Book Review: Spooky Texas by S.E. Schlosser

If you’re going to be in Texas this Halloween and you want to spend the holiday at a location that might be haunted …. well, as I’ve said many times on this site, I don’t believe in ghosts, werewolves, vampires, or anything else so I won’t be of much help there.  Probably the best recommendation that I can make is that you drive out to Marfa, set up a lawn chair in the desert, and wait for the Marfa Lights to appear.  The Marfa Lights have been appearing for decades, hovering over the town of Marfa.  Boring, reality-based people claim that it’s just an atmospheric phenomena.  Others claim that it’s either ghosts or maybe a UFO visitation.

Marfa itself is in the desert of west Texas.  (Giant was filmed in Marfa.)  As of late, it’s become as well-known for being an artists colony as for its paranormal reputation.  A few years ago, 60 Minutes did a breathless story on all the artists who were moving to Marfa and not once were the Marfa Lights mentioned.  Several minutes were devoted to Prada Marfa but not a single second to the Marfa Lights.  Don’t get me wrong, of course.  I would much rather the town be known for its artists than its UFOs but still, you have to wonder how a show could spend twelve minutes talking about Marfa without mentioning the lights.  Am I suggesting that there’s some sort of government cover-up going on?  No, I’m not.  That would be dumb.  I’m just suggesting that 60 Minutes, which is apparently a show that only exists so that elderly reporters have something to do after they lose their nightly news gig, might be out-of-touch.

Fortunately, the book Spooky Texas has chapters on the Marfa Lights and twenty-four other paranormal stories that take place in Texas.  Admittedly, some of the detail mentioned in the stories did seem a bit odd to me.  (For some reason, the author of this book seems to be under the impression that it snows a lot in west Texas.)  But, despite that, it’s a fun read and it’s full of inspiration for both the aspiring horror writer and the Texan who is just looking for some place creepy to hang out on Halloween.  If you can’t go to Marfa and if you can’t find any of the ghosts that are rumored to haunt the Alamo, I would suggest going to Fort Worth and searching for the Gray Lady.  Or, if you really want to live dangerously, go down to Laredo and listen for a crying woman.  Just don’t get too close!

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