The Woodrow Manor has a short, tragic history that, some believe, makes it worthy to stand among other haunted houses.
Woodrow Manor is located just south of Lubbock, between a few fields, with very few neighbors in direct sight. The house was built around 2003. But the youthfulness of the house does not take away from the looming ambiance.
The house did not last very long without its first death. Rumor has it that within the first few years, an unarmed man was shot dead in the driveway. A few years later, the front door was kicked in, and a young girl was found, reportedly stabbed to death on top of the stairs, falling dead on the cat walk. It is also said that every person who has ever lived in the house has gone insane.
Perhaps the most disturbing legend the house holds is that a veterinarian who lived there supposedly performed experiments on dead and live animals in the shed. One story recounts a time when a pregnant pit-bull mix was given a caesarean section birth by the veterinarian. The vet allegedly inserted the newborn puppies back into the mother and sewed her shut. The kennels and “experiment” room still stand to testify to the accounts with some dark, depressing vibe that visitors would be able to feel in their
The current owners had the house investigated by the Lubbock Ghost Investigation Society in 2018. From the very beginning, the house began to speak to those present for the investigation. Immediately after entering the house, a report of a ghostly man was spotted crossing paths with the investigators.
Additionally, a panel of glass located at the front of the house was unexplainably broken. The remains of the window took the shape of a dragonfly, which is a symbol held close to one of the investigators.
Anita, one of the investigators, said, “I feel like there’s kids playing all the time in here, and it’s like Christmas year ‘round.”
The Lubbock Ghost Investigation Society has written a report on the house, which describes many dark and disturbing scenes and feelings throughout many rooms. The report is posted on Lubbock Ghost Investigation Society’s Facebook page. This report is the start of a series of investigations that the owners plan to conduct, but it does confirm, yes, “(Woodrow Manor) is one of the most haunted of any place we have been,” says Billy Fisher, at the end of the LGIS report.
Woodrow Manor has been used as a venue for a haunted theme park operated by owners Marc Coley and Denver Blanscett. I have been through this side of the haunted house, which was dark, confusing, scary, and hilarious, all wrapped in black tarps and face-paint. The actors were very committed to their roles. Not once can I recall the actors breaking character, even when I got lost within the strobe lights and smoke.
Woodrow Haunted Manor is open to the public from now through Halloween. Tickets go on sale by 7:30 p.m. Portions of t-shirt and ticket profits are donated to Contact Lubbock.
The owners of the house want to try to preserve the house. They plan to not use it as a venue after 2018.
“We want to preserve the house, and maintain the attraction without having it be such a spectacle,” said Matt Miley, one of the managers.
Kaitlyn Hyde, Photo Editor for the Plainsman Press, and I both volunteered to stay one night in Woodrow Manor. The owners were very friendly, accommodating, and fast to respond when we asked permission. They offered us a free walkthrough of the theme park portion and arranged dates and times for our stay.
Matt Miley, a manager of the house who built most of the props, gave us a brief tour of the house, as well as a long explanation of past events and quirks about the house.
“The house WILL speak to you,” Miley told us.
Within the first 20 minutes of the front door closing us in for the night, the house already began to give us the chills.
A strange hissing noise emanated from the direction of the fireplace. Kate and I both decided it could be a prop, maybe a smoke machine. Upon further investigation, the only machine we could find on that side of the house was a strobe light that was not plugged in. So we felt that we were already off to a good start.
We agreed to try and get some homework finished during our stay, so we brought our laptop computers and attempted to get some work done. Unfortunately, neither one of us could concentrate on our writing very well.
Noises, sometimes it was thumping, other times it was croaking, kept interrupting our concentration. We decided to do our own investigation the only way we knew how, with cameras and recorders.
We walked through the house to try to decide where we would set up our cameras. During this process, we both felt the same feeling in certain rooms and areas of the house. It was a sinking feeling in our chests. It was as if light was not allowed to touch these rooms, nor the people in them.
After a few hours of video and audio recordings in certain rooms, neither one of us captured anything particularly noteworthy. Off camera, though, a door had opened on its own. It had not opened completely; it was already propped open, slightly, with a black tarp holding it in place.
Where I had set up my second recording, I stood in between the door that opened, and the tripod. I estimated that I could have bumped the door accidently, but after imitating our set-up process, I was not nearly as close as I had previously thought. Neither one of us touched the bedroom door, which is directly left of the top of the stairs, where a woman had died years before.
Most of the night was quiet. Kate and I walked on a trail behind the house a few times, and revisited some of the spookier locations, such as the shed, the kennels, and a few of the bedrooms. Around 3 a.m., Kate and I both decided that we had enough.
Is Woodrow Manor haunted? I do not think I am qualified and quantified enough to answer that question. But I do know that Woodrow Manor is one of the creepiest places I have ever been in.