HOUSTON - Do you believe in ghosts?
You may not know this, but Old Town Spring, just north of Houston, is often called the ghost capital of Texas. There are hundreds of accounts of spooky things happening in the area.
"I have seen many things," author and photographer Cathy Nance said. "All my years of doing this (and) I have seen many things."
Nance is the founder of Woodlands Paranormal, a group of people that hunts ghosts and investigates things that can't be explained. Old Town Spring is a small area that is home to more than 100 shops and restaurants. Forty of those locations have reported ghost activity and inexplicable events.
It's such a popular ghost stop that Nance decided to write a book.
"The book is really a daytime walking guide to Old Town Spring," Nance said.
"I heard it when we moved in. I was a skeptic, as well," said Matthew Potter, the owner of Simply Texas Gourmet Foods. "It's been seven years now. There have been a lot of things that have happened."
Potter said sometimes when he shows up for work in the morning, things are not the way he left them.
"That's happened several times," Potter said. "The night before, it's all normal, and I come in in the morning and it's like duk-duk-duk-duk."
Potter made the noise as he demonstrated moving bottles.
"That's a weird thing," he said. "There's been a couple of times they smash a bottle here and there, but most of the times, no damage (is done)."
Another business owner explained her side of the story.
"I really didn't know the haunted history of Old Town Spring, but quickly when we moved in, we started having experiences of our own," said Jessica Lynn, the owner of Ellen's Cafe.
The friendly atmosphere and unique ice cream selection makes Ellen's Cafe a popular spot for visitors, especially one "guest" who always seems to leave behind a mess.
"And they said it was a guy named Henry and he worked for the railroad and he was partial to tea," Lynn said. "That all started to make sense because we would have tea kettles and stuff like that fall off the shelves and stuff. The physical things he was doing -- he would move things around."
One time at the Noble Street Tattoo shop, a party quickly turned frantic when owner Tommy Phillips thought someone was locked inside the bathroom.
"I banged on the door (and got) no response," Phillips said. "Then I busted it open, broke the lock (and) stepped in. There was no one in the room -- bars on the windows (and) no way of exiting. The lock is a latch lock. It's a hook that goes through a hole and you have to manually put it over."
There is also a glass dog that sits by the register that has been knocked off and broken several times.
Also in Old Town Spring, there is supposedly a headless train worker who haunts the streets.
"And he was said to be running with a lantern, trying to tell the train to stop," Nance said. "He tripped and fell under the oncoming train. He's here now. People see him."
Added Phillips, "I don't believe in no ghosts. But there were some things that happened around here that were kinda strange."
"I'm a skeptic," Potter said. "I'm not necessarily a believer in everything, but I've seen it happen right in front of my face, so I don't know what to say. You know? It's bizarre, for sure."
There's no real reason why the area of Old Town Spring may be haunted. Theories include that it's haunted by Native Americans or it has something to do with the nearby railroad that runs through the town.
Nance said she was always being asked about the ghosts in Old Town Spring, so she was constantly drawing up maps and diagrams. After several years she decided to put it together in a book.
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