Halloween sparks ghostly tales

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

Lahonda Tiner puts the finishing touches on the grim reaper who welcomes guests to her home at 307 Avenue F in Marble Falls. Her ghostly decor is all in fun, but spooky stories always emerge this time of year. Read this story from a former Bertram resident and, in the Friday edition of The Highlander, Managing Editor Lew Chon's own account .

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

There is no better time for a ghost story than Halloween and there is no better ghost story than one one told first-hand.

The trail of a story shared by Michele Hart (aka “the Rug Queen), owner of La-Ti-Da & Elements in Marble Falls, led to Bonnie Estes. She lives in Dime Box today, but her ghostly encounter was in Burnet County territory.

“I'd bought this house, a 1917 Colonial in Bertram,” she said. “I was the third owner who carried the name Bonnie, which was strange enough.

“I bought the house along with its contents because the owner was moving out of state and couldn't take anything.

“I set out a box of things to keep and a box of things to throw away where all the sticky old Tupperware and trash went.

Way in the top corner of one of the kitchen cabinets was a shot glass. I'd long ago quit drinking and the shot glass went in the trash box. When I got up the next morning, there was the shot glass sitting on the window sill. I tossed it back in the trash box.

“The next morning, I got up and there was that shot glass sitting on the window sill. I left it.”

Now, at various times, touring folks through the new purchase, Estes' friends balked at the main bedroom. One said she just had the feeling someone had died there.

“Another time, as soon as my friend reached the stairs he said, 'Somebody died in this house,'” Estes said. “When I started asking around town, the first answer I got was that there had been a suicide there. I didn't know how I'd feel about that, so I kept researching.”

The former resident resident she found, was the son of the second Bonnie in the house's history. Then 87 and living in a nursing home, he gladly agreed to visit with her. Indeed, his brother had committed suicide, but not in the home, in another across the railroad tracks. There had, however, been a death in the house.

“He had grown up in that house had a whole book of pictures. He told me that, when he was 14, the family was sitting on the front porch drinking lemonade one afternoon when his daddy said he was just going upstairs to lie down before supper.

“By the time his wife Bonnie went upstairs to call him to dinner, he was lying on the bed. His lips were blue and it was clear he was passing away.”

As Estes was leaving the visit, a last question returned to her.

“Was your daddy a drinker?” she asked.

“Well, every night he would go out back and drink one beer,” said the son. “Then he would go back in the house and take down a shot glass from the top corner of the cabinet for one drink of whisky.”

That was enough for Estes. She never tried to remove the shot glass again. She sold the house with it sitting right there. And, no, she didn't borrow trouble by even mentioning it to the new owners.

This story was first published in The Highlander, Friday, Oct. 30, 2015.

 

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