615 Ohio St., Wichita Falls, TX (This business is now under a new name.)
During the follow-up investigation a KFDX Channel 3 cameraman and a reporter were doing a story
about the paranormal and aired it on TV. (See the video below.)
T/D: SG050407 & SG102707
T.R.I.P.P.'s investigation of these two buildings, that
have been remodeled to be all one building now, gave us a glimpse into it's
history, and it is the location of one of Wichita Falls most notable shootings. On May 5, 1922, an
ex Texas Ranger shot a well known rowdy Oklahoma lawman in the domino parlor which
once was a part of these buildings when they were known as hotels. This was an investigation of two buildings that
hold a lot of secrets, where spirits roam, and where at least two people are
known to have lost their lives.
Although it has a haunted past that still
remains today, the Somewhere in Time Antique Mall and The Secret Garden Tea Room
offer up enjoyable delights of both wonderful antiques and delicious meals.
You will feel welcomed and feel like you have stepped back in time.
Read about the shooting
between the ex Ranger and lawman Bud Ballew
This was an interesting and anxiously awaited investigation. Located in the Depot
Square Historic District in downtown Wichita Falls,Texas, and named in the National
Registry of Historic Places, this was an intriguing chance to investigate a place that
was originally built as hotels in 1888 and known as the Denver and Dempsey Hotels.
Owners Diane Walser and Barbara Douglas agreed to allow T.R.I.P.P. to investigate
after T.R.I.P.P. had inquired about information that they heard about in which some
of the employees had stated they had heard or seen unusual things going on there.
Diane and Barbara also shared some of the things that had been experienced, such as
pots and pans heard rattling in kitchen area when no one was in the kitchen. Footsteps
heard upstairs and in the building when there would be no one other than them around.
Displays would be moved or items would be knocked off and feelings of being watched
Even breathing on the neck when there was nothing to explain this. Pillows on a bench
would be moved from one bench and would end up a few feet away on floor. This was a
reoccurring incident and was frequently found in the mornings upon arrival and opening
up. Display of lotions would be scattered about the floor sometimes when owner would
open for business, yet nothing had set off sensing motion detectors throughout the area.
There are 2 known deaths that have happened in these buildings. One being in the domino
parlor in 1922 when it was a hotel when an ex Texas Ranger shot a rowdy Oklahoma law-
man, and one in what is now a service garage and happened in the late 1980's or the early
1990's. In an attempted robbery break in, a man was caught in a turban on the roof that
he had climbed into and got caught and could not get out. He was found the next morning.
Apparently he got trapped in a position that caused weight on his chest and which made it
hard for him to breathe, and the weight of his body finally caused enough restriction that
he could not get enough air and he died.
Evps were picked up by the recording devices of the spirits roaming there, and pictures
that show paranormal energy going on while investigators were requesting signs from the
spirits to let them know they are among those at the mall and tea room. The investigators
had numerous personal experiences that were not caught on audio or video. There is one
in particular that at the time was just an EVP that we had no information that connected the
spirit to this building. Spirits are not always connected to a place they haunt.
Four months later, the owners came across some information that we feel linked this spirit directly to the
buildings. When you listen to the EVP below called "Albert", you can hear a woman calling
out to someone named Albert. The owners actually came across a name carved into some
of the mortar on the building and the name is Albert Johnson, and the two n's in the Johnson
were backwards. Although not extraordinary, some people in the 1800's and early 1900's
did not know how to read or write and memorized the way to write their name when needed.
Being this name is carved into the mortar, we think it may actually be the name of one of the
men who helped build these buildings.
* We have also picked up the voice of a young child that
appears to be a young boy. There is an EVP where a woman is calling out a name (could not
make out the name) and it sounds like a child calling back out to her. Also, while doing some
experiments in the south garage, several of the investigators felt they were being followed by
a small child. On another EVP it sounds like a child saying something inside the lobby
of the building.
* There was a voice of a woman picked up in the lobby area and in the tearoom
where the tables are sitting and another EVP captured of whistling and something making
noise at front counter area.
The sensitives of the team picked up the energy of a woman wandering the upstairs
area and she was wearing a long red dress and hair pulled up like many women wore
their hair in the 1800's. There was a male energy picked up in the garage area across
from the domino parlor where the shooting occurred. The description the sensitives
gave, we are led to believe that this may well be the spirit of the man that was shot in
the domino parlor in 1922. He matched a description of Bud Ballew, rowdy lawman from Oklahoma who was shot by ex Texas Ranger J. W. McCormick, who was the
sheriff of Wichita at the time. There was also an EVP that is of a very very loud bang
that's unexplained. None of the team or owners heard it that night. Only the recorder
picked this up, and could this be the residual of a gunshot?
