Opened in 1978 on 315 Travis, Treebeards lives within the Baker Travis building, which is the second oldest building in Houston, Texas. Although the reviews mentioned great food and a lively bar atmosphere, reports of cold spots and a bean cooks description of a full body apparition are what caught my teams eye. Making it a perfect lunch stop on my travels through Houston.

The bean cook describes what could’ve been Mr. Danowitz, an elderly tailor that shared the building with Treebeards when it first opened its doors in 1978. Within a building that’s been standing since the 1870s, Treebeards may be hosting more than just customers at their southern cooking cafe.

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Entrance

Gator

Staircase

Above Art

Upstairs Bar

Barkeep

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Constructed in 1926, the Julia Ideson Building located at 500 McKinney stands across from downtowns Main Branch Library in Houston, Texas. Although checking out a book would regularly be on my itinerary while visiting the library, rumors of a past caretaker and his dog’s spirit roaming the grounds are what sparked my team and I’s interest.

Caretaker Jacob Frank Cramer and his German Shephard companion Petey, have been said to be seen roaming the library grounds during their nightly rounds. Sounds of Peteys nails clicking across the tile floor has been enough to keep some believers away from this historical Texas building.

“Unfortunately, we cannot confirm that HPL has a resident ghost – even though we joined Houston Chronicle staff last year in a ghost-hunting exercise. We trekked the halls of the Julia Ideson Building into the wee hours of the night, searching for any sign of Mr. Cramer or Petey. Sadly, we didn’t turn up a single note, click or flash of light. But the legend continues.” – Sandra Fernandez, HPL public relations manager.

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Main Entrance

Side View

Side Door

Front Sign

Texas Historical Mark

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Constructed in 1885 within the heart of Austin, the Texas State Capitol Building stands valiantly atop a hill. Monuments scatter the grounds, with a historical museum and gift shop off to the side. Tours are offered to those seeking a more traditional travel experience. However, rumors of spirits that haunt the grounds and building itself are what brought my team and I to the Texas State Capitol Building.

Murdered in his first-floor office in 1903, Comptroller Robert Marshall Love has been reportedly seen walking up the promenade of the Texas Capitol Building. You may see him wandering the grounds towards the capitol entrance on a misty morning sporting a top hat and coat tails.

An unidentified politician once held secret trysts in a stairwell located on the third floor. His lover, an unknown woman in red, has been spotted by cleaning crews in his third-floor office but vanishes as they turn the corner attempting to approach her. This section of the capitol is not open to the public.

In 1983, despite the heroic efforts of Austin firefighters, a 23-year-old man burned to death in a fire within the capitol walls causing severe damage to the East Wing. Rumor states that however many times you clean the window, handprints appear on the glass when the humidity is high. The very same window firefighters failed to break open in attempts to free the man trapped inside.

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Texas Capitol Building Cover Unedited

Front Yard

Main Lobby

Ceiling

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Against fair warning from locals in 1839, Gideon White decided to build a home in proximity to Shoal Creek. After three years of residency, Gideon was reportedly murdered by passing Native Americans. Once his corpse was discovered, the remains and shallow graves of many more were uncovered in the surrounding area. The majority of the graves were victims of yellow fever and cholera. Reports of unusual noises, cold spots, and vanishing apparitions are common from those who wander through this scenic running and biking route. Authorities claim pedestrians are not permitted on the trail after 10:00PM due to the amount of activity reported.

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Historical Marker

Creek One

Creek Two

Creek Three

Sewer Hole

Boulder Seating

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Once thriving in the early 20th century as a cotton shipping center for the central Texas area, Bartlett now stands mostly baron. Most of the buildings hold some sort of historical significance as the early 1900’s storefront remains on the main road. Approximately 1,600 residents reside in Bartlett scattered around the outskirts only driving into town to pass through. Split between Bell and Williamson counties, Bartlett is known to locals as “the best little town in Texas”.

