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Downtown’s history as scary as the ghost tours

Claudia Hernandez
Located at 108 San Antonio Street, the Paso del Norte Paranormal Society specializes in researching and investigating paranormal activity in the El Paso area.

This Halloween, the ghost tours by Paso Del Norte Paranormal Society will turn 10 years old. The society was founded by Reverend Henry Flores after he went through paranormal and historical tours of other cities. Flores began investigating the haunted history of the Sun City.

Although the tours first began in Concordia Cemetery and acted as a fundraiser for the cemetery to help maintain the grounds, the ghost tours expanded toward downtown in order to meet the city’s demand for viewing ghosts.

The paranormal society leads their ghost tours with research to back up the historic and paranormal references.

“We investigate (the buildings) to see if it lends into any hauntings that are claimed to that building,” Flores said. “We interview people, we see if there’s any stories that are similar and go through historical documents, but mostly we want hardcore facts. Then we investigate to see if we can prove those facts.”

The ghost tours blend history with the paranormal in such a way that leaves the audience creeped out, maybe even scared, but fully educated. After a tour, one can look at downtown and see the business stores and parking lots and imagine where the brothels of Alice Abbot, Etta Clark, Telly Howard, May Palmer and Gypsy Davenport used to stand.

Before the chic cocktail lounges and sports teams, El Paso was the Las Vegas of the West—a lawless land where native religions and wild cowboys coexisted.

For the past 10 years, the Paso Del Norte Paranormal Society has guided El Pasoans through the basement cobwebs of old saloons, the unsuspecting buildings where brothels used to thrive and the rocky ground of Concordia Cemetery, where the dead lay sleeping.

The downtown ghost tour focuses on Mesa Street, formerly known as Utah Street or the Tenderloin District, as it was unofficially known in the late 1800s. The street was a hive of activity during the time of spurs, 10-gallon hats and revolvers because of the brothels, saloons and gambling houses that were in business.

But what about the ghosts? Well, these specters don’t get paid to make an appearance. At the time of the tour the electromagnetic field detector used by the paranormal society to detect ghosts didn’t go off. No entity touched the Raggedy Ann Doll set up to bait them. What ghosts tend to do, according to Flores, is to only exist in brief flashing moments.

Rev. Flores is a spiritual man before he decided to bring something new to El Paso. His mind was already set on the existence of the supernatural, but now after 10 years investigating El Paso’s restless dead, his belief has become more solid.

“The most haunted area of El Paso is Five Points and Concordia,” Flores said. “I’ve seen a lot of weird things, a lot of strange stuff that makes me test my faith.”

While the downtown ghost tours occur every Friday at 8 p.m., more information on upcoming ghost tours can be found at the Paso del Norte Paranormal Society’s Facebook page and their website,

Andres Gallegos may be reached at [email protected].

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Downtown’s history as scary as the ghost tours