and then secured the severed head to the horn of the saddle. Bigfoot then sent the horse running away with hopes the disgusting sight would finally deter future thieves. According to the story, the horse would ride like that for years scaring everyone in South Texas. And to this day, “on moonless nights, the ghost of El Muerto continues to ride across South Texas to this day with his long black serape blowing in the wind and his severed head bumping on the saddle beside him.”
3) If you’re still not scared, then here’s the ultimate and probably the most notable story of Texas… the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre!” The movie was “supposedly” based on true events that happened here in Texas. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie or heard the story (guilty), here’s a quick summary of the story from the site Fandango
“When Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) hears that the Texas cemetery where her grandfather is buried has been vandalized, she gathers her wheelchair-bound brother Franklin (Paul A. Partain) and several other friends together to see if grandpa’s remains are still in one piece. While in the area, Sally and her friends decide to visit grandfather’s old farmhouse. Unfortunately, a family of homicidal slaughterhouse workers who take their job home with them have taken over the house next door. Included amongst the brood is Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), a chainsaw-wielding human horror show who wears a face mask made out of human skin. Sally’s friends are rapidly exterminated one-by-one by the next-door neighbors, leaving only Sally left to fight off Leatherface and his clan”.
Now, the movie claims to be based on true events; however, (spoiler alert!) the director, Tobe Hooper, later admitted he made it up. In fact, he said he came up with the idea while standing in front of a row of chainsaws coming up with ways he’d get out of the crowded store he was in (eeks!).
Though the plot was fiction, it turns out that the main character in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as well as in others like Psycho and Silence of the Lambs, was loosely based off of a real man named Ed Gein from Wisconsin. Police found in his home all types of body parts including a box of cut-off noses, skin masks, skin suits and other disturbing items. He was a murderer, suspected cannibal, and grave robber, which is where he got most of his body parts. So you can definitely see some similarities between Ed and the movie villains.
With that being said – Happy Halloween to all our great customers across Texas!