Tag: Halloween

Word on the Street

by Reece Turner and Geneva Natal

 

sarahsmith“When I was younger, I would always go to my mom’s friend’s house, who was like a grandma to me. We would pass out candy together. She dressed up like the grandma from Halloween Town. I didn’t like walking around talking to people, because strangers scared me. So, I passed out candy. I’ve never actually been trick or treating.”

Sarah Smith

Electrical Engineering

Sophomore
Littlefield

 

samson“We used to keep the door open and watch scary movies and hand out candy. We don’t do it as much anymore, but I would do it if i had my own house now.”

Kaylum Simpson

Biology Science

Freshman

Littlefield

 

 

thomas.JPG“Our church always does this thing called the Trunk or Treat. I always went to that. But this year, I have a kid so that will change that. We never did do a lot of trick or treating, but we will decorate most of the time, and mess with some people every once in a while.”

David Thomas

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Sophomore

Mesa, Arizona

 

alondra“So, what I like to do is sit around on the couch in covers and watch scary movies until Halloween is over. My favorite is probably “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” I watch it every year.”

Alondra Levario

Radiology

Freshman

Denver City

 

 

micky“Trick or treat, but we also had a Trunk or Treat way back when, around the courthouse. For my family, we live out in the country and we don’t have to deal with trick or treaters. But we go trick or treating at other houses and other towns sometimes, Floydada, Lockney, Plainview. The rich houses give the good candy.”

Donald Gibbens

Pre-Nursing

Freshman

Denver City

 

cross“My family would stay at home, buy a lot of candy, and hand it out. At the end of the night, we would go out walking around and seeing whose porch lights were still on and hit the houses that still had candy.

Matt Cross

Commercial Music

Sophomore

Olton

 

Haunting tales plague Woodrow house

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.

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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

chest.

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.

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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.

Frightful Fun: Nightmare case haunts West Texas with scary attractions

In the calm of the night, you can hear the screams of the people who dared to enter Nightmare on 19th Street.

During October, Nightmare on 19th Street opens their doors to scare the Lubbock community. What everyone doesn’t see is the hard work that goes into making the attraction successful.

Nightmare is more than just a haunted attraction. It’s a family. Every one who is part of Nightmare plays an important role. The teams make sure that the attraction runs smoothly.

Located at 602 East 19th Street in Lubbock, Nightmare on 19th Street is known as West Texas’ only Halloween theme park and features four themed attractions, including its newest attraction, Dead Doll Island. The park also features Blood Moon Manor, The Wastelands, and Clowntown.

Open on Fridays and Saturdays, from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., the park offers wristband entrance for a fee of $25, as well as on Halloween night from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The fee, which can be paid with a credit or debit card, pays for your entrance into all four attractions.

The build crew is what keeps Nightmare functioning, running properly and safe for the patrons. The crew consists of Ana Chavira, Michael Morrell, John Vega, Wes Nessman, John Adams, Lynn Day, Stephen Kelley and Bobby Beach.

IMG_0063All are volunteers who like to be a part of the changes that are made to Nightmare. They all get to come up with ideas and discuss how they think a scene or the attraction should look according to the theme.

“Usually, to change an attraction it can take anywhere from a few weeks depending on what exactly we are doing,” and Chavira

Building season starts as soon as the haunt season is over on Nov.1 and goes until Sept. 28 the following year. They are constantly working on the attractions, solving issues, and adding attractions throughout the haunt season to make sure they are prepared for a new season of haunting.

The hardest part for Chavira was moving the big pirate ship that was in the Lost City outside to the front of the new attraction, Dead Doll Island.

In addition to the build team, there is the makeup and costume team that keeps the actors looking their scary best.

The makeup team consists of Ro Sergio, Renee Raven, Lan Holms, Sara Ward, Vanessa Duran and Jessie Whitecloud.

“We get new supplies every season,” said Sergio. “We try to brainstorm what the characters will look like, especially when we get a new attraction. I try to work with the actor to come up with a look for their characters.”

The newest costume coordinator is Zana Flores, who has made changes to the costume trailer and keeps it running smoothly. She also hopes to help actors who want to create their own characters.

The biggest part of Nightmare is the actor IMG_0050coordinators and the actors. There are four coordinators, Stephen Kelley for Bloodmoon Manor, Matt Aguilar for Wastelands, Robin Burkett for Dead Doll Island and Drew Blood for Clowntown.

The actor coordinators take care of the actors in their attraction, and they make sure that the attraction is running smoothly for the season. Each coordinator walks through their attraction to do their safety check each night.

Not only do they make sure everything is running properly, they walk through the attraction during the night to make sure the actors have water and cough drops, and that they are doing OK.

“They main thing I try to do to get ready for the season is helping the actors get ready, help them be the best they can or improve their acting skills,” said Kelley.

