Jefferson- Do you believe in ghosts? If not, a trip to Jefferson might just change your mind. Jefferson has been called the most haunted small town in Texas. Fans of the supernatural and strange and unusual should head to Jefferson this October and tour the boom and bust area, where old spirits wander and taunt those who disturb them. Some say some of the original residents of Jefferson are still living Deep in the Pineywoods town today.
For over 150 years there have been many recorded accounts of mysterious sightings and unexplained phenomena. Jefferson is the fifth oldest community in Texas and the furthest inland port in the state and the second largest behind Galveston. Pioneers first settled on Big Cypress bayou in 1836 and soon after, when obstructions were removed from the bayou, steamboats were able to navigate through the bayou and Caddo Lake into the Red River and on to the Mississippi. Jefferson even started its own rail line in 1860. The vast majority of cotton from North Texas, Southern Arkansas and Oklahoma poured into Jefferson by rail and was shipped out by steam boat.
Visit The Grove, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Parks Service, and has been designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark by the Texas Historical Commission. The house has been said to be one of the most haunted locations in the Lone Star State. The ghost stories go back over 100 years at this 1861 home, and the first indication that something odd might be happening there was in 1882 when a man named T.C. Burke purchased the home. He moved his family in, and had left within a month’s time; the only explanation was, “We can’t live there…”
Take a tour of the house and learn about the history of the old house and its many occupants. You will hear about paranormal sightings of residents and visitors alike. Tour guests often report seeing, hearing and photographing strange occurrences in the house.
Take the Historic Jefferson Ghost Walk tour in town. Go on a night time journey and discover Jefferson’s Historic Haunts. By the glow of lantern light you will venture through dark alleyways and courtyards listening to vivid accounts of historic tragedy, murder and ghostly encounters. You might even experience one! Even tour guides of the Haunted Jefferson Ghost Walk still get spooked by the unexplained in the little town of Jefferson.
The Historic Jefferson Ghost Walk runs every Friday and Saturday night, beginning at 8:00p.m. Group tours are available other days by request. The tour departs from the vacant lot on the corner of Austin and Vale Street, next to the Jay Gould Car and across the street from the Bakery and the Excelsior Hotel. Ticket sales begin at 7:30 from the LOT and are sold until tour time at 8PM. Advance tickets are available online and at the Sandwich Shop on the corner of Austin and Vale. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children, ages 6-11.
Take a ride on the runaway fright train in Terror On the Bayou at the Historic Jefferson railway. Terror On The Bayou starts this weekend, October 7, and will run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October 29. If you are looking for a Halloween experience that will get your blood pumping and your heart pounding, head to Jefferson where the spooks and spirits of deep East Texas come alive!
Are you brave enough to spend the night in Jefferson? More than one hotel boasts of spirits that go bump in the night.. The historic Excelsior House Hotel, the Historic Jefferson Hotel, the Claiborne House, the McKay House and White Oak Manor all have their stories to tell.
Overnight guests of Jefferson often report whispers from nowhere, knocks on walls and headboards, flickering lights, strange smells, faucets opening on their own accord and doors being pulled back when pulled shut! Book a room in one of the haunted hotels if you dare!
Jefferson has been a hotbed of paranormal activity for nearly centuries. Make plans to visit the historic haunted town this October!