Haunted tour of Victoria booklet releases at cemetery
By Interview by Richard Teague
Oct. 28, 2010 at 5:28 a.m.
Author and Victoria College professor Gary Hall will release a booklet offering a driving tour of haunted Victoria on Friday.
The booklet "Haunted History Tour of Victoria, Texas" was co-authored with Gary Dunham, of the Victoria Preservation Inc., and will be released at this weekend's Evergreen Cemetery Tour.
The 14-page booklet features 20 vignettes detailing local haunted houses.
The booklet has a photo of each property, along with its accompanying ghost story. It is meant to inject a little fun and history into Victoria. People can buy the booklet and take the tour.
Hall talked about the booklet and his expectations.
Do you have any personal knowledge of ghosts or hauntings?
I have no personal knowledge of any ghosts, but many of the people who lived in these houses claimed to see something or hear something. I have never seen a ghost, and I don't know if I believe in them or not. Who knows, maybe when we are gone, our energy is like the negative of a snapshot. Maybe our energy lingers, and these ghosts are nothing more than leftover energy.
What was your inspiration for creating this tour?
I got the idea because I heard several people tell these ghost stories connected to these properties, and I thought it would be fun to have them compiled. Have them all together and release as many as we can, and turn it into a driving tour for people. It is nice when people come to Victoria and have something to do. Part of Victoria's claim to fame is these historical homes. These houses have history, and so a lot of times that history will include mystery, include ghost stories and things people claim to have seen.
What do you think inspires such passion in these people who claim to have seen ghosts?
People want to think that we go on, not just an afterlife, but that part of our essence lives on. Nobody likes the idea of death and the finality. And ghosts suggest that maybe there is no finality - that part of us lingers on. I think it fuels people's desires to live on and the romance of it. I think that people ... we want to believe, and we want to think that this is not all there is. Maybe there is something more.
What story do you find most interesting in the booklet?
I think the Judge Phillips-Sales one was really interesting because they actually have a photograph that suggests there was a ghost there, and it can't be explained. The photo was taken by Kevin Jordan. And you know he is a professional photographer, and he knows photography, and he couldn't explain it. There were people at the party, and they said there was nobody standing there.
Also, the Clegg home at 507 N. Vine St. was an interesting one to me. People claim to have heard Lillian Clegg, who was an accomplished piano player. More than one resident in the house claimed to hear piano music, even though there was no piano in the house. There have been ghostly sightings in this house of an old lady with long gray hair walking down the staircase.
Book and tour details
The book will be released in conjunction with a rotating guided tour, which visits 12 grave sites. Each site has a person in costume depicting the person buried in the corresponding grave.
Tickets: Can be bought at Rogers Pharmacy 4402 N. Laurent St.; Victoria College Bookstore, 2200 E. Red River; Shop The World, 6902 N. Navarro St.; or VPI Office, 205 W. Goodwin Ave. Tickets can be bought at the gate, but often sellout quickly.
For more information: Call the Victoria Preservation Inc. at 361-573-1878. Books will be available later for purchase at the Victoria Preservation Inc., 205 W. Goodwin Ave.
Richard Teague is a University of Houston-Victoria student majoring in psychology and communications. Teague writes for the school's media writing class.The Advocate has partnered with the class to help students publish their work.