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Eight haunted spots in EP

Claudia Hernandez

Rooted in its deep history on the Mexican-American border, El Paso’s past has been a storied tale with tons of unique accounts. Throughout its history, ghost tales of the paranormal have been passed down throughout the years and shared like old folk tales.

From cemeteries, to public buildings and schools, the town is filled with distinct haunted tales with history to back each one up. Below are said to be some of the most haunted places in El Paso:

El Paso High School

The oldest school operating in El Paso is El Paso High School, which was built in 1916. Its 101-year history featured countless students, teachers, faculty and staff. There are so many sightings of ghosts, paranormal activity and creepy things happening.

One of the most-told stories is about a girl, who went to the school and was in love with a fellow classmate. When her lover did not reciprocate her feelings, she decided to kill herself. One story says she slit her wrist before jumping to her death off the school’s balcony. People say that they have seen a ghostly figure jump from the top of the school to her death.

Another one of the freakier evidence of the school’s haunted history is a class photograph from 1985, where people can see the blurry figure of a young woman with the rest of her class, who wasn’t actually there when the photo was taken.

There was also a story about a forgotten classroom in the tunnels of the school, and when it was found, it looked as if the classroom was evacuated with books and notebooks still on desks.

Magoffin Homestead

The Magoffin Homestead is one of the oldest homes built in El Paso. Its construction dates back to 1875, owned by former mayor Joseph Magoffin. The city of El Paso decided to purchase the land after the descendants of the family moved out of the property.

History records show that Joseph Magoffin’s best friend and brother-in-law, Charles Richardson, died on the property in the living room’s rocking chair. Some say that his spirit remains on the land. The historical preservation team at the Magoffin home said that lights turn on and off and doors open and close at random.

People have seen what they think looks like Richardson in the rocking chair, or hear the chair rocking at random. People have felt tapping on their shoulders, while others have felt temperature changes throughout the house.

Fire Station 11

Another paranormal location in the downtown area of El Paso is Fire Station No. 11. It has been up and running for decades on end and has served as a home to many firefighters and station workers for all that time. Workers use the facility to rest and tend to their gear there when they are not on call.

People claim that the building is so haunted that workers have refused to sleep in the firehouse. There are stories about one bed in particular that shakes in the middle of the night. There are also tales of whispering and voices being heard in the station.

El Paso Playhouse

Located by Five Points West, the El Paso Playhouse is the longest-running theater company. Their mission is to provide entertainment to a diverse population in El Paso through theatrical plays.

El Paso Playhouse is nearly 50 years old with a storied past. It was first a church and then was turned into a festival theater. It has been home to hundreds of adaptations of plays and different actors, producers, technicians and workers.

The building is also home to a lot of reported paranormal activity. It has claims of whispering near the concession area and footsteps on the wooden staircase. People have also said that women’s bathroom toilets have flushed there when no one was in the facilities and props have been moved multiple times. There have been recordings that are still found today online of paranormal investigators capturing electronic voice phenomena at the Playhouse.

De Soto Hotel

Also found in downtown El Paso is the historic hotel that is the De Soto Hotel. Its origins date back to 1905, which makes it one of the longest-running hotels in the city. This is also one of the places where the strongest and most vivid paranormal recordings in the city have popped up.

Investigators for El Paso Ghost Tours said that there are three spirits in the hotel, including a little girl and a troubled spirit in the basement. A tale suggests that the basement of the hotel was once used for satanic rituals, and people on ghost tours to the De Soto Hotel have documented paranormal recordings and some have even left with scratches on their bodies.

Plaza Theatre

Known as one of the city’s most notable landmarks and located in the heart of downtown stands the Plaza Theatre. The building opened its doors in 1930 and faced the highs of popular attendance through the ‘30s and ‘40s, and then the declines of ticket sales in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The theater was close to being sold or demolished several times and faced different closures and remodeling projects.

Throughout its existence, paranormal investigators, patrons, performers, producers and employees of the theater have recalled signs of ghostly activities at the Plaza. Most have pinpointed a strange red-orange light that pops up randomly. It is also claimed that lights are often turned on and off sporadically, with no one operating them.

Gravity Hill

This urban legend is on the west side of El Paso, where a woman and her four children died in a car accident. Tales of her and the kids haunting the street of Twin Hills Drive and Thunderbird after they passed were constantly told.

It is told that when drivers make their way up the hill, they can put their car in neutral, and the spirits will move their vehicles up the hill. However, skeptics of this urban legend say that the reason cars are able to go uphill are due to gravity, optical illusions and engine power.

Concordia Cemetery

Resting in central El Paso, Concordia Cemetery was known to be a trading spot in the early 1840s for owners Hugh and Juana Stephenson. Juana, whose maiden name was Ascarate, was buried in what is known as Concordia Cemetery in 1856. From then on, the place became a stopping point, where El Pasoans traveled to bury their dead.

By 1890, sections of the land were bought by groups in El Paso and the cemetery became sectioned into areas by Catholics, Jewish, black, Chinese, military, Masonic, Jesuit, city and county residents. Among the buried are John Wesly Hardin, Buffalo Soldiers, Texas Rangers, Civil War veterans, early Mormon pioneers, Florida (Lady Flo) Wolf and formerly the first burial site for Mexican Revolution President Victoriano Huerta.

In total, the graveyard has over 60,000 people buried there. The people who visit nowadays are mostly ghost hunters and history guides. El Paso Paranormal Society hosts frequent ghost tours at Concordia, where they have said to have seen shadows before, witnessed movement in the graveyard, seen ghostly figures in photos and felt different temperature changes throughout the cemetery.

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About the Contributors
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
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Eight haunted spots in EP