The name of Sam Bass lives on in Texas folklore as a beloved railroad Robinhood bandit betrayed in his darkest hours by his good boo pard, but such Wild West pulp fiction is betrayed by a haunted history of two Texas youths entangled in the post-Civil War Reconstruction chaos of poverty, desperation, and lawlessness. These ghosts of Denton remind us of a dark past when our outlaws became heroes.
Denton TX is well known as a unique hangout with more than it’s fair share of eccentric local characters, but we wonder how many folks know that once a year we have a bonafide yuletide monster mysteriously walking our downtown Square on December 5? Pull up a chair as you click over to We Denton Do It, kids, and I’ll explain why Krampus the Christmas Demon is the real reason you better watch out and better not cry this holiday season!
It’s Halloween season, Denton ghost fans, and we’ve been sharing a few tales with our fiends at We Denton Do It about some of Denton’s most famous haunts! Many locals have thrilled to one of the variations of The Goatman’s Bridge tales that have frightened visitors for generations, but we’ve also got stories of Denton’s Ghostly Guardians who linger on to protect and serve our fair community (and a few link-backs here to our archives)! There are many more stories to share so contact our DENTON HAUNTS Facebook page if you’d like to schedule a nighttime group tour of the beautiful Denton Square!! Stay spooky, my friends.
Denton has more than its fair share of local characters and big personalities, but few have loomed larger on Denton’s music scene than Tom ‘Pops’ Carter, who passed on to The Big Gig in the Sky in 2012 after 92 years. This September marks the crystal anniversary of the Denton Blues Festival, one of our community’s best music events, so in celebration of this landmark fête, you can read about “The Legend of Pops Carter” over at our We Denton Do It blog. And you may also take a gander at our look back at “The 1969 Denton County Woodstock” that was the far-out Texas International Pop Music Festival, or Denton’s forgotten “French Connection” to the 1848 New Icaria utopian colony!
Although the DENTON HAUNTS GHOST TOUR has been sidelined for the spring and summer, the groovy fine folks over at WE DENTON DO IT have asked me to contribute to a bi-monthly history feature over at their website. So far there are articles on our city namesake Capt. John B. Denton, a story on “Ghosts of Elections Past” and a two-part “Juneteenth” reminiscence on the history of Quakertown and its legacy. I’ll be reposting expanded versions of those articles here as I can, but stay tuned for news on the this fall’s return of Denton’s ORIGINAL haunted history ghost tours at our Facebook page. Meanwhile, ghost fans, stay in the shade this summer.
If you have a group of 10 or more and would like to schedule a special event Haunted History tour, shoot us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Spring is in the air, which means another season of DENTON HAUNTS is almost here! Beginning on The Ides of March (15th), springtime tours of DENTON HAUNTS offer *MORE* history and hauntings as Doc and Shelly trot out brand new tales about “Denton County’s Secret Haunts” and “Denton’s Pioneers, Outlaws, and Painted Ladies.” Sharing the almost-forgotten people and secret places discovered in our archival research and interviews, these new-fangled stories will showcase the colorful personalities, vanished locales, and high-adventure history that forged the unique character of Denton County! Some of these DENTON HAUNTS include true accounts of our fighting frontier men and women, Civil War intrigue and tragedy, Old West lawmen and outlaw rogues, the brothels of “soiled doves”, quirky traditions, famous citizens and visitors, Denton’s cinematic legacy from Benji to Rocky Horror, UFO sightings, top-secret locations, The Quakertown stories, and some surprising trivia as well as distant memories (like Denton’s interurban trolleys, pictured above). Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the tour schedule and special events since we will have more than a few surprises in store for our fans!
EDIT [March 15]: The Ides of March came with a few surprises, indeed, primarily the news that Ms. Shelly has decided to embark on her own ghost tour of Denton using our research. As this leaves us making many unanticipated adjustments, stay tuned to schedule updates and new tour information at our Facebook page. Meanwhile, please take a moment and consider voting for DENTON HAUNTS as “Best Kept Secret” in the DRC 2013 Best of Denton awards contest!!
Thank you to all our fans and visitors for another frightfully fun season of DENTON HAUNTS Ghost Tour! Although we aren’t going to be venturing out into the unpredictable Texas weather for our weekend public ghost walks, we are still available for booking private group tours of 10 or more for your favorite group engagements, clubs, organizations, or gatherings of friends and family! Just e-mail email@example.com to reserve a date for your group to hear tales about Denton’s fascinating mystery and history! Heck, you could make a day of seeing Denton!