Kelley also makes sure that the Manor looks and runs smoothly for opening nights. If he has the time, he works on improving his own character.

Nightmare’s undead beating heart are the actors who participate each season. There are anywhere from 70 to 150 actors a night. They have a big part in making Nightmare what it is today.

The actors all prepare differently, depending on the attraction they are in or their character. There can be victims, murders or something your wildest dreams couldn’t imagine.

Every actor takes the time to come up with their character, the backstory, how they look, how they act and talk. It’s the actors chance to be someone else when they step foot on the ground at Nightmare.

One character is Dr. PARTson, also known as The Collector, played by Dylan Avant. The Collector is a very prim and proper man from the front. But inside, he harbors something much darker and more twisted, a real psychopath who knows what he wants.

“I usually prepare for the season by imagining my scene and different scenarios of different patrons and ask myself questions,” said Avant. “What would I say? How would I act? How would they react? What could I use in my scene to make it become more lively? Would it fit my scene? It usually doesn’t take until I put on the makeup and costume.”

IMG_0042-2.jpgFor Avant, the character has always been there, but his identity has always shifted and changed. After finding his outfit and voice, all it took was connecting that with a proper personality and motives.

Another actor is Zoei Huntsman, also known as Bloody Mary. In order for Huntsman to prepare for Bloody Mary, she must rest her voice and stretch so that she can yell, sing, and be flexible for her act.

Huntsman’s character was actually not her idea. She got the opportunity to try out the room that is now known as the Bloody Mary room for one night, and it stuck,. She told the makeup artists what the setting of the room was, and from that, they tossed around ideas until the idea of Bloody Mary came up. Ever since, that has been Huntsman. Bloody Mary is full of hatred toward her victims. Huntsman says she based her character’s personality off of the true historical character of Bloody Mary.

“Often, on my way to Nightmare, and right before we open, I practice singing my chants,” said Hutsman. “As soon as I get into costume, I’m not Zoei any more; I’m the infamous Bloody Mary, ready to rip heads off.”

For Huntsman to get fully into character, she must suit up in her raggedy, ripped, bloody dress and tights, her leather corset, and well padded shoes (since she jumps, runs, and is acrobatic in her act). Then she gives herself the trademark bloody and black tears and makeup to make her face look empty, dead, and hollow.

“As soon as my makeup and costume is on, I’m Bloody Mary,” explained Hutsman. “I hardly get out of character, and I’m ready to hear the blood curdling screams that is music to my ears. True, evil, crazy person in history.”

Sally Boudreaux prepares all year for her character as a hippy clown named Grooves. Grooves loves being a clown and loves to entertain the crowds.

There are so many more characters that make Nightmare scary. Nightmare isn’t just a haunted attraction. It’s a family that works together. It is the Undead Army, and they are always there for each other.

So if a scare is what you look for on Halloween, check out Nightmare on 19th street on Halloween night and prepare to scream your lungs off.

Haunted Hub: Ghostly encounters become popular folklore in Lubbock

After almost 150 years since its settlement, Lubbock has become a haunt for those interested in ghost stories.

The city of Lubbock is home to several locations that are known to be “haunted,” according to local lore.

Robert Weiner, pop culture and humanities librarian at Texas Tech University, says he has heard stories of haunted sites in Lubbock throughout his life.

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“There’s the haunted angel in the cemetery, Hell’s Gates, the Chemistry Building on TTU campus, and much more,” Weiner said. “But the main stories I heard growing up were none of those.  One story I heard that has been making its rounds since I was in junior high taking driver’s ed is the story of the prison man’s house.”

According to Weiner, there is a house that rests in a suburban area of Lubbock known locally as “the prison man’s house.” Weiner says that in the 1940s, the “prison man” murdered his wife and was convicted and sent to prison. After serving his time, the “prison man” felt he had not paid enough retribution for the crime he committed.

“So he started building a prison around himself with bars on the windows,” Weiner said. “I’m not sure how it looks now, but it’s a really creepy house in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. The story goes that he died and haunts that house to this very day.”

Weiner says he recalls going through the alley behind the prison house to get a closer look. He remembers the house was in the building process, and he heard stories from those who were brave enough to visit the house.

“I heard of people ringing the doorbell,” Weiner recalled. “He (“prison man”) would come out with a club screaming at them. But I don’t think there’s any truth to that whatsoever. It’s obvious that there was something creepy going on with that house, but maybe he was just an eccentric guy who wanted to build a house that looked like a prison. Maybe there’s truth to the prison house.”

The second story Weiner tells is the story of the Memphis Man. The story centers around a man waiting at a bus stop at 66th Street and Memphis Avenue in Lubbock. He says that on one icy day in the ’70s, a bus went out of control after attempting to come to a stop and struck a man, killing him.

