Results In: Democrats Lose Big in Huge Halloween Contests

October 31, 2022 has come and gone and the results are final. In all contests, looney liberal Democrats lost in every local, regional and national competitive event. Here are highlights of the results as fact checked by Twitter before midnight.

First Place: Pumpkin Carving

Willie Morris, from Deep in the Heart of Brady, Texas excelled in this Hillary Behind Bars Jack’o’Lantern.

Biggest Loser: Deceased Voters by Mail

Illegal voters from the deceased citizenry in Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta,Milwaukee, Phoenix,New York,Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Houston, Ft. Worth and Austin caused a landslide in losers.

Runner Up Winners

Jacksonville, Florida native Jackie Lantern created this three-way tie ensemble: LET’S, GO, and BRANDON.

Best Costume by a Real President’s Son

The Witch Hunt

Worst Costume by a Fake President’s Son

WHERE’S HUNTER?

Costume Design Losers

WORST PLACE: Made in Wuhan, China
DISTRIBUTED FROM MARTHA’S VINEYARD
MANUFACTURED IN KICKBACK, UKRAINE

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History, Texas, Pioneers, Genealogy

From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

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CLICK: PARK LANE by Rebecca Taylor

The Butcher of Elmendorf, a True Story in South Texas

One of the grizzliest true stories lingering around south Texas for the last nine decades is the account of “The Alligator Man.” Sometimes referred to as “The Butcher of Elmendorf.” The frightening saga joins the list of San Antonio legends such as “The Donkey Lady,” “The Bloody Torso Murder at the Gunter Hotel,” and “The Beheaded Angel of the Caped Doctor.”

John Gray, an off duty deputy sheriff in Bexar County, left San Antonio on the early morning of Sept. 23, 1938 to go dove hunting in nearby Elmendorf, a small community just southeast of the Alamo City. Not long after he arrived, Gray saw an older Hispanic man walking toward him with concern on his face.

The man told the deputy about a large barrel sitting behind the house of Joe Ball’s sister. He said there were flies all over it and it smelled bad, like something dead was inside it.

It was the same type of barrel Ball used for his liquor business. That evening Gray contacted another deputy, John Klevenhagen and they decided they would visit with Ball the following day. Both men knew Ball fairly well. In fact, Klevenhagen would occasionally go hunting with Ball, the owner of the Sociable Inn, a local tavern.

The Sociable Inn was the community place for residents and hunters to drink, dance, play cards and enjoy Ball’s “special entertainment” out back. When the World War I veteran returned home from duty in Europe in 1919, he wandered away from the family cotton business and drifted into bootlegging during the Prohibition of the 1920s. In 1933, Ball took advantage of the lucrative business of selling alcohol by opening the Sociable Inn.

Joe Ball, “The Alligator Man” (Examiner archives)

Ball would bring out a stray puppy, cat, rodent, chicken, raccoon, or some other animal to throw to the gators.

During the five years leading up to the officers’ visit, Ball grew his customer count by hiring pretty young waitresses and installing a cement pond behind the tavern. Klevenhagen knew that Ball had one large and four smaller alligators in his pit, surrounded by a 10-foot high fence.

Usually at night, to keep paying customers around and anticipating the amusement he planned for them, Ball would bring out a stray puppy, cat, rodent, chicken, raccoon, or some other animal to throw to the gators.

Now extinct: Alligator Farm in San Antonio(Examiner archives)

The two law enforcement officers were concerned because of the growing suspicions of Ball’s disappearing wives, girlfriends and barmaids. Jokes and gossip had turned into whispers and rumors, especially after the sudden disappearance of 22-year-old Big Minnie Gotthardt the previous year.

Big Minnie was a tough and bossy waitress who fell in love with Ball while working at the Sociable Inn for several years.  In June of 1937, Big Minnie was suddenly not around. Customers were hearing different accounts of why she had vanished. Various rumors evolved: she was pregnant by a black man and had moved to Corpus Christi, she found a job in San Antonio, or had moved back to her hometown of Seguin. When police were called by her family members the following September, they noted all of her clothes remained in her room at the tavern.

