The spookiest month of the year is here, and with it comes many opportunities to explore paranormal phenomenon in East Texas.
We have a few suggestions of what to keep an eye out for this October.
1. Bigfoot- It's hard to believe that there could be a massive, man-like creature roaming the forests around us, but some people swear they've seen the Sasquatch wandering the swamps of East Texas and West Louisiana.
In 2014 USA Today featured the Toledo Bend area in an article as sometimes having up to two reports of bigfoot sightings per month made to the Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization (GCBRO).
Another agency that publishes online reports of sightings notes that there was a reported Bigfoot sighting in Milam in 2007.
The report of the North American Wood Ape Conservancy reads: "I crested a hill at midnight and my truck halogen headlights picked up the creature as he crossed the highway approximately 150 yards away at the bottom of the hill at the bridge. It was very tall, dark, and I could clearly see the legs working as it crossed. When I got to the bottom of the hill, I whipped my truck over to the right (it was crossing north to south) trying to pick it up but saw nothing else. Of course, that area is dense forest and depressed by the creek so it didn't surprise me, but sure wish I could have seen it again.
I have reported this to two other flakey, in my opinion, so-called research organizations to no avail. Had forgotten about you guys until I was watching Weird Travels on The Travel Channel last night. Your people were doing research in The Big Thicket near here and I chastized myself for not reporting this incident to you guys in the first place. Your group seems to be quite serious, well organized and legit."
Investigator John Morley filed a synopsis of his evaluation.
"The witness related to me that the incident was just as he had reported. He heard no sounds as he was driving his truck at the time, only observing the large, upright, dark subject cross the highway ahead of him and just prior to the bridge over Boregas Creek. He said the subject walked across the highway in about two seconds and disappeared into the woods. The witness had no other explanation for what he saw other than it was a 'bigfoot.'"
The witness was interviewed again a year later and also relayed to Morley the report of another incident in which a bigfoot allegedly threw rocks at someone near Indian Mounds.
The site reveals there have also been three reports made of incidents that allegedly occurred in January 2003, December 1983, and April 1989 made to the organization, which occurred near Ebenezer Park, Buna, and Jasper.
There is also a report in Sabine Parish for a sighting in April 1998.
One of the most credible witnesses is a military pilot, who reported an incident that occurred in September 22, 1995.
"I was in the army and stationed at Fort Hood, Texas and was headed home. I had crossed the Sabine River bridge from Texas and entered Louisiana on LA 8 headed east toward Leesville," the witness wrote. "Approximately 3 miles into Louisiana where the road entered a long shallow curve to the north there was a creature kneeling on the shoulder of the road. It was a heavily built two legged animal with a round or slightly elongated head and eyes that shined/glowed amber in my headlights. I saw it move its head and look at me or my car. If I had to estimate its height, it would be six feet to six feet six inches if standing erect. I never mentioned this incident to anyone until last year my son and I watched a bigfoot program on TV."
Investigator Ken Stewart concluded the following, according to the site: "The witness is a former military pilot with an extensive number of flying hours. Being a pilot myself, I can attest that military pilots are very keen in observing and evaluating their surrounding environment. I interviewed the witness at length both by phone and in person and found him to be extremely credible."
Further explorations of the possibility in bigfoot in our area include episodes of Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet, which included interviews with people in Zwolle.
Want to find out more? You are in luck. The Texas Bigfoot Research Center celebrates the Original Texas Bigfoot Conference on October 19-20 in Jefferson, Texas.
October 20, 2018 marks the 51st anniversary of the famous Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film. Established in 2001 as the original annual Bigfoot Conference in Texas by the Texas Bigfoot Research Center. For more information visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-texas-bigfoot-conference-tickets-39489075889
2) Look for ghosts- Do you believe spirits hang around after a physical body passes away?
More than one person in Sabine Parish has reported that there is a wailing woman on Grady Hill outside of the Catholic cemetery in Zwolle. Different versions of the story claim that the wailing woman is an Indian lady whose baby has passed away or was stolen. She allegedly has been heard talking in English and Spanish.
East Texas Historian Bob Bowman also reported before his death that on Patriot's Hill in Sabine County the ghosts of Civil War soldiers could be encountered. The soldiers protected the banks of the Sabine River and many died of disease during the war though they did not see battle at the site.
3) Search for UFOs-- It's looking more and more like UFOs might be a verified phenomenon after the military released tapes this year of its pilots experiencing some very strange encounters in the skies.
According to a YouTube video at least one Hemphill family is baffled by unexplained phenomena in the nights sky.
A 2 minute, 29-second video shows a video of a floating orb with undoubtedly East Texas voices. The soundtrack of a UFO program running in the background makes this author doubt its authenticity, but it is entertaining nonetheless.
A report of a UFO over Toledo Bend was made in January 2008 to UFO Hunters, a group that tracks sightings.
"These are real," the reporter wrote. "I was fishing the banks of Toledo Bend Reservoir that morning. After the sound of two military aircraft traveling at high speed had passed I heard something overhead moving at high speed through the air. There was an unusual pulsing sound along with a soft hum. I looked up and saw a craft much like one of those shown in today's Discovery channel broadcast on UFO's in Illinois. This sighting was in broad daylight. There were no flashing lights. The object stopped about 1,000 ft. overhead.As best as I can determine, it left heading in a SSW direction at a remarkably high speed. I reported this to the local Sabine County Reporter. There was no follow up. 3 or four days later I saw reports of other Texas sightings on Headline news. This is the second sighting in my life."
Other sightings have been reported to the site in Geneva in February 2010 and Patroon in September 2009. In 2014 There were sightings in Shelbyville and Pleasant Hill reported. A slew of reports have been made to the south in Jasper County towards Beaumont.
But believers in the third kind should also take a word of caution from a UFO that was found in 1949. According to a column by Neal Murphy that year town prankster Drayton B. Speights had a metal flying saucer made and placed on the lawn of where his croquet buddies played. Regional media was abuzz as the flying saucer was taken to the Sabine County Courthouse lawn for the examination by the Sabine County Sheriff's Office. Speights's prank unfolded after it was discovered that a letter accompanying the saucer was written in Czech, the language of a local doctor's wife.
The saucer still was put on display at the grocery store where people could examine it.
If chasing down the supernatural isn't your thing but you still want to feel spooked, Daily News recommends checking out Nightmare on Barber Street, the haunted house supported by the Hemphill Lions Club.
This year's event will take place on every Saturday in October, the costs $7 and is worth every penny.