Paris, Texas: The City of Ghost Sightings

GUEST BLOGGERS, USA MAINLAND, Interesting Towns, QUIRKY PLACES — By on August 10, 2012 at 19:07

Story by guest blogger Teresa Davis. Photos Copyright © Teresa Davis.

IT’S MY PLEASURE today to take you on a wonderful day trip to Paris, Texas, located about 98 miles northeast of Dallas.

As you get close to Paris, you will notice not only the rolling hills but also the fields of cotton. Hay is a staple product for the local farmers. Driving along the highway into Paris, all you will smell is the sweet aroma of hay.

Hay bales

Left: Jesus in cowboy boots | Right: Hay bales everywhere

I met with a friend whom I’ve known for years. She was born and raised in Paris, Texas and she took me on a tour of her town. The first thing we saw was the 70-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower (see feature photo). The tower has a huge red cowboy hat sitting atop it. The residents of Paris jokingly refer to their town as the “Second Largest Paris in the World.”

Texas emblem under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas

Texas emblem under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas

Paris has lots of great things to see, but what I did not know until I got there: Paris is known for its ghost sightings as well as its ghost stories. Well, being a person who is always interested in the “unknown,” I jumped on the opportunity to see some of the historical homes. My friend told me several stories from her own personal experiences.

Wise House

Wise House is a three-story red brick home with Queen Anne architecture. The house was built in 1887 by W.B. Wise. My friend spent many nights in this house as a child, being friends with the owner’s daughter.

Wise House

Wise House


Wise House and slave quarters

Wise House slave quarters

There are several secret passageways in this house. Wonder if they lead out to the slave quarters, located out back of the main house? The doors opened and closed by themselves, but she never really thought about it. She was told it was just the wind.

The Sam Bell Maxey House

This house is a lovely two-story home built in 1868 with a widow’s peak on top. My friend said she grew up on the story of how the woman of the house would always look for her husband from the widow’s peak and one day when he was killed and did not return, she jumped and died. The ghost stories are of a woman on the top floor looking out of the window.

Sam Bell Maxey House

Sam Bell Maxey House

The Culbertson House

This house was built by the founder of Paris. This house is known throughout Paris as “the house with the swimming pool in the basement.” My friend told me she grew up knowing about the pool. The story goes that a young girl drowned in the pool and her spirit remains in the house today. She is friendly and playful.

Culbertson House

Culbertson House

Paris Community Theatre

Paris Community Theatre was built in 1927 during the Art-Deco era. Supposedly, several ghosts have been spotted in the theater.

Paris, Texas Community Theatre

Paris Community Theatre

An actor came in for rehearsals early one day and was in make-up. She felt someone watching her and she caught a glimpse of a figure from the corner of her eye. She was always feeling uneasy in the theater. All the plays performed in this theater were plagued with all sorts of problems and some were forced to shut down.

The Campbell Soup House

OK, so this house is not really named “The Campbell Soup House,” but that is what it’s known for in Paris.

Campbell Soup House, Paris, Texas

Campbell Soup House

My friend told me this happened to her distant family. The husband worked for the Campbell Soup company in town. He fell into a vat of soup and died. When the wife heard the news, she hung herself in the hall. This is a beautiful house, but every family who’s lived in it has had nothing but trouble.

I hope I’ve given all you “ghost chasers” another place you might like to visit. Paris offers more than just ghost sightings, including many yummy places to eat and drink (such as Cozy Cappuccino and Bodacious Bar B Que) and interesting places to stay, such as Victorian Inns of Paris and Blossom Country Cottage.

The architectural influences on Starrett Funeral Home

The architectural influences on Starrett Funeral Home


Culbertson Fountain

Culbertson Fountain

While you’re there don’t forget to visit the Culbertson Fountain on the Plaza downtown. Also, you might like to visit Camp Maxey. The camp was started as a WWII infantry training camp and today is the Texas Army National Guard training facility.

I’m positive you’ll find something to like when you visit Paris, Texas!

Writer Teresa Davis on Milliver's Travels

Teresa Davis


———

TERESA DAVIS was born and raised in Texas. She is a writer on HubPages (tjdavis) and blogs at teresadavisblog.com. She owns her own business, Bella’s Scentsations. She has a great family: husband of 18 years, two grown daughters and one wonderful granddaughter. She loves to travel and she loves adventure! Teresa tweets as @iluvmnts4x4.

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    50 Comments

  • Julie DeNeen
    Twitter: jdeneen4
    says:

    Nice photos. Who knew there was a town called Paris Texas?! You learn something new every day! Great work 🙂

  • Jerry Davis says:

    Great story.I did’nt know about the ghost part of Paris.keep up the good work.

  • Brenda Atchley says:

    Great stories. Loved the pictures.

  • SerenityFL says:

    Jesus in cowboy boots. Only in Texas.

  • Myra Kirbi says:

    I have been to Texas and I think what I really like about the place is that they are extremely proud to be residents of Texas! They call it Texan Pride!

    I never really heard of Paris, Texas. Would love to visit it on my next trip to America!

    • Teresa
      Twitter: iluvmnts4x4
      says:

      Thanks Myra Kirbi for your comment. Yes we do have “Texas Pride.” Paris is a place I think you will like next time on your visit to our country. 😉

  • S. Foster says:

    Great story. I know where I’m headed for a close encounter with ghosts. Been looking for a place close enough to go ghost chasing.

    • Teresa Davis
      Twitter: iluvmnts4x4
      says:

      S. Foster, I went on a Saturday so I did not get to take any of the tours, but I would loved to have visited the Wise house and slave quarters.

  • Bloggoneit
    Twitter: bloggoneit
    says:

    I had no idea there were ghosts in Texas! Even more surprising is the stunning architecture. What I would give to see a house older than 25 years! I may have to make a trip out one of these days.

    Thank you for opening my eyes to Paris, Texas.

    • teresa
      Twitter: iluvmnts4x4
      says:

      Bloggoneit, so glad you enjoyed my article..how have you not seen a house older than 25 yrs?

      • Bloggoneit
        Twitter: bloggoneit
        says:

        I have seen a few homes older than 25 years but not too many recently. I live in north San Diego County and the houses are usually newer — lots of brown stucco tract homes.

        All I need to do is venture a bit further south and visit downtown San Diego which has some homes from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. I love Victorians.

        Recently, I saw numerous homes in San Francisco that looked similar to those in Paris, Texas. So much fun to see something other than stucco!

        • Teresa
          Twitter: iluvmnts4x4
          says:

          Bloggoneit, I have never been to California, but have always wanted to go. I would love to see the homes in San Francisco. I love those big Victorian homes.

          • Bloggoneit
            Twitter: bloggoneit
            says:

            While I have lived here in San Diego for a long time, I am originally from the East Coast, and I can honestly say that California is definitely a “must-see” state. There are so many beautiful cities to see — and one of the most beautiful is San Francisco.

            Should you ever make it to CA, you should consider traveling through it for at least a month because there’s so much to see. Each city has its own vibe and terrain. L

            Let me know when you hit San Diego and I’ll give you some places you must visit.

            • Teresa
              Twitter: iluvmnts4x4
              says:

              Thanks for the info Bloggoneit..as I said I have never been to CA, but would love to visit. I do think the houses and cable car rides would make for an interesting story 🙂 If I ever make it there I will keep you in mind 🙂

  • Betsyv says:

    I have been to Texas, but not Paris, Texas.
    The houses are beautiful, and Id really like to see them, but not stay in them as I dont think Id get a wink of sleep….Creepy!
    I enjoy the history of old houses though.
    Loved this article and pictures!
    Thank you for sharing it!

    • Teresa
      Twitter: iluvmnts4x4
      says:

      Betsyv, thanks for reading and commenting. Yes I would love to tour those homes myself but not stay the night either lol

  • Judith Shaw says:

    Cowboy boots on Jesus and a hat on the Eiffel Tower? And ghost sightings, too! Thanks for the photos.

  • judy says:

    A lovely lady nicknamed “Buffy” has a large buffalo as her headstone, in the same cemetery as the “Jesus with the cowboy boots.

  • AlieDbeck says:

    I live in Cooper, Tx about 30 miles from Paris…. I love Paris, TX. It is a very interesting place to explore. You should also next time check out the Heritage Hall on West Kaufman. It used to be an old train station. It also has a museum in part of it with a lot of interesting history attached to it. Some people even have weddings and other events there.

  • Dave says:

    The photo labeled “Culbertson House” is erroneous . This is actually the old McCuistion home on Clarksville Street, now Fry Gibss Funeral Home. The Culbertson home with the swimming pool in the basement is near downtown, on South Main Street.

    • Teresa Davis
      Twitter: iluvmnts4x4
      says:

      Dave,
      Thanks for the correction. My friend, who was showing me around town, got it wrong. Even tbough, the funeral home is a beautiful place.

      • Angie Todd says:

        The house you are referring to as the Campbell Soup house has always been known as Kaufman Terrace. It has a ton of history behind it such as some of the scenes from a very old movie called Home From the Hills were filmed there, which was directed by Vincente Minnelli. The whole movie crew stayed at the old Nicholson House while filming the movie. Other scenes were filmed somewhere in Red River County.

        • Dwight Koslowski says:

          My aunt, Mamie Graves, owned the Kaufman Terrace house during the time the movie was filmed. The author, William Humphrey, grew u in nearby Clarksville. I stayed at the house when I was 12 years old, in 1960.

    • Dina Davis-Ward says:

      Do you know what year the McCuistion hospital on deshong was built? And has it always been a hospital?