Not long before Big Minnie’s disappearance, Ball hired two more barmaids: Dolores Goodwin, 26, and Hazel Brown, 22. Ball married Goodwin in September, the same month Big Minnie’s family reported her missing.

Delores Goodwin

In January 1938, Ball’s new bride lost her arm in a car accident and, by April, she too had vanished. Some bar patrons had noticed that Ball had been giving Brown his affectionate courtesies even while his wife was still around. It didn’t take long before Brown was gone too.

…she confirmed there had been such a stinking barrel there.

When deputies Gray and Klevenhagen arrived in Elmendorf shortly before noon, they went to the barn to inspect the foul-smelling barrel first. It was gone. They drove to the Sociable Inn and saw Ball behind the bar. They began to question him, but Ball said he was unaware of any such barrel. The deputies took him over to his sister’s barn and she confirmed there had been such a stinking barrel there. Klevenhagen told Ball, he was sorry, but they needed to take him in to San Antonio for more questioning. He asked if it would be okay to close the tavern first and they agreed.

On the way back Ball asked them if they would like a beer before he closed the bar. When they told him no, Ball asked his old hunting buddy, “Do you mind if I have one then, before we go?”

“Sure,” Klevenhagen reacted. “Go ahead. Do what you need to do.”

Ball grabbed a cold beer, took a few sips, and went to his cash register. He opened it, hit the “no sale” key and grasped a .45 pistol that he had concealed under the counter. Ball pointed the gun to his heart, pulled the trigger, and fell dead on the floor.

Soon law enforcement officials from Bexar and nearby Wilson County arrived at the scene. They found an axe matted with blood and hair, with rotting meat around the alligator pond. With all the lawmen together, they were able to piece together pieces of a puzzle that included their separate recollections of other missing people, including a missing teenage boy who often hung out at the Sociable Inn.

Gray and Klevenhagen found Ball’s African-American handyman, Clifton Wheeler, took him in for questioning. Wheeler eventually admitted that when Ball found out his girlfriend, Hazel Brown, was about to leave and move away for another man, he approached her.

Hazel Brown

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During the argument she accused him of killing Big Minnie. The next day Wheeler took them and other investigators to a desolate spot along the nearby San Antonio River. When they began digging in the spot Wheeler pointed out, blood began oozing up and an unbearable smell began to emerge from the ground. It stunk so bad some of them started vomiting.  They retrieved two arms, two legs, and then the torso. Investigators discovered parts of a skull, including the jawbone, and some teeth at a nearby camp fire.

They buried the body parts except for the head.

Wheeler admitted that he and Ball had picked up the barrel from behind the sister’s barn and took it to the river. He said at gunpoint, Ball made him dig the grave and they pulled Brown’s body out and sawed the limbs and body into pieces. They buried the body parts except for the head. They threw it in their campfire.

Wheeler also confessed that they took Big Minnie to the beach at Ingleside, near Corpus Christi. After much drinking he finally shot her in the head and they buried her in the sand. He said Minnie was pregnant and Ball needed her out of the way because of his relationships with the other barmaids.

On Oct. 14, 1938, the men uncovered Minnie’s partially decomposed remains in the sand. The event became a spectacle with people dressing up to watch the tractors and digging equipment recover the body.

As time went on, the developing news of the murders and alligator feeds spread fear throughout San Antonio, nearby communities and eventually across Texas.

School children began devising games which included names like “Alligator Pond” and “Run from the Alligator Man.” Soon more names of the missing, such as 23-year-old Julia Turner turned up.

Elmendorf is southeast of San Antonio, Texas. The Social Inn is a private residence today.

Handyman Clifton Wheeler plead guilty in 1939 and was sentenced to two years in prison for his part in disposing of the bodies.

For generations, high school and college students continue to make stops through Elmendorf searching for ghosts of the “Alligator Man’s” victims.

A frequent campfire and ghost story version claim the alligators were released in the nearby San Antonio and Medina Rivers. However, little do the school children know that they could visit the deadly gators anytime they wanted—especially during their field trips–as they had been donated to the San Antonio Zoo.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

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What are Scientific Reasons We May Feel We are in the Presence of Ghosts?

