KATY MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2018
By Natalie Cook Clark and Ariana Pezeshki
We talked to real-life Katy paranormal investigators finding some eery Katy stories just in time for Halloween. From haunted local high schools to poltergeist activity in Cinco Ranch, to UFO sightings. Check out these legends, rumors, and unexplained mysteries we just had to share.
The Katy Train Mystery Orbs
As one of Katy's most iconic landmarks, the Katy Train on 1st Street has been the go-to location of so many senior picture shoots, but did you know it's also rich with legends and haunts. Many believe ghost/spirit orbs (ghost orbs/spirit orbs are often thought to be the souls of people that can be seen as lights in photo) are photo bombing Katyites pictures.
Don't scare away from the train just yet Katy! "We can most likely call this case closed," paranormal investigator Paul "Elvis" Amos of Cryptozooligical Paranormal Investigations says, "We checked out the Katy Train, we did capture a lot of orbs, but dust can make it look that way. In truth, I think the train is dusty." With that in mind, continue your photo sessions at the Katy Train, but don't count on Casper joining in.
Katy Ghost Hunters in Katy?
Yes! Laurie St. Cyr founded KT Paranormal in 2009. She began investigation strange occurrences to be the cool mom with her son and his friends who were interested in ghost hunting. "Over the years. If they were interested in this stuff, I could make sure that they were safe and investigated it properly," explains, Laurie. With most of their team consisting of students, Laurie made sure a set of safety rules were always followed. They were never to break any laws, trespass on private property, and would never investigate anything deemed potentially evil.
One of Laurie's most intriguing projects was the investigation of Mayde Creek High School's paranormal activity.
Mayde Creek High School Ghosts?
In October of 2011, Laurie's group was summoned to investigate paranormal activity that seemed to be happening at Mayde Creek High. "At the time I worked for the district so people knew what I did with my son and his friends on the side. The administration, at the time, asked us to come conduct an investigation and of course we were thrilled to do so," says Laurie.
KT Paranormal investigating Mayde Creek High School. Photo courtesy of Laurie St. Cyr
More Activity at Mayde Creek Than Any Other Investigation
Laurie's process is to set up video equipment, meters, and also set aside dead time: a time allotted (once the team is set up) to wait and observe to see if any paranormal happens. "At Mayde Creek High School, we experienced the most activity of any of our investigations," says Laurie. "We got pictures of orb movement. On camera, we got something that moved across the stage and took sixteen minutes to do so. In the foyer by the office one of us took a picture and saw a shadow just outside the principal's office.
Computers Turning On Randomly
While at Mayde Creek, Laurie's paranormal team also walked by a row of computers and that suddenly turned on. "At the time I thought that was strange but I decided to talk to the technology staff at the high school to see if any back-ups were scheduled for that night," says Laurie. Unexplained electronic activity is a common sign of paranormal activity according to paranormal experts. Laurie says the school confirmed that there were no back-ups set for those computers and no reason why they should have turned on. "I know we didn't touch them or even get close enough to bump one accidentally. That was strange."
Setting Limits and Debunking Rumors
"We were invited several times to a home where multiple murders had taken place and I turned down the offer every time," says Laurie. "Our first priority after safety is to debunk anything. "Then if we can't, it's fun to be curious and open to what is out there."
To learn more about Laurie's team, visit their Facebook group, KT Paranormal.
There are a couple other Katy-based ghost and paranormal investigating groups who have taken interest in explaining the unexplained.
Haunted Homes in Katy
Another Katy-based paranormal group, Cryptozoological Paranormal Investigations, led by Paul "Elvis" Amos has a popular Youtube channel called, Quest Unknown. The group has recently sparked the interest of a few TV networks.
CPI investigates the unexplained in Katy and surrounding areas in Texas. "We try to debunk everything. We normally can and most of the time its a hot water heater or AC unit, etc., " explains Paul. "Most of the popular Katy locations we went to we found nothing. The best paranormal Katy experiences we've had were in private residential homes, which we obviously can't say who or where they are."
Cryptozoological Paranormal Investigations: Paul "Elvis" Amos, Pony and Strawberry.
Cinco Ranch Poltergeist Removal
"We did have an experience at a home in Cinco Ranch where a young couple was experiencing a menacing poltergeist. They had objects moving around the house and sightings of a shadow figure. I was in the attic with the husband and we both saw a dark shadow figure. That stuff sticks with you," says Paul.
In this case the family's haunting story has a happy ending. "We worked with the family and they are no longer affected by the shadow figure that used to bother them. We want to help people. This is why we do what we do." For more information on C.P.I. visit their website or Youtube channel.
The Mystery Woman in White on Clay Road KT Paranormal also investigated the popular legend of a lone woman in white at Greenhouse and Clay Road. Legend has it the woman can be seen when drivers turn off their headlights and take the sharp turn near the bayou (not recommended to our readers for obvious safety reasons).
