The Haunted SBC – Bristol’s Best Picks
Ahhh! It's already September (can you believe it?!?!) and it's still in the triple digits temperature wise, but that can't stop me from getting excited for what surely has to be Fall right around the corner. Fall means football and cooler temps and homecoming and HALLOWEEN! If you've lived in Louisiana for any length of time, you can't help but notice there are places all over the place that fall into the category of 'unexplained.' Some of my fondest memories of high school to this day are sneaking down Juju Road just to see what would happen or what we could see. After all, what could be better than clinging to your best guy or girl in abject terror? It's totally an excuse to get all up close and personal:) But personally, I never saw anything... Unless you count a guy wetting his pants because he thought we were going to leave him, but that's a whole 'nother story! Either way, with Halloween approaching, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the areas that are considered 'haunted' in the Shreveport/Bossier area. I won't lie, I've always been intrigued by things that go bump in the night!
You can't talk about hauntings in Shreveport/Bossier without including the historic Municipal Auditorium. Ghost stories abound about this place, plus it has a cool radio history since it was the home of the Louisiana Hayride on K945's sister station KWKH. At first, I thought the stories started because at one time the city morgue was literally located directly underneath the 'Stage of the Stars' in the basement. Plus, there's the old cemetery right across the street. Anyone would feel creeped out, right? When you combine that with the list of performers who have graced it's stage, legends are born. It just so happens, I've toured the Municipal and was there when the group Louisiana Spirits did an investigation on the building. It was a long night and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that building gives me chills. I caught some of what could be called 'orbs' on camera, the hair stood up on my arms/neck several times and my dowsing rods went berserk in certain parts of the building. This tour isn't for the faint of heart!
If you travel way down Ellerbe Road, you'll find the old George Washington Carver School which is now referred to as the Old Ellerbe Road School. Now before you go searching this one out, I have to warn you, there have been multiple reports of people being shot at by real life folks when trying to sneak onto the property. There are a lot of stories surrounding the school including the deaths of students due to fire, molestation of students by the school janitor, children who went to the school going missing, etc... As you know, stories grow and change over the years. Some say if you climb the ladder to the top of the water tower on the property, you can see your reflection on the day that they die. Another story has a high priest and priestess practicing black magic. The school grounds are also rumored to the be the location of a Civil War battle. I haven't actually been to the Ellerbe Road School, but plenty of my friends have. They say the guy next door will actively run you off the property and that the school is structurally severely deteriorated. I've heard stories of cows, cow's blood and lockers, but it mostly seems the musings of overactive imaginations... or is it?
Now before you start thinking the grew peas at this place, let me stop you. 'Pea' is short for penal... as in penal code you dirty bird! The Pea Farm is an old, deserted prison and you can find it deep in the woods in South Shreveport. The inmates were, however, charged with growing food at the Pea Farm. I guess they could have grown peas if they wanted to, but you know what I mean! The stories surrounding this haunting are mainly audible. There are numerous reports by visitors that you can hear the moans and screams of the previous 'tenants' as well as footsteps. Rumor has it, life was rough at the Pea Farm and that the reason why it's haunted is due to the beatings and murders of prisoners that took place there. There are reports of cold spots in the building by visitors and some even report nausea as they approached the old complex. I haven't been to the Pea Farm yet, but after all my reading, I'm thinking it's time we plan a visit... Although after looking at some of the other pictures I found online about this place and the stories on the women's prison, I may have to pass... or go in broad daylight! Plus, keep in mind, they patrol these places. They don't exactly want you there because the buildings are old and have to be dangerous. JS! You might get arrested... at any of these places.
There are a ton of stories about Juju Road... Witches, devil worshipers, the KKK, you name it! Juju Road and the stories surrounding it have been around as long as I can remember and they vary greatly, but the one I hear the most is of a slave named Juju who was hung for raping a white girl. Some report you can see Juju hanging from a tree over the road at night. Others say Juju killed some children after the Civil War and that he was hung in buried in a cemetery on Swan Lake Road. I have to admit, in my day, Juju Road was way more fun because it wasn't built up like it was now. Heck, even the parents got into it. I remember a friends mom loading us into the back of her truck in middle school and taking us all while we freaked out and tried to scare each other even more than we already were. I've had friends tell me they've seen school buses on Juju with the seats pulled out and placed in the shape of a pentagram, gutted animals hanging from trees and evidence of big bon fires. Once again, I've not seen this, but I still have a healthy respect for Juju and the stories surrounding it. After all, there has to have been some kernal of truth for the stories to reach such epic proportions, right?
C.E. Byrd was built in 1925 and remains Shreveport's oldest high school. I've always wanted to go to Byrd. Not because of anything in particular other than the actual building. It looks like a school in an after school special and I bet it has been with all the filming in the SBC. Legends surround the swimming pool that used to be housed in the basement of Byrd. This area is now called the catacombs. Creepy, right? The pool has been closed for quite some time, but rumor has it, that a girl drowned there. Another story is centered around the basement and involves the JROTC and the old firing range located in the, you guessed it, basement. I find myself wondering why basements are so scary. Is it because largely, we don't have them in Louisiana? Who knows? Either way, according to the story, the JROTC instructor was a veteran who took his life inside the firing range. Visitors report strange lights coming from the basement. Fact or fancy?
There are plenty more places in the Shreveport/Bossier City are that are surrounded by an air of mystery. One of my favorites is pretty much the entire town of Jefferson, TX. One stay in the historic Jefferson Hotel will make you a believer. Other places of interest are the Forbing Railroad Tracks, the hanging tree on Cross Lake, etc... Do you have a legend you'd like to see covered or a story to tell of your own? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!