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Texas Haunts: Apparitions and Ghostly Visions

Scare up a group of friends, and gather around a flickering campfire. Whether you take these ghost stories seriously or not, there’s a whole lot of spookin’ going on.
Overnight guests at Milford’s Baroness Inn, built in 1850 as a girls’ dormitory, often tell owner Evelyn Williams that they’ve seen or felt the presence of ghosts.

The sleepy town of Milford is home to a bed-and-breakfast inn that places a capital H on the word Haunting. Originally built as a dormitory, the building later became a hotel, boardinghouse, antique shop, halfway house for recuperating mental patients, and finally, in 2000, after several years of restoration, the Baroness Inn. Tales tell of long-gone, un-named lodgers who persist in maintaining residency.

Owner and host Evelyn Williams graciously shares her property with the tenant spirits, who, she says, appear friendly and frolicsome. Some are downright whimsical and delight in “spooking” visitors just for the fun of it. One ghost has demonstrated an aversion to modern country music and an appetite for fresh air and classical composers. Sharron Looney, Evelyn’s sister and manager of the restored property, tells of the specter’s peculiar habits. “At the end of each day while restoring the building,” says Sharron, “workers would lock all the doors and windows to guard against vandalism. To give the appearance that the building was occupied, they’d leave the radios on, tuned to a local station playing country music. In the morning, we would invariably find one window open, with the radios tuned to a classical station.”

Visitors to the inn report other sightings and sounds, including visions of the rooms’ previous occupants, not to mention footsteps in the hallways and on the veranda and stairways. Milford resident Marcia Cheatham remembers being awakened during an overnight stay by the sound of children playing and laughing in the main hallway. “Children never stay at the inn,” Marcia recalls, “yet I heard them right outside my door.”

The Baroness Inn is at 206 S. Main St. (972/493-9393 or 877/993-4924. Murder Mystery events take place throughout the year. Owner Evelyn Williams will also take guests on tours of the nearby Milford Cemetery, which dates to 1840.

From the October 2002 issue.

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