It really starts to get funny when we see supernatural horror stories and myths claim to be based on some sort of actual account. Yeah, uh, The Conjuring? Only some of those cases were real. Likewise, The Silence of the Lambs and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre are sort of based on actual serial killers, but only in the vaguest possible ways.
Any horror movie claiming to be completely accurate to historical fact is most likely fudging a few things, but that doesn’t mean they lose any of their dramatic potential. Here are some “supposedly true” ghost stories from the North Texas area that we think would make for exciting Hollywood horror movies.
The Legend of Goatman Bridge
The Old Alton Bridge in Denton is supposedly haunted by the spirit of a half-man, half-goat creature that appears at night to travelers who dared to knock on the bridge three times at night. The bridge itself has a sordid history of prejudice and violence, and the frightening concept of a demonic satyr has certainly scared off its fair share of drunk college kids. Have we found our next iconic slasher?
The Spirit of the Lizard Lounge
The long-time Dallas nightclub Lizard Lounge closed its doors in September as a result of COVID-19 related shutdowns. The performing hall, originally known as the Grand Crystal Palace Dinner Theater, was built as a warehouse in 1899. Lizard Lounge visitors have been freaked out for generations by mysterious exploding lightbulbs and the presence of an unexplained chill in the building. Is there a Phantom of the Opera of sorts in Dallas? The Phantom of the Lizard, perhaps?
The Ghosts of Preston Road
It's a frequent stop among many Dallasites, but Preston Road has been a hot spot for supernatural sightings for several decades. The area was originally scouted by early pilgrims, so perhaps there’s a bit of folk horror in place. We’re itching for a great new frontier horror film, similar to The Witch.
JFK’s Assassin Remains Free to Kill Another Day
A favorite of both supernatural storytellers and conspiracy theorists alike, the circumstances surrounding the death of President John F. Kennedy have befuddled historians for years, and some of the wildest theories suggest that Lee Harvey Oswald remains as a spirit, either claiming his innocence or stalking another victim. Someone, please call Oliver Stone.
The Mysterious Shootout at The White Elephant Saloon
Isn't it about time for a spooky ghost movie set in the Wild West? The iconic Fort Worth bar is home to many historic shootouts and boasts of its proud history of gunslinger faceoffs. Some bar patrons report that items seem to move without being touched. Is it a boozy haze, or are there ghosts of departed cowboys at play? Locals aren't blaming liquor, but the ghost of corrupt lawman Longhair Jim.
Arlington’s Lost Cemetery Holds Vengeful Spirits
Virtually any cemetery is going to look creepy at a certain time of night, but Arlington’s “Lost Cemetery of Infants” holds the gravestones of infant children from the late 19th century whose names were never known. Creepy kids are always going to spook us out, and the site is already a popular attraction among ghosthunters.
The Historically Haunted Hermann Hall (Say That Five Times Fast)
Dallas venue Sons of Hermann Hall has been stirring up ghost stories for over a century since it was first built. The historic building has been a spot for ghostly sightings since Walker, Texas Ranger and Robocop filmed at the site during the ‘90s. Music! Hollywood! This one has it all for a ghoulish good time.
Haunted Meals At The Greenville Snuffer’s
This tasty restaurant in Lower Greenville was rebuilt on the site of a grisly murder from the 1970s, where a biker was shot and killed. That’s surely not going to ruffle any undead spirits, right? Next time you pig out on some delicious homemade chili, consider there may be a spirit eyeing your meal. Maybe some creative filmmakers want to cook up some scares?