* A rocking chair was rocking and no one was in it or near it. Next day the owner experienced same phenomena.
* Another investigator sat in same rocking chair later and felt someone rubbing
and lightly patting their head.
* A team member caught a glimpse of a shadow person in the hallway right outside
the kitchen area and it moved quickly into the tearoom seating area.
* In service garage, investigator saw a shadow move quickly across and go behind a truck.
* Female voice heard by two investigators at glass counter in front area of store.
* EVP captured of whistling and something making noise at front counter area.
* EVP captured of a woman calling out to Albert. (see update at bottom of page)
* EVP captured of woman calling out and a child answering back.
* In the domino parlor room, one investigator picked up an intense perfume smell resembling
rose and lavender fragrance, and later caught the same smell walking through the break
room going to garage.
* Sensitive picked up gentleman in hallway at domino parlor wearing a blue shirt; big hat,
wide belt, boots and he had red hair and blue eyes. It is believed that this may be Bud
Ballew who was shot and killed in the domino parlor in 1922. The team was not able
to make voice contact with Bud Ballew as they had hoped.
* One member said that in the tea room hallway she sensed a tall man was behind her
trying to hurry her up to get out of there and felt someone breathing heavy
on her neck.
* Two investigators heard water dripping where no water is present.
* There were pictures taken upstairs above the tearoom. As several investigators were
going in and out one of the rooms upstairs, they noticed upon exit of one of the rooms
they had been in several times, that a dead pigeon had been placed right in the walkway
of the door, meaning it would have to be moved or stepped over in order to leave the room.
This pigeon had not been there two previous times they had been in that room that evening.
Several of the pictures show distinct orbs and one picture showed that one of the orbs had
moved from the ceiling area and towards the floor. The investigators felt a strong presence
in the area and investigators temporarily had a sense of confusion while upstairs as though
something was deliberately trying to make them feel strange so they might leave the area.
* Another member said it was not a scary feeling they got from the building; it just felt like
lost souls that had nowhere else to go.
FOLLOW UP VISIT
On the follow-up investigation, we did not get EVP, but we did get some pictures of
anomalies and also pictures taken during an experiment yielding some interesting info.
While in the south garage area, several of the team members were feeling there was a
presence with them and one even felt her hair being pulled. So the team members told
them it was ok for the spirits to come closer and gave permission to the spirits to touch
them. Looking at the pictures in the photo section, you'll see T.R.I.P.P team members
volunteering to hold their hands out asking to make contact with them.
The team then moved into the furniture gallery of the mall. They had
obtained names of previous owners and occupants who once lived in the buildings and were calling out
these names and asking for signs that they were there with us. We received quite a few signs that we
were not alone. We had a camera capture a streak coming from the ceiling in the furniture room.
Then Traci felt a hand touch her back when Clint was calling out to Mrs. Ballew. She also felt like
someone was touching her hair.
Next, the female news reporter was standing by a shelf when one of the items moved and
fell down landing next to her feet. This appeared to really unsettle her. Not long after that the
news team left without a word to anyone!
Several personal experiences also came at the time when Mr. Morse, Mr. Elliot, and Mrs.
Ballew's names were called out. Edward Morse had the Wichita Falls Laundry Company
in the building in 1911. Frank Elliot had an auto and Carriage painting business in the
building in 1912. and Mary Ballew had a business called Oriental Rooms there in 1918.
No evidence of any kind was obtained that had to do with the young man who died in
the building after he became stuck while trying to shimmy down a turban during a break
in attempt. Spirits do not appear on cue for the most part, and another investigation in
the future may reveal more answers as to whom and maybe even why these spirits are
choosing to stay at the mall and tearoom.
The spirits roam calling out to one another and watch over the place and create mischief
from time to time for the owners. They do like to take some of the items in the mall and
move them or play with them or just toss them about. A few of the team members have
shared in experiences that made the hair raise on their arms and gave them ghostbumps,
but nothing has happened to make any of us feel that there are any negative spirits in the
buildings. These spirits seem to be resident spirits and make their presence known and
enjoy the attention. At a recent lunch time visit to the tea room which was not a part of
the official investigation, the spirits even came out when the place was busy with people
wandering about and it was during the day. If you happen to visit this place and you are
wandering about and you feel you are being watched or something suddenly grasps your
hair or you feel a change in temperature, don't be surprised. The unseen is just as present
there as everything you can see. Ask for a sign, and you may just get one.
Later Diane contacted us and told us that when she was on the roof one night with her family watching fireworks, they saw where 'Albert Johnson' had been carved into some mortar. She believed it to be his signature that he worked on that building. She stated that both N's in the name were written backwards, which was not uncommon in the 1800's.