Sunday, October 18, 2009

Haunted Ranch House of Marshall Ranch, Texas

Stories from the Austin Star of an old Ranch, Marshall Ranch.

The Footsteps Upstairs
Between 1966 and 1969 me and a group of my friends ages 12-15, spent a lot of time at the Marshall Ranch - overnights and days. If we were not going to camp overnight in the house, we tried to be away from there by sundown. Once (on a Friday night), four of us went there to spend the night knowing that a bad storm was blowing in. We always slept on the bottom floor in the room with the fireplace. We put the bed frames against the doors in the room so the two doors could not be opened and the remaining beds frames were placed so that those people could watch the two windows. We then slept in sleeping bags on the bed frames and we always built a fire in the fireplace to cook and provide light at night. We all carried our rifles back then out there. That night we went to sleep and were awakened by footsteps on the floor above us. We yelled to "come down or we would begin to shoot". The footsteps stopped. We yelled again and the footsteps began. We all began to shoot through the ceiling into the upstairs room many times. The footsteps stopped. After a short while, they began again. We began shooting again and they stopped. This went on into early into the morning throughout a nasty thunderstorm. The next morning, we went upstairs and saw nothing other than the furnishings and our bullet holes through the upstairs floors. The Marshall Ranch - when we were there, we always knew we were not alone and not only that, there was a feeling of MANY presences there--not just one.

Ghost Horses Pull a Wagon
T. J., a good friend of mine, lived directly across Bee Caves Road from the ranch. He and his father told me it was not unusual for them to see strange foggy patches appear and cross the road at night. They said that they could sometimes hear what sounded like a wagon with horses walking on Bee Caves Road at night. They would never go outside at night unless they stayed in a lighted area right around the house.

The Ghost of a Man and Dog
On another occasion, three of us went to the Marshall Ranch on an afternoon but did not plan to stay the night. On the West hill above the house, we saw an older man wearing a worn cowboy hat and coat. He had a hound dog with him and was about 40 yards away. We saw him from behind, on a side angle and he did not seem to be aware of our presence although we were talking and such. He disappeared over a ridge and we followed. A short ways away in that direction we came across a large cemetery but the man was gone. We looked all around, did not see him or the dog and left pretty quickly thereafter to get off the ranch before dark. Back then, the nearest highway was Bee Caves Road. That was a pretty strange sighting.

The Seance
There was a seance that was held there in 1966 producing the name "Tom Burns", who had been murdered driving cotton into town at the turn of the century. Supposedly, he was buried there at the Ranch by the creek and the grave was found and dug up and then closed again. Actually, the man's name was Morris Moore (or Maurice Moore) and my grandmother told me the story when I was very young. There is a hill named Morris Moore Hill west of the Marshall ranch about 2 miles (past Camelot entrance) on Bee Caves Road. The old timers out there all knew that but it has probably been lost in history over the years. I also knew the Roy sisters (sisters of Rob Roy of the Rob Roy subdivision there off Bee Caves). They lived on the corner there below where the NIKE missile base radar used to sit up on the hill. They were older and never married. Both epitomized the idea of the Southern lady and they would always give me cats eye marbles when I would visit them with my Grandmother and Grandfather--just another interesting bit of Westlake history.

(credit the following web site: