Wilson Ranch

West Texas Paranormal

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Follow a crimson dirt road about a mile off the paved highway, there you will find a house that seems out of place in location and time.  Nestled deep amongst mesquite trees, Johnson grass, prickly pear cactus, and sage brush this handsome barn-wood, tin roofed two story home has some tales to tell anyone caring to enter.

Situated between Carlsbad and San Angelo, Texas off Highway 87 you will find the Johnson Ranch.  The compacted dirt road meanders through gullies and knolls, splitting and recombining until you reach the end where sits  the ranch house.  The house, an old church parsonage was built in 1890s near Brownwood Texas.  In the 1950s, a highway construction project made it necessary to remove the house.  Mr. Johnson bought the house and moved it to his ranch for his family home.

Mrs. Johnson a ninety something lovely lady with bright sparkling eyes, a mischievous smile, and a razor sharp mind and wit met us at the door, inviting us in for a five hour investigation.  Mrs. Johnson accompanied by the current renter began to telling us bizarre tales of children residing  in the attic of this 120 year old house.  Johnson, a bit of detective herself, returned to Brownwood and talked to town folks who knew the house while it was still a parsonage adjacent to a church.  She relayed to us that folks in Brownwood who were familiar with house said it was haunted.  Johnson also said that people she talked to in Brownwood who visited the home recalled hearing little feet running around in the attic area.  When they remarked to the owners about the footsteps, the owners said, that they were spirit children playing.

This is what brought us to the house on this particular evening, the children had been naughty.  Chris, we will call her, is a strikingly beautiful 23 year old single woman, with Auburn hair and blue eyes.  She rented the Johnson house about one-year earlier.  She knew about the sounds clamoring about in the attic.  She had accepted the noise as something natural, perhaps cats or squirrels. Over time, she noticed that some of her stuffed animal collection, and Barbie Dolls had been moved from the shelves and bed and placed neatly on the floor.  She thought someone was coming in snooping around her room when she was gone.  She put an extra lock on her bedroom door.  The toy shifting continued.  Recently the amusing little things went from benign to mischievous, and then bordered on the malevolent.  Chris said that it started with her clothes which she hung on a roll-away hanging bar.  Her clothes were pulled off the hangers and strewn around her upstairs bedroom on several occasions.  The last time the clothes rack itself was toppled and broken.  The final straw came when one night after Chris went to bed.  Just as she was dozing off to sleep, someone fell onto the bed and touched her.  She woke with a start, flipped on the light to find no one else in the room.  She got dressed and left the house to stay with a friend.

Mrs. Johnson knew about the children in the attic.  She told us about hearing them playing upstairs both day and night, running and banging into objects.  The children had never harmed anyone before,  but it seemed that they had became fascinated with Chris.  She hoped that we could resolve the issue with the children and restore peace and harmony.  It was about this time that some emptied the contents of the downstairs restroom onto the floor.

 

The upstairs area consists of a bedroom, a walk in closet, and the open attic.  A plywood door at the back of the closet opens into the attic.

We confined our investigation to the attic and up stairs bedroom where Chris slept.  Setting up two wireless infrared video cameras which fed back to a VHS recorder downstairs.  Teams of two took turns going into the bedroom and attic area to perform electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) sessions also doing K-2 and extremely low frequency scans for possible electromagnetic fields.

Merissa a senior investigator took the lead on the first team.  During her initial encounter she asked if the children were trying to scare Chris.

As with most EVP we did not hear the response until playback during evidence review. 

Audio Video of Investigator and Child EVP

We theorized that we were dealing with children, so we set up toys and playthings to intrigued the children in hopes of capturing evidence of paranormal activity in play.

Using Chis's  Barbie dolls, volleyball, building blocks, and a puzzle box, we set a stage for play  in the middle of Chris's bedroom floor.  We set up two IR cameras shooting from different vantage points to hopefully captured movement.

A little past 10:00 p.m. our scenario paid off when we captured the volleyball rolling into a puzzle box.

Early on in the investigation we discovered that the acoustical qualities of the house created echoes.  People talking downstairs could be heard as if they were in the attic talking.  For this reason many of our EVP session had to be securitized and eventually thrown out. This was a lesson learned about having too many people within the investigation area and sound travel contamination.

Infrared Video of volleyball rolling
As the investigation approached its end, Jackie went into the room alone to conduct an EVP session with digital recorder and an ELF detector.

Under the surveillance of IR video which was switching between cameras in the both the bedroom and attic Jackie attempts to interact with the children.

It was not until we reviewed the video a few days later that we detected a shadow sitting cross-legged on the floor  next to a computer chair.  The small shadow person seems to watch Jackie as if playing hide an go seek with her.

One of the investigators, a retired fire/arson investigator noticed charring on some of the rafters in the attic.  He checked char depth and suspected the char was caused by a slow burning fire that would have filled the attic with smoke long before fire was evident.  Mrs. Johnson remarked that someone in Brownwood had said that they thought there had been a fire in house when an old German man lived in the house. 

We want to thank Mrs. Wilson for allowing us the opportunity to investigate the Wilson Ranch House and for her hospitality of the cookies and lemonade.  We also want to thank Chris for returning to the house to share her experiences and to help out in the investigation.
Our final evaluation of the evidence supports claims that the Wilson Ranch is a haunted location.  We have EVPs and videos which support the claims of children playing in the attic and upstairs bedroom.

Chris moved from the ranch house and back into town with a friend.  We do not know if anyone else will return to the house, but this does not seem to bother the children in the attic.