Meanwhile, we’ll be back in the spring with more public tours that share stories of haunted history, local legends, ghostly experiences, and almost-forgotten people and places! Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook for the latest updates!
October is here, ghost fans, and the cool Texas autumn brings with it even more DENTON HAUNTS!! “Shocktober” features two ghost tours sure to offer chills for every audience with NEW stories, MORE ghosts, and STRANGER secret history! At 7:30pm, the “Denton Haunted History“ tour explores the mystery, history, and spectres of local legends in a one-hour walking tour of the beautiful Courthouse Square with Doc T. For ghost hunters interested in stalking “Paranormal Scares on the Square,” American Masterpiece storyteller Shelly Tucker will guide you on an evening tour of Denton’s most haunted locations and hair-raising apparitions at 9pm. The tours include TRUE NEW stories, encounters, and haunting spaces in Denton County!
Tours meet at the courthouse gravesite of John B. Denton for 7:30 and 9pm, admission is $10 but not recommended for children under 12. Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook for schedule updates and special offers for our Sunday-thru-Saturday Week of HALLOWEEN Haunts [Oct 25-Nov 3 @7:30 & 9pm], or to book a group tour for 10 or more!
But the ghostly fun doesn’t end there! On Oct. 18 from 11a-2pm, Laura Douglas from the (haunted!) Emily Fowler Library will give a FREE virtual tour of “Haunted Denton” as part of the Denton County Office of History & Culture’s ‘lunch ‘n’ learn’ series at the Courthouse On The Square Museum. And to support a worthwhile local charity, check out The Parker House Haunted Attraction! Meanwhile, don’t forget to visit Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival and, as always, check our Facebook page for news and links to updates or other local events around Denton and DFW!
Denton’s beloved Campus Theater isn’t just a place to enjoy wonderful community plays, it is also the haunt for one of Denton’s guardian spirits, Mr. Harrison! Over the years, Denton has showcased numerous entertainment venues like the regal Wright Opera House (now home to Recycled Books) and movie cinemas in Andy’s Paschall Building as well as the infamous 1920s-50s “Theater Row” on the West side of the Denton Square. The Campus Theater was opened in 1949 with the film I Was A Male War Bride starring Dentonite Ann Sheridan and Cary Grant, then later hosted Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway’s red-carpet world premiere of Bonnie & Clyde in 1967. The theater closed in 1985 for almost 10 years before being remodeled to house the Denton Community Theater, which is about to celebrate its 43rd consecutive season as one of the oldest such groups in the nation. In 2009, the building was designated a Texas Historical Landmark.
J.P. Harrison was the Texas Interstate Theaters’ business manager for The Campus Theater when it first opened, known for sharply dressing in a gray suit and his wily sense of humor. He famously constructed elaborate lobby displays with local high school drama clubs and was an active civic leader. Theater folk are a superstitious bunch and Harrison is also said to have had great fun in pranking his employees… a proclivity that has not ended even after his passing! There are many stories of this mischievous manager continuing to startle performers and patrons with ghostly footsteps patrolling the halls, relocating objects in offices and onstage, or tinkering with the lights during late night rehearsals, but it’s considered bad luck if a production does NOT experience Mr. Harrison’s ghost! Needless to say, most shows have been very successful indeed.
The DENTON HAUNTS GHOST TOUR will share some of these hair-raising encounters during our twilight ghost walk of the haunted Denton Square!! LIKE us on Facebook to to stay up-to-date on our tour schedule!
Denton is a’buzz with news that our fair town is a finalist in the national Rand McNally and USA Today “Best of the Road” contest for “most fun town” category (after placing well across the board in most categories, not surprisingly)!! The ‘FreshTraveler’ judges will be here to participate in Denton’s 4th of July festivities, so c’mon out and be sure to tell (or Tweet) Patricia and Anna to check out DENTON HAUNTS Ghost Tour!
Our expanded summer 2012 schedule is now Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 9pm starting at the Courthouse Square gravesite of John B. Denton! The walking tour of Denton’s spirits and specters is only $10, so come hear stories about haunting Dentonians who find our fair town so much fun that they NEVER leave!
Posted: June 30, 2012 in Events