  • David B says:

    J.J. Culbertson was not Paris’s founder. George Wright was founder. Culbertson was a wealthy cotton broker and philanthropist who donated the fountain on the town square.

  • Teresa Davis
    Twitter: iluvmnts4x4
    says:

    David,
    Looks like I should have used you as my guide around town lol.

  • Diavid says:

    The house inexplicably labeled the “Campbell Soup House” is historically known as Kaufman Terrace, since that is the name of the street it borders on the north side.. It was built in 1876, by Virginia born Capt. James Mitchell Daniel. During the Civil War he commanded an artillery battery made up entirely of Paris men. He was a self-taught civil engineer who had railroad and silver mining interests, the latter in Mexico and Colorado. When Paris burned to the ground in 1877, he was instrumental in the rebuilding of the town, installing the trolley system , first mule drawn then later electrified. Capt. Daniel died in 1916.

    • Melissa says:

      I’ve lived here since 1990 and have never heard of “the Campbell Soup House”. Also, the Wise House doesn’t do tours, correct?

  • Lea says:

    I love ghosts and I have always wanted to see Texas, this really gives me justification to book a trip now (along with the new water slide that is opening, the largest in the world I read….. I hope that isnt haunted!).

    • Teresa Davis
      Twitter: iluvmnts4x4
      says:

      Lea,
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond, but I was being blocked out for some reason..lol. Yes you should book a trip to Texas, we have lots of wonderful things you might find interesting. Just don’t wait until the middle of summer to visit, as it will be unbearably hot lol.

  • David says:

    When Mr. Wise built his fine home on Washington Street, slavery had been abolished for twenty-two years.. The structure in back is not “slave quarters”, rather it is the carriage house and livery.

    • Dina Davis-Ward says:

      I was wondering if you knew what year McCuistion hospital on Deshong was built and has it always been a hospital?

      • Milliver's Travels
        Twitter: millivrstravels
        says:

        Hello Dina,

        Here is the response we received from David B. via email:

        “I’m pretty sure the McCuistion hospital was built in the 1960’s. Yes, it has always been a hospital.”

  • Dina Davis-Ward says:

    Hi Theresa. I just went to Paris, TX this past weekend to visit my Aunt in McCuistion Medical Center. I’m from Dallas and history of Texas towns facinates me. I was wondering if you knew what year McCuistion hospital on DeShong was built and if it has always been a hospital?

    Thanks for the tour.

    • Teresa Davis
      Twitter: iluvmnts4x4
      says:

      Dina,
      I wish I could help you, but I am not from Paris. I think if you ask David, from the comments on here, he can tell you everything you would ever want or need to know about Paris, Texas.

  • Crystal says:

    I visited Paris recently with several friends and we are STILL talking about the wonderful time we had! While we did a lot of fun things during our day there, we were not able to do everything we wanted to. We simply ran out of time! So yes, a return to Paris is in order so that we can tour some of the historic homes there! Perhaps in October when we can also take in a Ghost Tour! We are so blessed to have such a charming Texas town so close to us.

  • jj margraves says:

    my nana lives in the culbertson house

    • Sarah says:

      Really? Does it seem to be haunted? I live in Paris and I have wondered… It is so neat it has a pool in the basement!

      • David B says:

        Sarah, From an eye witness who one lived in the Culbertson House, I have learned that there are unexplained occurrences there, disembodied voices, shadow figures and an entity seen only by a young child. The child called the entity “Tribe Man”. I can only say that the individual who described these things is rational and of sound mind.

        • Sarah says:

          That’s frightening, wow.
          Did someone, in fact, die there as people have said?What street is the house on and who lives there now?

          • David B says:

            Sarah, I don’t know of any deaths in the house. The Culbertson Mansion is located in the fourth block of South Main, the second house south of Sherman Street on the west side of the street. I don’t know who lives there now, but there is a contributor to this block who stated, “My Nana lives in the Culbertson house.” I think the contributor is named Margraves.

  • Victoria says:

    I would like to know how can I get a tour to some of this places?

  • Sarah says:

    Hello,
    Would you mind telling where the Culbertson house is located? I live in Paris and I think I know what house you’re talking about.

  • Mitch says:

    I was reading about the Wise house in Paris on this site and something struck me as extremely familiar. My cousin and I went into this house in the early 90’s when it was vacant and had been vandalized quite a bit. The large chandelier had been knocked down and was shattered all over the floor. Some of the wooden stair railing had been broken off or stolen. I was 12 and my cousin was 15. The thing that struck me was reading about all of the doors opening and closing on their own. This happened to us as soon as we got up to the 3rd floor of the house. It sounded like every door in the entire house opened and closed at the same time. Needless to say we barely even needed the stairs to get back to the first floor. I don’t live in Paris anymore but when I go there I drive by that house and the hair on my neck and arms still stands up.

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