If you believe in ghosts, you are far from alone. Around 45% of Americans believe in ghosts and as many as 18% of people will go so far as to say they have had contact with a ghost.

I will admit in 2007 actually seeing some type of apparition late at night during a misty rain at the downtown San Antonio, Texas headquarters of a major company I worked for (#20 in this article link) This occurance and my investigative nature intrigued me enough to study and become certified in “paranormal investigations” later in 2007.

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I observed, participated in and wrote articles (for Examiner) from 2009-2011 regarding central Texas investigations performed by several paranormal teams.

Often, I asked others what exactly they feel like when they are “in the presence” of a supernatural spirit.

Are there possible scientific explanations for that tingling sensation you get on the back of your neck, or the sudden feeling of uneasiness with an origin you can’t quite place?

Popular San Antonio folklore picture and description:

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Here are six potential explanations for that paranormal feeling that are rooted in science rather than the supernatural.

1. Low frequency sound

Just as the human eye can only see light at a range of frequencies—for example, we can’t see radio waves—the human ear can only hear sounds in a range of frequencies. Above ~20,000 Hertz, sounds are too high pitched for our ears to parse them, like the echolocation calls of most bats that fall in this ultrasonic range.

Similarly, human ears have trouble hearing low-frequency sounds below ~20 Hertz—known as infrasound—but such sounds do not go totally unnoticed. In a 2003 study, 22% of concert goers who were exposed to sounds at 17 Hertz reported feeling uneasy or sorrowful, getting chills, or “nervous feelings of revulsion and fear.”

So what are some of the more ordinary origins of such low frequency sounds? Weather events like earthquakes and volcanic activity or lightning, and communication between animals including elephants, whales, and hippos can all produce infrasound. And if you don’t live by any volcanoes or hippos but still think your house may be haunted? Humans also create low frequency sound via diesel engines, wind turbines, and some loud speakers or chemical explosions.

2. Mold

Breathing in toxic mold can be bad for your respiratory system, but it can also be bad for your brain. In several houses and buildings where I was involved in “ghost hunting” I noticed and documented mold.

Exposure to mold is known to cause neurologic symptoms like delirium, dementia, or irrational fears. So is it a coincidence that the houses we suspect are haunted also tend to be in disrepair and so quite possibly full of toxic mold?

Scientists have worked to draw a firm link between the presence of mold and reported ghost sightings, but so far the evidence is mostly anecdotal.

3. Carbon monoxide

Just as breathing in mold could lead us to see, hear, and feel things that aren’t really there, so too can breathing in too much carbon monoxide. We have carbon monoxide detectors in our homes to make sure we are not breathing in this odorless, colorless gas that slowly poisons us while going undetected by our senses.

During a significant effort to investigate and record any paranormal activity in a historically significant crime scene off of Main Street between downtown and San Antonio College, I noted the investigative team’s remote bus was emitting exhaust fumes where some of the members were resting against a fence near the street curb.

Bus command center

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Some were reporting light headedness and other symptoms. I mentioned it to the lead investigator who promptly had the mobile control center moved away to a safer location.

It is important to note that before a carbon monoxide gas leak poisons us, it can cause auditory hallucinations, a feeling of pressure on your chest, and an “unexplained feeling of dread.”

My father, a homicide detective for SAPD told me about a family in the 1960s who moved into a new house only to hear footsteps, see apparitions, and feel malicious paranormal presences. It turned out to be the result of carbon monoxide poisoning from a broken furnace.

4. The power of suggestion

Studies suggest that we are more likely to believe in a paranormal experience if someone else who was there can back up our belief. So while we might be able to convince ourselves that we were somehow mistaken about what we saw or heard, we tend to put more credence into someone else’s eye witness account if it also backs our suspicions. So our belief in ghosts can be catching.

5. Drafts

When I was young (in the 1960s) we didn’t have air conditioning in our schools and at home. We relied on fans, water coolers, and opened windows. I suspect as days get hotter and air conditioning becomes more expensive, some of us still rely on opening windows. Opening windows on opposite ends of a room can create a nice breeze, but it can also create cold spots as air flow outside changes, causing cooler air to enter a warmer room. Drafts can also sneak in through chimneys and cause doors to slam or door knobs to rattle. So before you schedule a séance, try closing a few windows.

6. We enjoy being afraid.

Neurologists have found that our brains release dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure, when we are afraid. Exactly how much dopamine and how many receptors we have for receiving it can influence whether you are a person that enjoys being frightened or someone who would rather avoid scary movies or rides altogether. So for some, letting our imaginations run wild with the possibilities of cohabitating with ghosts, athough scary, may also produce a bonus euphoric high.

Of course, believing in ghosts also allows us to believe in an existence after death, which ultimately can be comforting. That is, if you can get past the feeling that someone is standing just behind you as you read this.

Here are some other articles on the subject:

Murder at the Gunter Hotel

The Donkey Lady

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

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CLICK: PARK LANE by Rebecca Taylor

Halloween Passages for Friends and Grins

Halloween is an evening in which some people choose to wear a mask… while others finally feel safe to take theirs off.

“There is something at work in my soul, which I do not understand.” –Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus

“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.”
– Edgar Allan Poe

“Double, double toil and trouble;
fire burn and cauldron bubble.” –William Shakespeare, Macbeth

“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.”
– Stephen King, The Shining

“Where there is no imagination there is no horror.”
– Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
– L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch.”
– Robert Brault

“On Halloween, witches come true; Wild ghosts escape from dreams. Each monster dances in the park.”
– Nick Gordon

“I’ll bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween.”
– Charles S. Swartz

“I can think of nothing on Earth so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night…”
– Steve Almond, Candyfreak

“A mask tells us more than a face.”
– Oscar Wilde, Irish Poet

“I don’t know that there are real ghosts and goblins, but there are always more trick-or-treaters than neighborhood kids”
– Robert Brault

“Sticky fingers, tired feet; one last house, trick or treat!”
– Rusty Fischer

Bonus Biden Boos

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

The Night Jimmy Left a ‘Surprise’ For the Donkey Lady

Horror in San Antonio, Texas

The bone chilling legend of the Donkey Lady offers that a half-woman-half-donkey-like creature continues to haunt the concentrated woods amid the Medina and San Antonio Rivers just south of the Alamo City.

Faithfully, an October and Halloween tradition of searching for the terrifying Donkey Lady, or by now, perhaps her ghost, has been a teenage ritual going as far back as the late 1940s.

Some years back, Harlandale High School classmates and residents of the 1940s and 1950s sat at their local favorite lunch hangout on the south side, Bud Jones Restaurant at Military Drive and Commercial discussing their youth. The conversation turned to the Donkey Lady.

“To this day I swear it wasn’t just a made up deal,” claimed Archie Mabry, a retired electrician, who recalled “going out there as far back as about 1952 or 53. We decided we were going to ride our bicycles out there and actually camp because we wanted to find her.”

“The story we were told by, our older brothers, sisters and classmates, was that there was a man and woman, who lived with their small children near Elm Creek about where Jett Road and Applewhite Road was,” Mabry said. “It was right after World War II and he had come back home messed up in the head after being in the battles in Europe.”

“Well, the man was abusive and drinking all the time. One night she became scared when he came home drunk so she pulled a kitchen knife on him to protect herself and the kids. It ticked him off so he went and set the damn house on fire.”

“I guess fate, or what you call karma, took care of him because the husband and the two children died in the fire,” his friend and my father, Walter “Corky” Dennis, a retired San Antonio police detective added. “Supposedly, they found her barely alive and just severely burned all over. Someone finally took her to what was either called Brooke General Hospital, or Brooke Army Medical Center(BAMC) back then, on base at Ft. Sam (Houston). Now it’s a major trauma center.”

“She was so scarred up and disfigured that she looked somewhat like a horse or donkey,” Dennis emphasized. “But I don’t think we started calling her ‘Donkey Lady’ until after the drowning at the bridge.”

The old classmates nodded their heads agreeing to this version of the story.

“That’s right,” affirmed Mabry. “When she healed, her face kind of drooped, baggy-like and her fingers fused together like hooves.”

Others around the table explained that when the woman was released from the hospital and went back with no home, she “really had no choice but to settle camp style, wild-like, and isolated.”

“We grew up wondering if she would ever make her way into town where we lived,” Dennis smiled. “On summer nights, around campfires, we talked about how she needed to come look for food. We just knew she was out there in the dark waiting for the last one of us to go to sleep, or if one of us needed to walk away for a minute to go to the restroom.”

Stories spread over the generations of students throughout Harlandale, Burbank, McCollum, South San and Southside High Schools. Mutilated by the fire, and absolutely insane from the death of her children, her appearance, the beatings from her husband, and then the isolation in the woods, people reported she would wear a bonnet, scarf or hood during the day to hide her eerie form.

Shop keepers nearby said if she came into their stores, it would be with her beloved donkey. She’d remain unnervingly silent placing purchases on the counter, pay, and simply walk out.

However, at night, the sightings were treacherously different—even sinister in the descriptions. Those who dared to venture over the Applewhite Road Bridge crossing Elm Creek in the dark were terrorized by the sound of animals, especially the unnatural wailing of a donkey.

The old friends around the table turned serious as they told about the bicycle trip Mabry, and three other young Harlandale Indians freshmen took to find the Donkey Lady.

“We thought we were on a safari or witch hunt,” one gentleman began. “We loaded our bikes up with everything we thought we needed to camp out and find the Donkey Lady: lanterns, bedding, slingshots, food, a hatchet, matches, cowboy canteens, just everything you could imagine.”

“We were something out of the ‘Little Rascals,’ now that I think about it,” laughed Mabry. “But we peddled ourselves way out there.”

“I bet we hadn’t settled down more than 30 minutes before we started talking about how she would come out like a wild lion and pounce on one of us, chewing and ripping one of us apart–and then we heard the sounds.”

“It was a donkey,” Mabry swore. “It was a wailing, crying, howling donkey. We could hear it back there in the trees and it was coming closer; right at us.”

The boys all started yelling and ran to their bikes, leaving their gear behind.

“It was sheer terror,” Mabry looked serious. Rubbing his hands together, he continued. “That’s the fastest I ever peddled in my life, both before and since.”

“One of the boys, Jimmy, the one in back of all of us, started screaming and I could hear his bicycle crashing on the ground. I figured that Donkey Lady was gnawing on him like a buzzard or lion would with their prey. Hell no, I didn’t look back to check on him. It was each one for themselves at this point.”

“Remember now, it was pure dark,” he emphasized. “We couldn’t see but maybe eight or ten feet in front of us. We had no idea if he was dead or not. All of our senses was devoted to survival. It was probably a good 30 minutes before we slowed down and stopped.”

“Jimmy wasn’t with us and we weren’t about to call out for him. Our hearts were pounding so loud and we were breathing so hard, we could barely whisper. We figured we were pretty much out of the ‘Donkey Lady Zone’ and decided to lay back–more like collapse–and catch our breath for a quick spell.”

“It wasn’t even five minutes and here comes something, we could hear it, behind us. We jumped up to grab our bikes and Harold said, ‘Look it James (Jimmy)!’”

“Now here comes Jimmy huffin’ and puffin’ towards us. He was mad as hell we left him behind and it wasn’t until he was right on us, that I noticed he didn’t have his pants on.”

“‘Where’s your pants Jimmy?,” one of us asked. ‘Did she get your pants?’”

“Then we saw he was buck naked from the waist down!”

“Hell no, you sons of a bitches,” he yelled. “You just deserted me and I swear I could hear her–she was snortin’ and her hoofs were coming for me. I sh_t my pants right then and there. Pulled them off–underwear and pants. Didn’t even wipe my arse and you guys just left me. You dirty bastards.”

“Speaking of dirty bastards you smell like crap Jimmy,” Mabry noticed.

“What the hell do you expect me to smell like,” Jimmy retorted. “My bicycle seat will never be the same. I tried to keep my ass up peddling because I kept sliding.”

“We didn’t really know what to do for Jimmy, but we had all night, so someone volunteered their socks over so he could try to wipe himself and his bike, but it still stunk all the way to Six Mile Creek. It was there we made him go down stream from us to wash himself better while we soaked and quenched our thirst.”

“I can’t remember, but I guess it was at least four or five days later, maybe a week, ’til we went back–in the daytime–to get our stuff we left back there.”

“It’s strange how different things look in the day than it did in the middle of the night knowing that Donkey Lady is sneaking around. It was still creepy.”

“Our food was all gone, but our blankets, my hatchet, lanterns and other stuff was still there. We think we saw hoof marks there too, but we didn’t stay around to analyze it,” Mabry grinned. “We quickly grabbed our things and rode back. But poor Jimmy. His mama made him bring those pants back home so HE could wash them proper. The underwear stayed. They were a lost cause.”

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Autumn in Sedona: Try Ales on Rails at Verde Canyon Railroad

We traveled through enchanting Sedona a few weeks ago, although we couldn’t stay long. It’s only been a few years since I was there, but mercy has it grown…almost to the point that Sedona’s popularity could be a possible burden.

Traffic congestion was considerable and all shops, restaurants and parking areas were full. We will be back, but probably not in the peak of summer. Most likely we will try again in the fall.

The first sign of autumn isn’t always the changing of the leaves; sometimes it’s the changing of the kegs. When the air turns crisp and pint glasses are raised in celebration, it can only mean that Oktoberfest has arrived. 

Ales on Rails is Verde Canyon Railroad’s way of toasting this German tradition, providing a rollicking farewell to summer beginning Tuesday, September 14 and running through Sunday, October 31, 2021.

Sample a wide range of local Arizona breweries, proudly showcased on the depot patio, these are richly crafted local beers ranging from the lightest pilsners to the hoppiest IPAs and deepest stouts the Copper State has to offer.

Now in its 19th year, the very popular Ales on Rails season always sells out in advance and may be reserved to include a Verde Canyon Railroad logo beer glass with four beer-tasting tickets, a made-to-order lunch from the Copper Spike Cafe and a large selection of fine Arizona-brewed craft beers for only $125 per person.

The party begins on the depot patio from 10:30am -12:45 p.m., with beer tasting on tap prior to the train’s 1:00 p.m.  departure.

The fun continues as favorite beers of the day will also be available canned for purchase aboard the train, to enjoy while marveling at the vibrant Verde Canyon scenery.

Echoing the celebration of amber brews are the brilliant bronze and gold colors vividly on display throughout Mother Nature’s masterpiece during the Fall Colors Tour, with autumn foliage ranging from chartreuse to ginger, and vermillion to violet for a wide range strikingly seasonal hues.

If you mixed all four seasons together and skimmed off the very best, you would create autumn.

Radiant colors and mild temperatures with a hint of briskness in the air charges Verde Canyon with a fresh energy. Residents of the Verde Canyon, as well as visitors, feel the seasonal change.

Wildlife sightings increase as deer, Javelina, coyote and other species grow more active. Amidst the fall finery, a chorus of wings adds a touch of music, as migratory birds return to the sanctuary between the canyon walls.

The Verde Canyon’s resident Bald Eagles are joined by these migrating visitors, adding to the population, and the train’s connection with these noble birds.  

The train is a proud sponsor of Arizona-based rescue Liberty Wildlife, who share scheduled Raptors at the Rails programs with depot guests, featuring hawks, owls, falcons and vultures from their education program at the depot, and a bald eagle riding the train each month.

As October draws to a finale, the Verde Canyon’s low whistling winds are perhaps ghostly whispers of ancient Sinaguan cliff-dwellers or of miners’ spirits restlessly roaming from nearby famed “Ghost City” Jerome’s abandoned copper mine shafts.

It’s not the destination, it has always been the journey

No matter what your plans might be for the spookiest night of the year, spend part of your day aboard the Haunted Halloween Express on Sunday, October 31st.

In addition to the blazing colors of fall and the smooth, cool flow of artisanal beer, train staff will be in Halloween disguises ranging from mild to wild, and there will be a costume contest for passengers, with fun prizes and plenty of candy making for ghoulish good fun for the whole family.

Leave the confines of city life in favor of high-spirited fun and an unforgettable journey around every bend and over every bridge as the train winds through its beautiful and historic red-rock riparian canyon home this autumn. Surrounded by the colors of the season, the flavors of Arizona, the curves of the Verde River, a trip aboard the train inspires wonder and fills cameras. 

