Haunted Places in
Navarro County, Texas


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Navarro County Courthouse Ghosts

A ghost has been heard on the stairs between the 2nd and 3rd floors. He may have been a man shot by the sheriff after a political dispute.
Source: Small Town Ghosts  in North East Texas


Haunting Navarro County
Corsicana Daily Sun

Local storytellers, skeptics differ on ghostly legends

By Janet Jacobs

When it comes to sharing ghost stories about Navarro County, teenagers talk in whispers about various cemeteries and Crybaby Bridge, but tales also circulate about the courthouse, Napoli’s restaurant, the old Emhouse school, and a number of private homes.

Many of these tales have their detractors, and in some cases the facts are clearly in the camp of the disbelievers. However, the secret to a haunting’s success lies not in the details, but in how much fun it is to send shivers up the spines of the listeners, particularly around Halloween.

Amateur ghost-hunters interested in tracking these legends to their sources should beware, however, because trespassers may encounter very live sheriff’s and police officers.


Navarro County Courthouse, 300 W. 3rd Ave.

The 101-year-old Navarro County Courthouse is supposedly haunted by a justice of the peace, George Crumbly, who was shot in 1926 on the first floor of the courthouse by former Sheriff John W. Stewart.

Witnesses claim to have heard footsteps on the empty staircase, the elevator going up and down without passengers, and lights turning on and off without any hand on the switches.

The story began with a violent confrontation between the Crumbly and Stewart, when the judge accused the officer of not filing enough cases in his court. At the time, J.P.’s were paid according to the fines and fees ordered by the court.

“The judge hit the sheriff on the head with the notary seal, and the sheriff shot the judge,” explained current Navarro County Sheriff Les Cotten. “The sheriff was exonerated, but he never ran for office again.”

Cotten recalled one weekend while he was downstairs at the planning and zoning office and he heard footsteps descending the stairs.

“Nobody was there. Nobody was up those stairs,” Cotten said. “I’ve talked to several people about the footsteps, and they say it’s the ghost of the judge.”

County Judge Alan Bristol said he’s been asked about the ghost before, and he’s skeptical.

“I think it was a big rat,” he said. “We had rats in the attic area, and behind the district attorney’s office.”

“I’ve been up here late at night, and I’ve never heard anything except the creaks and groans of an old building,” he said.


Moe & York, 1200 W. 2nd Ave.

In the former home of Confederate Col. Roger Q. Mills, workers report a variety of things, including the sounds of women cooking and chatting in the kitchen, gospel singing in empty rooms, doors opening and closing without human help, the radio changing stations, a cake’s disappearance and papers floating up off a desk. The enormous white house on W. 2nd Avenue is now the offices of the Moe & York law firm.

“We’ve heard boots, like boots walking on the stairs, from the day we bought the place,” said owner Barbara Moe. “If you’re here late at night, there’s no doubt.

“We’ve had lots of fun with it,” she said, adding: “Some of my employees wouldn’t want to be here at night by themselves.”

Shortly after they bought the house, Moe recalled an evening when she was working alone in the house in preparation for opening. She heard the sound of agitated footsteps marching up and down the stairs.

“I said ‘Colonel, it’s just me. Everything’s OK.’ And it stopped,” Moe said. “It’s not scary. You just know there’s something around you.”

Moe, who said she is not a superstitious person, added that potential crime worries her more than spirits.

“I’m not scared of what’s in my building, I’m scared of what’s outside of it,” she said, laughing.


Napoli’s Italian Restaurant and Bar, 111 E. Collin St.

The former Molloy Hotel has long been considered the final home of an outgoing ghost nicknamed “Sally.” Legend claims that the ghost was a former “sporting lady” who did business in the hotel. A second-floor haunter, Sally is said to have turned on and off freezers, locked up equipment, created spooky noises, and generally caused problems for men.

Former owner Gloria Medina, who ran the business as the Jalapeno Grill, said one of their most dramatic run-ins with the ghost came on a night when a large group of revellers were celebrating in one part of the dining room. Where they were noisiest, the lights suddenly went out.

Raul Medina went upstairs to check the breakers, and found them all normal. The lights remained stubbornly off, however. Going back upstairs, he announced: “Sally, turn the lights on, I got customers.” The lights came back on.

“She never really did anything to me, it was always my husband,” Gloria Medina said.

