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Sunday, December 8, 2019

City

Four haunted places one Metro ride away from UH


With Halloween bursting through our doors, hands outstretched for our candy like an ill-dressed child, it seemed appropriate for The Cougar to dig into some of the haunted history of our city.

However, students don’t have money to ghost hunt, and they certainly don’t have time to spend overnight in a cemetery or at the site of a grisly murder.

Luckily for the amateur ghost-buster, Houston has a past wide and deep enough for a few ghosts to hide in the cracks just a short Metro rail ride from UH, and all within 2 square miles of each other.

Spaghetti Warehouse

901 Commerce St, Houston, TX, 77002

The Spaghetti Warehouse, which was long a staple of the Houston restaurant scene, was forced to close after Harvey flooded the building up to the first floor.

While the Dallas-based chain has plans to reopen at a new location in Houston, the property was snapped up by a local development group, which has plans to renovate the building with respect to its historic past.

But a part of that past? The ghost of a pharmacist who fell down an elevator shaft and his forlorn wife who died less than a year after he did, according to legend.

Built around 1912, the Spaghetti Warehouse was once a fruit and veggie warehouse and later a pharmaceutical company, before becoming a restaurant in 1974.

Some people have reported seeing objects floating, and some employees have heard their name called by disembodied voices. Child ghosts have reportedly been heard playing throughout the building.

Elder Street Artist Lofts

1101 Elder St, Houston, TX, 77007

Currently, the Elder Street Artist Lofts offers low-income spaces for artists. But once, before the distant year of 2005, it was the ruins of the Jefferson Davis Hospital, built atop an actual cemetery in 1924 and named for the former president of the Confederacy.

The cemetery was the site of numerous unmarked graves and burial places for Civil War veterans and victims of yellow fever and cholera, according to the Houston Historic Preservation website.

The building’s construction apparently unearthed human remains, and the basement had to be built above ground to avoid public outcry.

The hospital accepted low-income patients and even served as a psychiatric ward until 1939 when it closed. It was eventually abandoned in 1985, and wouldn’t be rescued until two decades later, when the lofts opened.

Folklore and legend have it that patients reported ghostly figures wandering the hallways and voices crying out, and some believe the disturbed dead still wander the place.

Julia Ideson Library

550 McKinney St, Houston, TX, 77002

Named for the first Head Librarian of the Houston Public Libraries, Julia Bedford Ideson, this building serves as a part of the Central Library, housing archives, manuscripts, and the Texas and Local History Department.

The building also houses two ghosts, a man and his dog, according to folk-tale and rumor.

Jacob Frank Cramer was a night watchman at the building for many years. He could often be heard in the early evening playing his violin from the top floor. But one morning November, 1936, librarians found him dead.

Various spook-cataloging websites, would-be ghost hunters and even the Houston Public Library blog itself have all spread tales of Cramer’s posthumous violin playing serenading the building, as well as the sound of toenails clicking on the floor — Cramer’s faithful German Shepherd, Petey, following him even in the afterlife.

Glenwood Cemetery

2525 Washington Ave, Houston, TX, 77007

Nestled below the Houston Skyline, 84 quiet acres shelter not only generations of Houstonians, 20 of our city’s mayors and famous aviator Howard Hughes, but a haunted reputation.

The cemetery has been called the “River Oaks of the Dead” because of its star studded graves. Besides Hughes and former mayors, it also is the final resting place of Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas.

Glenwood also has a “stranger’s rest” section devoted to people who died accidentally.

Ghost hunters have flocked to Glenwood for its high electromagnetic fields and the legend that its former owner, a murder victim, haunts the grounds.

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