old-alton-bridge2Halloween season is upon us and the cool weather couldn’t have got here soon enough! Of course it also means we can look forward to some of Denton’s favorite fall events, like Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival and Coffin Races along with a slew of great GDAC programs and the CHOSM Park After Dark. We’ll have a line-up of other local Halloween events next week, but first let’s have a gander at a few of Denton’s top haunted places that you can easily explore… if you dare.

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Denton’s Springtime weather may be kooky and unpredictable, but one thing you can always count on are the offbeat sights and wacky underground events that keep our weekend social calendars full of choices that’d fluster even wise ole Solomon. One of these backyard traditions is the legendary QUEST FOR THE GOLDEN JESUS Chili Cookoff, which ain’t too underground anymore but for years was held at various “undisclosed locations” back in the day. Here’s an unedited look at the history of this Holy Spirited Hootenanny that we shared with We Denton Do It.

QFGJ_Champs2015

The QFTGJ trophy proudly displayed by last year’s 2015 winners, Team Andy & Nic. Photo by Melissa Carr.

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TheDude

Halloween season in Denton means a plethora of spooky events blow into town along with the wet brisk weather, which is totally ideal conditions for sharing ghost stories with friends around a fire! Well gather around, ye Denton faithful, so I can share with you the strange spooky tale of the Hipster Haint known only as “The Dude” who still wanders the offices of Denton’s Grammy-winning musicians and legendary local Nuclear Punk Polka deities, BRAVE COMBO.

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The Bayless-Selby House after it’s restoration may still be home to lingering spirits!

The Bayless-Selby House after it’s restoration may still be home to lingering spirits!

It’s Halloween season again in Denton, with Day Of The Dead and coffin races and all manner of spooky fun to choose from! The approach of All Hallows Eve also means its time to share another one of Denton’s nifty ghost stories with We Denton Do It!! We’ve previously scooped y’all on The 1963 Pecan Creek Monster Hunt, some of Denton’s Ghostly Guardians, and our most famous specter that is said to haunt The Old Alton Goatman’s Bridge… but I’ll bet you haven’t heard about The Phantom Farmer said to still be mulling around the Bayless-Selby House Museum in our Denton County Historic Park! This story has it all: betrayal, murder, scandal, and more’n just a little lingering intrigue in this honest-to-gosh HAUNTED HOUSE since back in the day. [EDIT: here’s the DRC account of the haunted happenings!]  Read the rest of this entry »

Chronicling Denton History

Posted: August 3, 2015 in Uncategorized
Confederate veterans from the Sul Ross Camp pose in front of the Denton TX Courthouse during a 1902 reunion.

Confederate veterans from the Sul Ross Camp pose in front of the Denton TX Courthouse during a 1902 reunion.

If you’d like to get caught up on our Denton history feature “Back in the Day” that we contribute to Denton’s best arts & culture blog WE DENTON DO IT, here’s what we’ve been writing about since the last update:

The Confederate Soldiers Monument on the south side of the Denton Courthouse Square has again rightly come under scrutiny after #BlackLivesMatter controversies in the national news, but what is the deal with how the Confederate Monument got there, anyway? You can then check out the moving story of Denton desegregation via high school football in our ‘When We Were All Broncos’ documentary review, and the moving story of Denton’s Civil Rights Mavens of Integration who eased the transitions for schoolkids. There’s also an essay on important Juneteenth history that has shaped our African-American communities in Texas.

1918 UDC Confederate Soldier Memorial.

1918 UDC Confederate Soldier Memorial.

The amazing Women of Denton Past tells about some notable ladies-about-town, as does our “Ode to Denton Foremothers” done for Mother’s Day.

Denton had its fair share of wonky weather in 2015, which reminded us of “The Great Blue Norther of 1911” that was a wild winterpocalypse!

This past spring, we created a fun scavenger hunt true to the legends of Sam Bass Gold said to be hidden in and around Denton!

Denton also has a lot of weird offbeat Denton sites, which you can check out in our first installment and then volume two to plan your urban adventures!

Young Ladies of Denton's Quakertown district

Young Ladies of Denton’s Quakertown district

African-American History Month offers an important opportunity to look back at Denton’s own intriguing past for our citizens of color. Today we’re gonna look at the true facts behind the historical fiction White Lilacs (1993), Carolyn Meyer’s novelization of the forced eviction for Denton’s African-American Quakertown district during the 1920s. The haunting history behind Meyer’s story offers us critical reminders why Black History Month is so necessary to counter persistent political revisionism that impairs our public memory.

White Lilacs cover

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Denton TX is full of history and mystery, and a storied past full of “School Spirit” beyond just UNT and TWU. The detective work of founding father Sheriff C.A. Williams on “The Prairie Match Mystery” maybe could’ve changed history in 1860, and Denton’s Christian Women Interracial Fellowship did make history as “Civil Rights Mavens of Integration” in the 60s and 70s. There’s also some local food history about “Denton’s 1950 Foodie Flashback” over at our We Denton Do It “Back In The Day” column!

Jim Murphy of Denton TX, childhood friend turned informant.

Jim Murphy of Denton TX, childhood friend turned informant.

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.

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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!

Denton’s walking undead

Posted: October 29, 2013 in Uncategorized
DENTON HAUNTS: SHARING DENTON’S HAUNTED HISTORY SINCE 2011!!

Old Alton Bridge, a.k.a. "Goatman's Bridge"

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.