Preston Road

’s Pioneer Family are not the only ghosts that haunt the neighborhood. Some are well known; others come and go. But they are out there:



          The haunted apartment complex. Researchers say this has all the earmarks of an urban legend (or at least Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”). Somewhere in the group of apartment complexes along Central Expressway between Walnut Hill and Royal, dogs still act oddly, whimpering and barking for no reason, when they walk near a certain part of the property. That’s because, sometime in the 1970s, a man reportedly murdered his wife in their unit and then buried her outside the apartment. Long-time residents, so the story goes, say birds mysteriously die near the spot where the murdered woman was buried, and that her apartment is always full of horseflies, no matter how clean its occupants keep it.



Bluffview’s Little Girl. Here’s another story with urban legend overtones, and even fewer details than the haunted apartment complex. No story actually identifies the house or its occupants; rather, the particulars call it a large house with wealthy residents, which would take in most of Bluffview. The story says that years ago, an intruder brutally murdered a young girl who lived in the house, and that the mother went insane from grief. Today, on certain nights, passers-by are supposed to see one room lit in the house, with a little blonde-haired doll hanging from a noose seen in the window. It’s the ghost of the mother, so the story goes, who has returned to play with her child’s favorite doll.



Olla Podrida. Today, the once-popular shopping center at Coit and LBJ is gone, the site to be a Hebrew day school. But in its heyday in the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was home to two sets of ghosts — a husband, wife, boy and girl, dressed for travel in the style of the 1930s and 1940s, and a sad woman in black who sat in the back row of the center’s Gaslight Playhouse. The family would wander the halls at night, after the shops were closed, the man smoking a cigar. Perhaps they were looking for their flight, for Olla Podrida had once been the site of an airplane hangar. The woman, meanwhile, would vanish when anyone approached her. So far, says the official overseeing the school construction, no one at the site has noticed anything untoward.



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