As you prepare for Halloween festivities tonight — maybe that involves these cute DIY treats from Preston Hollow pastry chef Kristen Massad — take a moment to brush up on some of our neighborhood’s ghost stories.
In our October 2011 issue, we illuminated the creepier sides of Preston Hollow. For many of us, these are just fun stories we tell each other around this time of year. But for true believers of the supernatural, it’s much more. (Go here to read the full stories.)
Take, for instance, the pioneer spirits of Preston Road:
Claudette Brott leads the Dallas Historical Society’s annual ghost tour of famed locations such as the Adolphus Hotel Downtown. During the 1960s, her late husband lived at Preston and Waggoner just south of Royal in a house said to be haunted by pioneer spirits. At night, he’d peer out the window to see an entire family dressed in 1800s clothing sitting around a campfire. Other times, they would be making their way north on Preston, covered wagon and all.
“They looked at him like he was the intruder. Then, they disappeared. I don’t doubt that that’s what it was. He was like me,” Brott says, meaning her husband was more sensitive toward seeing ghosts.
Brott says she sees them all the time, although she’s quick to point out her uncertainties about some stories passed down through the years, such as the pioneer spirits that have been reported in Far North Dallas between Belt Line and Spring Valley.
“People say they’ve seen the ghost of a man holding a lantern,” she says. “But I haven’t been able to validate that one.”
Then, there’s the ghost of Vick Clesi’s mother, who haunts his house at Stephanie and Hillcrest:
Clesi and his wife Janet were sitting at the dining room table, discussing what to do with his mother’s things. He remembers saying, “My mother wouldn’t be happy with that,” but doesn’t recall the item in question.
“Then I heard a big boom like a gun went off in the other room,” Clesi says. “It looked like a bullet had hit the sliding glass door … The outside was not cracked. It came from inside the house. It obviously was the ghost of my mother. I had never particularly believed in spirits hanging around and neither did my wife. But there’s not much doubt in my mind that that’s what was going on.”
And, who can forget the friendly spirits that hung around Olla Podrida Mall?
“You could hear them murmuring, but you couldn’t tell what they were saying,” says Vickie Francis.
For 23 years, Francis and her husband, Roger, owned a little store inside the mall called The Front Porch, making ivory carvings and sand candles. The couple has since relocated to the Fort Worth Stockyards.
“I didn’t believe in ghosts until I moved into Olla Podrida,” she says. “Now, I believe in them very strongly.”
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