"I Always Tell My Friends It's Possibly a Meth-Head Coming Out of His Lab": Ghost Hunting With Denton Musician Alex Maples

Alex Maples' ghost obsession began when his sisters were almost 10 and he was still in a crib. The whole family would frequently visit his Aunt Doris in Southern Illinois. Her house was old and drafty, built on many open acres of ranch land. On a country-quiet evening during one of those visits, as his sisters were trying to sleep on the second story of Aunt Doris' house right near the staircase, the sound of footsteps slowly walking up and down the stairs woke them.

The young girls thought nothing of it at first and tried to go back to sleep. It was probably mom or dad, or maybe Aunt Doris. But their annoyance grew as they kept hearing footsteps ascending the stairs. Finally, as they heard the footsteps approaching the top of the stairs for the umpteenth time, they opened the door.

To their shock, there was no one on the other side of the door, and this sent the girls racing to their parents' room, begging to sleep in their bed.

A few days later, as his father was slowly falling asleep to Johnny Carson, he heard a loud slam. He looked over to the front door and saw it was wide open, the porch light was on, and the screen door was thwaping as though someone had just left, or entered. Dad went to go investigate, finding that everyone was asleep, and not even the dogs were close enough to the front door to have caused this.

Thinking maybe he had just been absent-minded, he latched the screen door, turned off the porch light, and made sure to close and lock the front door. He then settled back into his comfy spot in the living room to fall asleep to the television. Ten minutes later, there was that same slam and this time his dad jumped out of his chair. The front door was wide open, the porch light was on, and the screen door was thwaping. Everyone else was asleep, and that's when his dad felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.

Since then, Alex Maples, who drums in Spitfire Tumbleweeds and a handful of other Denton bands, has spent the last 30-plus years searching for ghosts, but has never seen one. He's had what might be called a mild obsession, fueled by his family's experiences at Aunt Doris' old ranch house, since he was a kid growing up in Frisco, Texas. Back then, he says, the town was nothing, let alone anything resembling the sprawling, dense suburb of Dallas it is today. Back then, you could be a kid and get lost in little wilderness areas.

He and his friends would spend evenings behind his house, hanging out at White Rock Creek, at a place they called "The Warpit," because of all of the Civil War trinkets and arrowheads they found.

"We would basically just try to scare the shit out of each other," he remembers. "But one night we were out there [camping in tents], it was the middle of the night, and we heard what sounded like Indian war drums and chanting. It really freaked us out to the point where we didn't even want to investigate." The next morning, emboldened by daylight, he and his friends scouted the area for any sign that there might have been other campsites nearby, or clues that perhaps they were being messed with. They found nothing.

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Brian Rash
Contact: Brian Rash

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