Raul wasn’t the only man “Sally” toyed with, according to Medina.

When they decided to install satellite service, the technician was left alone in the former hotel for awhile, and he claimed to hear voices and other noises all around him while he worked upstairs.

“He said, ‘I’m not going up there again unless somebody goes with me,’” she said. “Of course, he was scared half to death.”

Co-owner of the current Napoli’s, Ardijan Shalla, said no spirits have been around since the place went Italian.

“We heard about it,” Shalla said. “But I’ve slept here a couple of times, when I was doing construction. I didn’t hear or see anything.”


Crybaby Bridge, NW County Road 0010

Stories differ on what happens to ghost hunters who find Crybaby Bridge.

Supposedly, witnesses will hear the faint wail of an infant from below, but they could end up walking, since their cars won’t start up again, or they might find a tiny, wet, handprint on their cars.

Gayle Horton, a former Emhouse resident, claims to have heard the crying sound, and she has some history to attach to the story. Horton rode the school bus with the girl at the center of the legend.

“Her name was Shirley King, and she got pregnant back in 1951,” Horton said. “Back then, that was a no-no.”

After giving birth one October night during a full moon, King allegedly committed infanticide by dashing the baby into the creek.

“You have to wait until a full moon, and you have to wait until 12 o’clock,” Horton said. “You can hear that baby crying. Maybe it’s the wind. I don’t know what it is.”

The story is complicated by disagreements over which crossing is Crybaby Bridge. The most likely candidate is a small span 1.8 miles past the N. Beaton Street split. Beyond the point where Beaton forks from the Emhouse Road, Beaton merges into NW County Road 0010. Seven-tenths of a mile beyond the pavement’s end is a small wooden bridge. It’s a vastly different scene from what it was in 1951.

“It used to be an old iron bridge out there,” said Bill Young, local historian. “It’s no longer there.”

As well, Navarro County doesn’t have the only weepy creek.

An Internet search turned up more than 30 different Crybaby or Cry Baby Bridges in Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, and of course, Texas. Ohio has the most, with 24 different Cry Baby bridges, each with a similarly heinous legend attached.

Emhouse School, 539 N. Hopkins

The former rural school, now a private residence under renovation, was once rumored to have a ghost in the basement. Gayle Horton, a former Emhouse student, said she was in seventh grade when she first heard about the haunting.

“Mr. Beard, the janitor, kept saying somebody was in the basement when he went down there to light the furnace,” Horton said. “It would talk, saying ‘get out of here,’ or ‘I’m here.’ ”

Believing it to be students playing pranks, Beard set a trap using a rope and cowbell — some accounts describe the trap as set with string and tinkle bells — fashioning a complicated spiderweb around the room.

Now, here is where the stories diverge: Some accounts have the janitor suddenly wrapped up in his own rope, while a second version has his fingertips and hands going numb. Once again, the disembodied voice told him to get out, and this time, he did. Beard supposedly never went back.

Not much can be seen now. A well that fed the old boiler flooded the basement, and the boiler is even gone, the victim of decay and years of water damage.

The current owners, Kit and Robert Merrill, haven’t had any odd encounters, except with ghost-hunters, who have surprised them by coming onto the property, and breaking into the locked basement.

“All they do is open the basement door, scream, and run away,” Robert Merrill said, shaking his head in puzzlement.

————

Janet Jacobs may be contacted via e-mail at jacobs@corsicanadailysun.com


Lone Oak Cemetery Hauntings ?

Down on the old dirt road about two miles, there is a small cemetery. Late at night you will here whisperings and here the barbed wire near the cemetery flick. I have encountered these strange noises myself.

NEW: Wow! I ran across the web site while searching for ghost information. The cemetery in Blooming Grove, is it the old abandoned one? I used to camp out in Frost on my ex-boyfriend's property. On one occasion we went to one of the abandoned cemeteries there off of a dirt road. There were bluebonnets planted and I saw a single white bluebonnet. I thought it was odd and took a photo, hoping to catch some ghost activity on film. I took some pictures at the camp earlier in the day and replaced the film, took a whole roll of the pics at the cemetery. We went back the next morning to take more pictures. Weird thing was, when I had the film developed, the first roll from the camp site came out just fine. The other two rolls were developed at different times (two weeks apart) and both of those with the cemetery photographs came out completely BLANK! There was NOTHING on them. Have you ever had this happen?

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© Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox