A bustling town with a population of about 16,000, Jacksonville is not so different from many other East Texas towns, and like most other small cities in Texas, Jacksonville has its share of ghost stories.
The city’s first stop and probably its most infamous when it comes to the paranormal is the Jacksonville City Cemetery on Kickapoo Street. With graves dating back to the 1880’s, the cemetery is almost as old as the town itself, which was founded in 1847. The cemetery is haunted according to local legend.
Reports of mysterious lights and the sounds of ghostly footsteps are common. Perhaps the most widely told story is that “Mother Templeton,” a statue of a woman in the cemetery that is said to change positions. She is reported to have been seen holding a Bible, praying, holding flowers or holding one hand over her heart and one hand at her side.
The site is listed on TexasGhostHunters.com, a website which chronicles haunted places in Texas. As stated on the website, some locals claim that if you go to the cemetery during a full moon you will see the statue in one position, only to see her in a different pose after looking away.
Another paranormal hot spot in Jacksonville is the Craven Wilson Dorm building at Lon Morris College. Several reports have been made citing strange activity in the dorm including things being moved from shelves, drawers being opened, electronics turning on and off, radio stations changing on their own, noise being heard from rooms while the occupants were away for the weekend, clothes moving in closets, unexplained steaming water from cold water pipes and the shower curtain being pushed in with great force toward the occupant while showering.
Another site in Jacksonville that has been the subject of claims of strange or paranormal activity is the vacant Travis Clinic. According to Cherokee Real Estate Company, the medical facility was built in the late 1970s, and operated until the mid 80s when it was shut down. In 1990 the building was acquired by the Texas State Missionary Association, a Baptist Church Group. The group intended to renovate the building, but reportedly did not realize the extensive repair required and were essentially in over their heads. The building was abandoned once more and fell even further into disrepair.
Some locals have claimed that strange lights and sounds come from the building at night and pictures taken at the sight have showed bright orbs, often associated with paranormal energy. One picture taken at the site included hundreds of orbs, and an opaque image that some believe to resemble the face of a female spirit.
The property has been listed for sale by the Cherokee Real Estate Company and is visible from East Loop 456.
During the day, Jacksonville may be just another East Texas town, but at night, evidence of the paranormal presents itself to those brave enough to search for it.