The Verde Canyon Railroad depot is in Clarkdale, Arizona, 25 minutes southwest of Sedona and two hours north of Phoenix. For reservations book online at VerdeCanyonRR.com or call 800-293-7245.

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These Creepy Photos Will Give You Halloween Chills

Caution: The following chilling pictures could cause goosebumps. You’ve been warned.

When I originally saw this first photo, it seemed just like so many others. I wondered if the women were sorority sisters or if this was a some type of reunion. They looked so prim and proper. Then…

…as I scanned it close, it creeped me out!

What was that?

Look at the girl on the front row of those sitting in chairs. She’s on your far right.

What’s that on her shoulder?

Is that a hand?

Now look at these guys.

Did you see it? Between the legs of the guy in the center?

One of our favorite Halloween thrills is to go to a Haunted House. But here’s a different perspective:

This is what the Spooks see.

True love.
Choo-Choo Boo!

The morning after Halloween.

One more from the Spooks angle.
If you think this is creepy, what’s that behind you right NOW?
What is that behind her?
What’s Mom sitting on?

A few vintage images.

Warning: Nightmare coming up.

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The next one is not much creepy as the others.

It’s more of a “wait till you see it” picture.

Uh Oh!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween.

The Night Jimmy Left a ‘Surprise’ For the Donkey Lady

The bone chilling legend of the Donkey Lady offers that a half-woman-half-donkey-like creature continues to haunt the concentrated woods amid the Medina and San Antonio Rivers just south of the Alamo City.

Faithfully, an October and Halloween tradition of searching for the terrifying Donkey Lady, or by now, perhaps her ghost, has been a teenage ritual going as far back as the late 1940s.

Some years back, Harlandale High School classmates and residents of the 1940s and 1950s sat at their local favorite lunch hangout on the south side, Bud Jones Restaurant at Military Drive and Commercial discussing their youth. The conversation turned to the Donkey Lady.

“To this day I swear it wasn’t just a made up deal,” claimed Archie Mabry, a retired electrician, who recalled “going out there as far back as about 1952 or 53. We decided we were going to ride our bicycles out there and actually camp because we wanted to find her.”

“The story we were told by, our older brothers, sisters and classmates, was that there was a man and woman, who lived with their small children near Elm Creek about where Jett Road and Applewhite Road was,” Mabry said. “It was right after World War II and he had come back home messed up in the head after being in the battles in Europe.”

“Well, the man was abusive and drinking all the time. One night she became scared when he came home drunk so she pulled a kitchen knife on him to protect herself and the kids. It ticked him off so he went and set the damn house on fire.”

“I guess fate, or what you call karma, took care of him because the husband and the two children died in the fire,” his friend and my father, Walter “Corky” Dennis, a retired San Antonio police detective added. “Supposedly, they found her barely alive and just severely burned all over. Someone finally took her to what was either called Brooke General Hospital, or Brooke Army Medical Center(BAMC) back then, on base at Ft. Sam (Houston). Now it’s a major trauma center.”

“She was so scarred up and disfigured that she looked somewhat like a horse or donkey,” Dennis emphasized. “But I don’t think we started calling her ‘Donkey Lady’ until after the drowning at the bridge.”

The old classmates nodded their heads agreeing to this version of the story.

“That’s right,” affirmed Mabry. “When she healed, her face kind of drooped, baggy-like and her fingers fused together like hooves.”

Others around the table explained that when the woman was released from the hospital and went back with no home, she “really had no choice but to settle camp style, wild-like, and isolated.”

“We grew up wondering if she would ever make her way into town where we lived,” Dennis smiled. “On summer nights, around campfires, we talked about how she needed to come look for food. We just knew she was out there in the dark waiting for the last one of us to go to sleep, or if one of us needed to walk away for a minute to go to the restroom.”

Stories spread over the generations of students throughout Harlandale, Burbank, McCollum, South San and Southside High Schools. Mutilated by the fire, and absolutely insane from the death of her children, her appearance, the beatings from her husband, and then the isolation in the woods, people reported she would wear a bonnet, scarf or hood during the day to hide her eerie form.