KT Paranormal investigated the local haunt prior to the development of the location today. "The turn is sharp and I don't recommend doing it with your lights off. Safety is always number one for us," says Laurie. "We did investigate this and at the turn we did see a woman in white. It was very brief and one of the students with me noted that she looked like she was dressed from 'Little House on the Prairie."
A Witch Named Matilda Flew in By Helicopter
A fun and true story happened at Hutsell Elementary in the 80's. Former students will recall is a tale of a witch visiting their school every Halloween named Matilda. The impromptu tradition was started by beloved Katy educator and school namesake, Sharon Rhoads many years ago. One year at Halloween time, Rhoads wanted to have fun with her students. She took fabric and items from the classroom and created a witch's costume. Her special "visit" to surprise students evolved over the years with all of Hutsell looking forward to her visits each year. The kids sang a special Matilda song (written by Jeannette Hayes of Hayes Elementary) and the kids loved the anticipation of awaiting Matilda's arrival. Imagine the kids excitement one year when their favorite Halloween witch traded in her broom and arrived at the school by helicopter!
Matilda the Witch has long since ended, but the memory lives on. Rhoads' passion to bring something unique and full of childhood Halloween excitement is still remembered today by Hutsell staff, former students, and a community recalling the Katy witch who managed to helicopter her way to Hutsell Elementary. Rhoads (acting as Matilda) and arriving at Hutsell Elementary.
The Witch's Grave
The Magnolia Cemetery has been around since 1900 and is the resting place for many of Katy's founding fathers as well as civil war soldiers. A walk among it's tombstones feels like walking along a map of the city, seeing many familiar names of main streets and landmarks scattered throughout Katy. However, one tombstone attracts a lot of attention, and that is Barbara Snyder's grave, a German immigrant who passed away in 1911.
(Photo by Natalie Cook Clark)
Snyder's grave is the legendary "Katy Witch Grave" that frequents lists of things to visit and especially any top haunting lists found around this time of year. Is it the creepy epitaph on her tombstone?
Remember me as you pass by, As you are now, so once was I: As I am now, you soon shall be,
Prepare for death and follow me.
Legend has it, if you read the words at her grave, then you must pay or risk bad luck for the rest of your life. There have also been tales of visitors seeing the image of the witch behind them in mirrors. However, there is no proof to any of this. "Of course we visited the Magnolia Cemetery," says paranormal investigator Paul "Elvis" Amos. "We did an EVP session and didn't see anything. I think it's just a fun legend."
There once was a crystal orb on the top of the tombstone and visitors claimed it would levitate off. However, you will not see the orb today, as the amount of student pranks resulted in it's removal and it now rests at the Katy Police Department. Legend or truth, I couldn't leave without donating coins of my own for our Katy Witch.
Visitors leave coins at "The Katy Witch" site to ward off bad luck. Photo by Natalie Cook Clark
Magnolia Cemetery Haunts
Barbara Snyder's grave isn't the only "haunted" spot in the cemetery. Laurie St. Cyr of KT Paranormal also visited Magnolia Cemetery. "We went to investigate the cemetery, and of course the "witch" grave but we didn't get anything there. It wasn't until we were all out of the cemetery and on the other side of the fence that some of us were shocked to see a little boy," says Laurie. "He had a red ball cap on and was about three. He was playing around a collection of three flat tombstones and kept ducking around them like in a game of hide and seek. Then he would sit up on one and swing his legs like little kids do."
An alleged image of the little boy ghost seen and photographed by Laurie St. Cyr
Mass Unmarked Graves in Katy
Old Town Katy is full of mystery and unmarked grave sites you wouldn't be able to find unless you knew where to look. "There was an old hidden cemetery, a mass grave from yellow fever, somewhere near Avenue D and 5th Street," says Laurie. "You can find it on some old Katy maps."
UFO's Visiting Katy?
Katy made headlines back in October of 2017 when a resident stopped his car at Highland Knolls and Grand Parkway to take video of what he believes is a UFO. The story of his sighting aired on ABC.
Upon researching further into this story, I found that Katy is a hot-spot for many recent UFO sightings especially around I-10.
MUFON map shows a great trend of UFO sightings near Katy.
More UFO Sightings
CPI paranormal investigator Paul Amos may have spotted his own UFO in Katy, "It was late at night when I stepped outside to get some air. I saw two cars coming down the road when all of a sudden a red and white light came out of the tree line and shot up and disappeared. Both cars stopped and obviously saw it too so I wasn't alone. I can't explain what I saw," said Amos.
Did We Miss Something?
If you know a legend, haunt, UFO sighting, or scary Katy story that should be shared here, tell us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or post your feedback in the comments below.
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