My team and I were surprised to see some of the aging, vacant storefronts still in search for renters. Although this portion of town seems to be abandoned, Bartlett fights to stay on the map. Many events are still held throughout the year including an Old Town Festival and Antique & Collectible Auctions. If you happen to be passing through, my team and I highly recommend visiting this piece of Texas history!

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Town Entrance

Storefront One

Storefront Two

Storefront Three

Back Alley

Storefront GUNS

Town Exit

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The Hewitt House in Granger, Texas. As seen on Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003). Originally standing on the current grounds of the University of Texas, this architectural piece of horror film history moved to Granger, Texas in the 1930s. Current residents assure visitors and fans of the films that no one was murdered at this house. No Trespassing signs are posted around the gated entrance with a flyer stating they “do not offer tours, nor can you come closer to take photos”, but encourages guests to take photos from the road.

NOTE: “This is a working farm and people do live here.” If you’re a fan of the films and are planning a visit, please be respectful of the grounds and the family that lives there.

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Prior to my trip to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, I took a quick glance at their riders guide online for accessibility options for photosensitive epilepsy. Usually, these warnings come in the form of a symbol or a phrase such as “this attraction features strobe effects or flashing lights” under the list of the attractions. I was surprised to see only ONE ride that specifically mentioned the use of “strobe lighting” throughout the attraction. Luckily, I had a few close friends alongside me as we wandered through the park. Coasters that have automated flash photography, I feel, should be listed on the riders guide, but I was able to find the location of each camera before boarding, justly preparing myself for that portion of the ride.

With that said, within this blog post, I’ll be listing the attractions that have a strobe effect warning along with the coasters that have automated flash photography (marked with a red “X”), those that do not, and a few tips for those traveling to the park with photosensitive epilepsy. (Like me! Woohoo!) Keep in mind that I’m not your neurologist and you should acquire a professional opinion before placing yourself into potentially dangerous situations. Also, some of the attraction lines are part of the experience and you are more than welcome to wait in line with your friends and family opting out of the rides before boarding. Hoping you find this information to be helpful!

NOTE: This will not include a photosensitive guide to the attractions within White Water Bay, the waterpark section of Six Flags Fiesta Texas nor the holiday and/or Fright Fest Attractions. Additionally, on page six within the riders guide they specifically outline the following warning:

“Theatrical fog effects, areas of low lighting, loud music, sound effects, and theatrical and strobe lighting are used throughout the park during Fright Fest. This includes streets, midways, outdoor scare zones, mazes, and haunted houses both indoor and outdoor, live entertainment venues and children’s attractions. Guests with respiratory sensitivities, history of seizures or epilepsy, or sensitivities to latex, loud music, and sound effects are advised not to participate in these attractions. Please adhere to all posted and verbal warnings and directions.”

Batman: The Ride

Boomerang

Buckarooz

Bugs Bunny White Water Rapids X

Crow’s Nest

Daffy’s Bus Stop

Fender Bender

Fiesta Texas Railroad

Fireball

Foghorn Leghorn’s Barnyard Railway

Goliath X

Grand Carousel

Gully Washer

Hurricane Force 5

Hustler

Iron Rattler X

Kiddee Koaster X

Kinderstein

Krazy Kars

Pandemonium

Pirate Ship Play Zone

Pirates of the Deep Sea X

Poltergeist

Road Runner Express X

Scream

Screamin’ Eagle

SkyScreamer

Spinsanity

Superman Krypton Coaster X

Taz’s Tornado

Texas Gunslinger

Thunder Beach Speedway

Up, Up, and Away

Waverunner

Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster X

Yosemite Sam’s Wacky Wagons

Zoomjets

 

Personal Tips & Tricks:

Low Traffic Times and Sunlight:

A calendar listing the current operating hours of Six Flags Fiesta Texas can be found here: Park Operating Schedule

Depending on the time of year, special events, or holidays, their days and hours of operation vary greatly. Foot traffic and wait times at the parks is at its lowest on Sundays between mid-March and late April also, in late August and early November. I recommend booking your vacation during these dates and to avoid Spring Break and holidays if possible. Be sure to check the calendar for exact hours of operation!

