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Ghost Stories of the Coastal Bend Region available at VC/UHV library

Oct. 28, 2013 at 5:28 a.m.

Victoria Regional History Center at the Victoria College/University of Houston-Victoria Library will have an open house  Thursday. Visitors can read local ghost stories.

When archives assistant Marie Adcock began researching area ghost stories, she had no idea she would find so many.

She was preparing a Halloween display for the Victoria Regional History Center at the Victoria College/University of Houston-Victoria Library. By the time the display was complete, she had found stories from counties across the region, including Victoria, Lavaca, DeWitt, Calhoun, San Patricio and more. Many were found in articles by Henry Wolff Jr., whose weekly "Henry's Journal" column appeared in the Victoria Advocate from 1979 until his retirement in 2009.

One ghost story was told to Wolff by Ruth Constant about her family's encounter with a hitchhiking nun. They were traveling on the road between Morgan City, La., and Port Arthur in the 1940s. When they offered the nun a ride, she replied that she was just out for a walk and then astonished Ruth's father by assuring him they would make it to the next filling station for gas, a concern that was on his mind. At the station, upon hearing the story, the attendant told them that this nun was familiar to the local residents, who knew her name. She had been dead for more than 100 years.

This and many more ghost stories will be displayed in the History Center throughout the month of October. The VC/UHV Library, 2602 N. Ben Jordan St., will have a Halloween Open House from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday. Area residents are invited to stop by for light refreshments and to see what the library has to offer.

The History Center is located on the second floor of the library in Room 201.

Those who miss the open house can still read Wolff's articles. Several years ago, Linda Wolff, Henry's wife, began a project to digitize all of the "Henry's Journal" articles in collaboration with the VC/UHV Library. Linda, along with a staff of volunteers, has digitized thousands of the articles. To date, about 1,400 are online, and more are being added. They are available at the History Center website. The articles are searchable by subject, name and date.

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