Apparitions, strange noises, and other occurrences are common in Huntsville. Nearly everywhere you go, someone has a story to tell about the supernatural experiences in this historic and spooky town. Huntsville is a town of many memories and a rich historical past. It seems as though even today the people from the past will never let us forget them.
Linda Byrd, a former employee of the Huntsville Public Library said there is a ghost she and the rest of the library employees call “Menard.” There was once a house on the property where the library resides now. A man used to live in the house and he died. Employees at the library said books fall off the shelves, doors open by themselves, even the copy machine makes copies on its own. Byrd said sometimes the alarm in the library goes off as though someone was leaving with a book without checking out, and then the door opens by itself.
Some have reported seeing the handprint of a small girl appear on a window of the Steamboat House in Huntsville. Some have also said that General Sam Houston died there, and haunts it to this day.
I had my own personal experience at this house when I was taking a tour with two of my friends. I was standing in front of the house, and the front door opened by itself. My friend attempted to press the button for the recording that goes with the tour, but it didn’t work. As we went inside, we peered inside the rooms and I noticed there was a piano in one. I motioned to the piano and suddenly the recording finally worked, and started to play piano music.
The Walls Unit is the most haunted place in Huntsville. Many stories have been reported from inmates and correctional officers. In an article in the Huntsville Item last October, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Spokesman, Larry Fitzgerald spoke of an inmate by the name of Sam Houston (no pun intended). This particular inmate had many encounters with ghosts.
Between the east and south wings of the Walls Unit, the prisoner saw a ghost walk through a wall and asked an officer, “Did you see that?” and the officer said, “yes, I sure did.”
Houston also saw a ghost called the “ax man.” The “ax man” was a ghost who walked around carrying a head in his hands.
The article in the Huntsville Item also mentioned a 1999 Austin American Statesman article that told a story about a supervisor who left a voice activated tape recorder in the old death row. When he played it back, they heard clanging of cell doors and then an unidentified voice said “hey captain, hey captain.”
Many inmates and officers hear strange noises, see people walking through walls, or only see brief appearances of apparitions. Inmates also said they sometimes feel that someone is watching them. Ghosts haunt the now abandoned East Building of the Huntsville Unit of the Texas prison.
An article at Amarillonet.com said a man named Carter lived in the prison’s east building until he left in 1985. When he was on cleanup duty late one night, he saw a prisoner sitting on a bunk. When he went back to speak to the prisoner on his way back to his own cell, it was vacant.
The article also mentioned Rod Kukua, who was a corrections officer in the 1980s. Kukua performed a head count while all of the inmates were inside their locked cells.
“I saw an inmate standing on the next row up, just standing there. He didn’t say anything. I was wondering what he was doing out of his cell. When I got down to him, I was going to ask him what he was doing. When I got to him, he was gone,” Kukua said.
These stories are only a few out of several that have kept the Huntsville community and others guessing over the years. Huntsville may be a small old town, but the ghost stories are abundant like students are at SHSU. Don’t let these stories keep you up at night. No one knows for a fact that these stories are true. Maybe one day you’ll find out for yourself. Until then, Happy Halloween!