North Texas Daily

The spirits of Denton

The spirits of Denton

The spirits of Denton
October 10
14:33 2013

Hasan Waheedi / Intern

As the sun sets on Denton, a ghostly trek across the Denton Square recounts more than 150 years of historic ghost activity.

Starting at the grave of John B. Denton, the man the city was named after, the Ghosts of Denton tour group takes 30 people on a 90-minute walk through Denton’s past and its resident spirits who haunt the Square.

Shelly Tucker, a professional storyteller with 30 years of experience, leads the tour on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m.

“I’ve gathered a huge repertoire of stories,” Tucker said. “Those stories get fleshed out with personal experiences from interviews with people all over town.”

Many ghost tales are also collected from the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum and the Emily Fowler Central Library. This abundance of stories has allowed the tour to be split into two days with different sets of stories.

“Even at that, I don’t tell all the stories I have gathered on any given weekend,” Tucker said.

From lives lost during the mysterious fires of North Texas in 1860, to victims of crimes in the city’s past, stops on the tour and the stories retold showcase a side of Denton’s history and its paranormal activity.

Denton's historic court house in the downtown square. Photo by Zixian Chen / Staff Photographer

“Many of the people mentioned in Shelly’s tales are still around or have descendants who are lots of ‘walking history,’” said Scott Campbell, a member of Denton’s historic landmark commission.

Signs of unusual activity seemed to appear during last weekend’s tour. On a clear night sky, one of the attendees, Kristen Martin, decided to take a photo in front of one of the haunted tour sites downtown, but was shocked when she saw the end result.

“It was all white,” Martin said. “I’m not sure what to think of it.”

Other attendees stood in the same spot Martin was and took similar shots, yet there was nothing unusual about their pictures.

The number of attendees varies each weekend and has a limit of 30 people per tour. History buffs and ghosts chasers from as far as Houston and Wichita Falls have taken the tour.

“This tour not only offers a night of entertainment, but brings ‘tourists’ to town,” Tucker said. “Many people take the tour a second time and some have been on the tour even more.”

Campbell said Denton’s square and its surrounding area spark peoples’ interests.

“[Unlike Denton], so many towns have not preserved their historical buildings or are too young to have any,” Campbell said.

Tour reservations can be made online at GhostofDenton.com and are $10 per person.

 Shelly Tucker, the guide of the Ghosts of Denton tour, tells different stories with a portable microphone each night. Feature photo by Zixian Chen / Staff Photographer

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