“The story goes that at certain times at night, you can see a shadow standing there,” Weiner explained. “You can see it when you go towards 50th Street. Now, I’ve seen that shadow. But when trying to find it a second time, I couldn’t see it. When you pull up to the corner, you see that a lot of it is just circuit breakers.”

While some dismiss the shadow as the outline of the circuit breakers, Weiner believes that what he and others saw was the shadow of a man standing.

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“Hell’s Gates” is one of the dark locales in Lubbock allegedly haunted by paranormal entities. TOVI OYERVIDEZ/PLAINSMAN PRESS

Another somewhat infamous location in Lubbock known for tales of the paranormal is an abandoned bridge on the Santa Fe railroad. It is said that in the early 1900s, bandits would raid trains coming into town, kill the passengers, and toss their bodies off of the bridge. It is also said to be the sight of satanic rituals and worship.

“It’s to my understanding that numerous people have been murdered at Hell’s Gates,” Weiner said. “You need to be really careful if you go there, especially at night. You’re liable to end up hanging out with the spirits, and the spirits of the dead are not very friendly. One story I remember hearing is that you can disappear without a trace.”

The railroad sits above a creek in East Lubbock, close to the Sunrise Canyon Psychiatric Facility. During the Fall, the heavily planted area is home to a community of large spiders that serve as guards to deter visitors from walking up the path.

Down the road from the bridge are more than 60,000 graves in the Lubbock Cemetery, which is known to be one of the largest in Texas. According to the Texas Paranormal Research Society, the cemetery is “very haunted” and is known to host “very angry spirits.”

Toward the west entrance of the cemetery, a statue of an angel towers about 15 feet above a family of graves. The local legend says that the angel weeps for the dead, and people claim to hear the sobbing at night.

“Legend says that if you go to the cemetery at night, you can’t leave without kissing the feet of the angel,” Weiner explained. “ If you leave without kissing the feet of the angel, a ghost will try to stop you from leaving.”

IMG_0427According to Darrell Maloney’s book, “Haunted Lubbock: Haunted Stories from the Hubof the Plains,” there have been reports of visitors hearing the music of Buddy Holly from his head stone at the Lubbock Cemetery. Other reports in the book state that people have heard the music of Buddy Holly coming from his old home room at Lubbock High School, which has also become the setting for ghostly folklore.

The school was built in the early ‘30s and has been registered as a historical landmark. Itis the oldest high school in Lubbock and stretches for more than a quarter of a mile. The building contains many of its original architectural details.

“The thing about this building, and most older buildings, is that sometimes the doors shut on their own,” said Shane Anderson, assistant principal at Lubbock High School. “Sometimes you see stuff that was on your desk end up on the floor. You get hot and cold spots. But do I think that’s ghosts? No.”

With original chandeliers, floors, brick and even original gargoyles, Anderson says that the school is the perfect setting for a ghost story. The main hallway, which stretches over a quarter of a mile, lacks windows, causing it to become pitch black when the lights are turned off.

“There’s over 2,000 people in the building right now,” Anderson said. “If you’re ever in here alone with the lights out, it’s got a little bit of a different feel.”

According to Anderson, the third floor of the school is one that is known by students and staff to give them strange feelings. During a tour of the school on the third floor, a teacher jokingly exclaimed, “There isn’t anything but ghosts past here.”

“As far as I know, nothing has happened up here that would make it haunted,” Anderson said of the school’s third floor. “I couldn’t tell you of a suicide or a teacher dying in the building. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but a lot of the stories are made up. And you hear a lot of stories.”

On the third floor, Anderson opens the door to a large, empty, quiet room. Because heat rises, the third floor has a warmer temperature. However, the room remained cold. As you walk closer to the end of the room, it gets colder. Despite there being no ventilation in the room, there is a gentle, cooling breeze that sweeps through the room.

“I always thought this room was a little creepy,” Anderson said. “It’s always a little colder in here, winter and summer, and I’ve never understood why. People will tell you about this room. But ghosts? I don’t think so.”

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Another location that is known to be haunted is the Chemistry Building on the campus of Texas Tech University. As the story goes, a custodian named Sarah Alice Morgan was cleaning room 304, when a student brutally murdered her by slitting her throat with a scalpel. She was found with her head almost decapitated.

According to Weiner, the ghost of Morgan is known to still haunt the third floor of the Chemistry Building.

“In the cases of many of these stories, there is a kernel of truth,” Weiner said. “Do I really think the Memphis man was waiting to go to work? No. But I’ve always heard these stories. Ghost stories are part of our folklore.”

According to Weiner, ghost stories go back to gothic literature and have, throughout time, become popular as oral folklore.

“The stories of the Lubbock ghosts are part of Lubbock folklore,” Weiner said. “It’s a part of who we are as a community.”