Urban legends and ghostly tales are part of almost every small town in the country. Ghastly stories of murder, accidental deaths, or just the unexplanable are part of our history.
I’m sure, if you think about it a bit, everyone of us can tell a story of a haunted street, house, or a legend that we’ve heard as a child or even an adult. Well, right here in Frisco we have some of our very own haunts and legends. Are they true? That’s for you to decide.
Frisco Heritage Center: Crozier/Sickles House
The history behind this house is deep and surrounded by death. And some would say haunted. In 1893, John Rufus Crozier died and left his wife, Nannie Crozier, to raise three daughters, Mary Annie (who they called Mamie), Emma, and Lula. Mrs. Crozier built the home in 1895 near Preston Road and John Hickman Parkway. She was in charge of her husband’s land. In 1902, the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad bypassed Lebanon and caused most families to move their homes to what is now the city of Frisco. However, Mrs. Crozier chose to stay in Lebanon.
Nannie Crozier’s daughter Mamie married Charles Covington, and they lived in the home with Mrs. Crozier until she died in 1938. Charles died in 1955 and Mamie Covington continued to stay in the home until the last years of her life when she moved in with her sister, Emma Hunt, in Garland before passing away in 1972. The youngest daughter, Lula, died of typhoid in 1900 before finishing her college years. So, as you can see death did surround the house.
Within the house, the sofa and chair in the parlor on the first floor are the original pieces as well as the double bed, dresser, and rocking chair in one of the upstairs bedrooms. These items were donated by the great-grandsons of Mrs. Nannie Crozier.
In 1977, John and Donna Sickles bought the home, and that’s when the bizarre sightings and noises started to happen. The couple saw glimpses of misty things they called “apparitions,” and they heard loud thumping noises in the hallway outside of the master bedroom. These noises went on throughout the night in happening at no specific time.
The couple would also see a small shadowy figure going in and out of bedrooms and around corners. In the hallway mirror, they would see a small gray cat. The couple had never owned a cat. The unidentified bumping noises from down the hall would get so loud that the couple could not sleep. When photographs were taken in the hallway, the images would turn out blank showing only a blurry reflection. However, other pictures taken anywhere else in the home were clear and normal.
The unexplained events were more frequent while Mr. Sickles was remodeling and became so unbearable that the couple almost moved. The couple assumed that the “ghost” or “apparition”didn’t like the remodeling. In the house now, the seventh baluster from the bottom on the staircase is upside down. Apparently at the time the home was built, it was a very common practice and was suppose to keep the ghosts downstairs and away from the bedrooms. Did it work? Are the ghost still there? You can check out for yourself by visiting the Frisco Heritage Center John and Donna Sickles donated the home to the City of Frisco for use in the Heritage Center.
Old Alton Bridge a.k.a Goatman Bridge
This might not be in Frisco proper, but plenty of Frisco residents are familiar with this story. Old Alton Bridge connects Denton to Copper Canyon, Texas, across Lake Lewisville from Frisco. The old iron truss bridge was constructed in 1884, and was originally used by horse-and-carriages and later automobiles. Extending over Hickory Creek, this location at one point in time was popular for crossing cattle.
The bridge gets its name from the abandoned community of Alton remained in use until 2001 when the vehicle traffic was moved via a new concrete and steel bridge. In 1998, the bridge was included in the National Register of Historic Places. Locally known as “Goatman’s Bridge,” the name comes from the demonic satyr who is believed to live in the surrounding forest and has been seen by people hunting and camping in the woods over the years.
However, the local legend says that a black goat farmer, Oscar Washburn, moved his family into this area just north of the famous bridge. After years of earning the reputation for being a honest and dependable businessman, Washburn became known as “The Goatman.” Yet, the success of a black man was still an unwelcome idea to many, and unfortunately, Klansmen in the local government decided to end this success with violence.
In August 1938, these Klansmen crossed the bridge and kidnapped Washburn. They took him and hung him from the side of the bridge. But, when they looked to see if Oscar was dead, there was no body at the end of the noose. The Klansmen panicked and returned to Oscar’s house to kill the rest of his family. Today, his angry spirit is said to be haunting the area. Locals warn that if you cross the bridge at night without headlights, the Goatman will be on the other side waiting for you.
Reports of strange lights in the woods and across the bridge have been talked about for years. Others have reported a figure walking back and forth on the bridge. People who have walked crossed the bridge tell of being touched by cold hands and have had rocks thrown at them from unknown origins. Goatman’s Bridge has been investigated by paranormal societies for years, especially around Halloween.
The house was built in 1902 and has been a staple in Frisco history as a registered historical landmark and as a well-known restaurant. But, did you know that it’s haunted? Just ask the staff, owner, and guests that have visited the Steakhouse over the years. When the house was purchased in the 1970’s, Chef Randy Foman would try to open doors that shouldn’t have been locked only to find out that they were bolted tight. Lights would go out on a daily basis, and when he would go to replace or repair them, they would be on and back to normal.
Today, the staff see doors open and close and cabinets slam shut. At night when the bartenders leave and set the glasses up, the next day the glasses are rearranged or broken, doors are open throughout the restaurant, and lights are on. Many have speculated the reasons behind these mysterious occurrences.
Some say that it’s a family member of the original owners looking for something. Others say it has something to do with a railroad worked who died on the tracks and is coming home. Nobody really knows for sure, but too many people have been witness to something unusual going on in Randy’s Steakhouse.