Shop keepers nearby said if she came into their stores, it would be with her beloved donkey. She’d remain unnervingly silent placing purchases on the counter, pay, and simply walk out.

However, at night, the sightings were treacherously different—even sinister in the descriptions. Those who dared to venture over the Applewhite Road Bridge crossing Elm Creek in the dark were terrorized by the sound of animals, especially the unnatural wailing of a donkey.

The old friends around the table turned serious as they told about the bicycle trip Mabry, and three other young Harlandale Indians freshmen took to find the Donkey Lady.

“We thought we were on a safari or witch hunt,” one gentleman began. “We loaded our bikes up with everything we thought we needed to camp out and find the Donkey Lady: lanterns, bedding, slingshots, food, a hatchet, matches, cowboy canteens, just everything you could imagine.”

“We were something out of the ‘Little Rascals,’ now that I think about it,” laughed Mabry. “But we peddled ourselves way out there.”

“I bet we hadn’t settled down more than 30 minutes before we started talking about how she would come out like a wild lion and pounce on one of us, chewing and ripping one of us apart–and then we heard the sounds.”

“It was a donkey,” Mabry swore. “It was a wailing, crying, howling donkey. We could hear it back there in the trees and it was coming closer; right at us.”

The boys all started yelling and ran to their bikes, leaving their gear behind.

“It was sheer terror,” Mabry looked serious. Rubbing his hands together, he continued. “That’s the fastest I ever peddled in my life, both before and since.”

“One of the boys, Jimmy, the one in back of all of us, started screaming and I could hear his bicycle crashing on the ground. I figured that Donkey Lady was gnawing on him like a buzzard or lion would with their prey. Hell no, I didn’t look back to check on him. It was each one for themselves at this point.”

“Remember now, it was pure dark,” he emphasized. “We couldn’t see but maybe eight or ten feet in front of us. We had no idea if he was dead or not. All of our senses was devoted to survival. It was probably a good 30 minutes before we slowed down and stopped.”

“Jimmy wasn’t with us and we weren’t about to call out for him. Our hearts were pounding so loud and we were breathing so hard, we could barely whisper. We figured we were pretty much out of the ‘Donkey Lady Zone’ and decided to lay back–more like collapse–and catch our breath for a quick spell.”

“It wasn’t even five minutes and here comes something, we could hear it, behind us. We jumped up to grab our bikes and Harold said, ‘Look it James (Jimmy)!'”

“Now here comes Jimmy huffin’ and puffin’ towards us. He was mad as hell we left him behind and it wasn’t until he was right on us, that I noticed he didn’t have his pants on.”

“‘Where’s your pants Jimmy?,” one of us asked. ‘Did she get your pants?'”

“Then we saw he was buck naked from the waist down!”

“Hell no, you sons of a bitches,” he yelled. “You just deserted me and I swear I could hear her–she was snortin’ and her hoofs were coming for me. I sh_t my pants right then and there. Pulled them off–underwear and pants. Didn’t even wipe my arse and you guys just left me. You dirty bastards.”

“Speaking of dirty bastards you smell like crap Jimmy,” Mabry noticed.

“What the hell do you expect me to smell like,” Jimmy retorted. “My bicycle seat will never be the same. I tried to keep my ass up peddling because I kept sliding.”

“We didn’t really know what to do for Jimmy, but we had all night, so someone volunteered their socks over so he could try to wipe himself and his bike, but it still stunk all the way to Six Mile Creek. It was there we made him go down stream from us to wash himself better while we soaked and quenched our thirst.”

“I can’t remember, but I guess it was at least four or five days later, maybe a week, ’til we went back–in the daytime–to get our stuff we left back there.”

“It’s strange how different things look in the day than it did in the middle of the night knowing that Donkey Lady is sneaking around. It was still creepy.”

“Our food was all gone, but our blankets, my hatchet, lanterns and other stuff was still there. We think we saw hoof marks there too, but we didn’t stay around to analyse it,” Mabry grinned. “We quickly grabbed our things and rode back. But poor Jimmy. His mama made him bring those pants back home so HE could wash them proper. The underwear stayed. They were a lost cause.”