Plenty of spirits to keep Lockhart awake at night￼
By Kyle Mooty
With haunting stories dating back as far as the days of the Chisholm Trail Cattle Drive, Lockhart has more than its share of tales that can be told around campfires at campouts or fire pits in the backyard.
Gaslight-Baker Theatre is a centerpiece for these stories, but they do pop up around some of the other old buildings and houses in the area.
There are some books authored by local writers about spirits, including the WWII-era fictional “Ghostoria” by Tam Francis.
Night Owl Podcasts has done a couple of “talks” with various employees of the theatre that can be found online and numerous people have encountered “The Laughing Lady,” former building owner “Col. Baker,” and one spirit simply known as “Other Guy.” While the first two are rather kind if not playful, it is believed that “Other Guy” is more of a mean spirit.
Lockhart City Council member Kara McGregor lives in an old house on San Antonio Street and has her own haunting story. She was kind enough to share it with the Post-Register.
The following is McGregor’s story:
By Kara McGregor
I was seven months pregnant with my daughter, Lucy, in 2002, when her dad, Stewart, and I moved to Lockhart. We fell in love with Birdie House, as we call it now, and fell in love with the town as well in short order.
We have many stories of getting to know Lockhart and Lockhartians, and a few stories about getting to know Birdie House. This special home was built in 1898, three stories of Victorian splendor with mysterious nooks, seven fireplaces, an eerie old cistern, and a boarded-up root cellar. We filled it with garage sale finds and odds and ends from our families. Birdie House, like all houses, has a “vibe,” whether because of age, design, or associations. But for some people “vibe” means unseen energies, the impression of warmth or chill, a tingle in the spine or hair standing on end. I am not one of those people. I am a sceptic and even a scoffer about ghost stories, but yet… here we are…
One of my early experiences with Birdie House as an entity was a few weeks after my daughter was born. Stewart and I were sleep-deprived befuddled zombies, and on this particular night we had an especially hard time getting Lucy to go down. There was a thunderstorm raging that rattled the windows and startled her awake again every few minutes. We finally all passed out in total exhaustion as the storm raged on.
At one point in the night, I woke up and bolted out of bed at the sound of my daughter crying from the baby monitor next to my ear. It’s a hair-trigger new moms know well, and I was down the hall and in her room before my eyes were fully open. She wasn’t there. Then I heard crying downstairs and thought, “Oh, Stewart took her down so I could sleep. How sweet.” I was up and awake by now, so I padded down the stairs to join them.
No one was downstairs. But I could smell something burnt. The only illumination was from lightening flashing through the windows, and the old lamp we left on as a night light. It should have been rewired before it was plugged in, and now it was sputtering and sparking. I yanked the plug out of the socket, with heart racing and visions of fire spreading though the house.
As I calmed down, I realized I couldn’t hear Lucy anymore. I went back upstairs and there were Stewart and Lucy, sound asleep, taking up most of the queen size bed.
I lay awake for a long time, my brain trying to explain it all logically. But I fell asleep sure of three things: the house woke me up with the only sound that could rouse an exhausted new mom; I was led downstairs by that sound in order to stop the lamp from catching fire; we were safe in this house.