 

Bring A Crowd

Gather ‘round, friends! Everything’s bigger in Texas…including the amusement parks. Bring friends or family you’re comfortable spending time with to explore together. It’s quite easy to get distracted and accidentally lose track of your group.

If you’re traveling with photosensitive children set expectations before going to the parks. A majority of the rides are photosensitive friendly, but most of the main attractions have strict height requirements. So, I always recommend making a list of the attractions that your children are able to participate in and plan your trip around them. Everyone deserves a day of adventure!

 

Be Prepared

You’ll be walking quite a bit spending a day at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. As I’m sure you know if you’re reading this that two of the biggest triggers for epilepsy can be exhaustion and dehydration. Bring what you need, or may need, into the parks with you. I always carry my backpack while traveling and inside is an extra pair of clothes and emergency meds, alongside a water bottle secured tightly to my side. Also, my medical alert tag proudly strung around my neck. There were at least two water fountains right outside each restroom that I saw. The first aid building is located behind the Grand Carousel ride between the restroom and Sangerfest Halle in Sassburg, the German-themed area of the park. I highly recommend bringing a water bottle with you or purchasing the refillable cup and finding times throughout the day to fill it with water to stay hydrated.

My photosensitive friendly attraction recommendation is Poltergeist!

Once again, these are just a few of my suggestions and you should acquire a professional opinion before making plans. If there’s anything I may have missed feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Twitter and Instagram: @iMarrowsJ. Wishing you the best and I hope your next adventure is full of wonder and excitement!

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Waking to an unbearable pain, I begin to grind my teeth failing to convince myself to fall back asleep. Scrolling through my symptoms on the internet I’m fed ridiculous amounts of red flags and hypotheticals. Unable to fully extend my torso I stumble half-bent, like a miserable hunchback towards the front door. Trusting the fresh air may give some relief, I step outside to admire the clear Texas night. The moonlight accompanies millions of stars dimly illuminating the surrounding farmland. With a moment of peace, I take a deep breath through my nostrils lengthening my poor posture. Immediately regretting this decision, the pain heightens as I’m forcibly bent over once more. After a short spout of obscenities and pleading to a deity I don’t believe in, I ask a friend to drive me to the hospital. Like a determined senior citizen rushing for the early bird special, I shuffle to her car.

“I’m so sorry,” I mumble in agony trying to find a comfortable seating position.

“It’s alright… if it was me, I’d want someone to do the same,” she expresses.

“I really do appreciate it,” I continue.

“I was up anyway, wasn’t sure why…but I was up,” she explains.

About twenty minutes from the emergency room, I roll the window down letting the crisp Texas fall air cool the back of my neck. At this point, nausea is an understatement. The pain has reached a point where I’m unable to speak without some type of abdominal repercussions. Pulling into the parking lot, I’m astonished how empty it is. Growing up in a city, I guess I’m oblivious as to how empty the ER might be on a Saturday at 01:30AM in rural Texas. Anxious, my brain begins to cycle through the possibility of surgery, my fear of needles, the chances of having a seizure because of the added stress, dehydration, and sleep deprivation. Before my thoughts get the best of me, a throbbing protuberance from my gut reminds me to keep hobbling inside.

Greeted by an empty waiting room, a security guard stands patiently behind the intake window. A nurse pops his head out of the unit door as my friend casually gestures at me hunched over. Turning my head, I smile grinding my teeth. Explaining my symptoms, they presume appendicitis as a possible diagnosis. Beginning to prepare an IV, the nurse throws me a gown asking the generic medical history questionnaire. Struggling to find a comfortable seating position, I writhe around clenching my fists. After changing into the gown, another nurse hands me a urinalysis sample cup. Having to pee anyway, the only issue is the level of pain it might take to stand back up. With assistance from a few, I make it to the restroom to provide an adequate sample, then make my way back to lay down.

Asking for my arm, he doesn’t grasp how intense my phobia of needles truly is. I’m not upset, I’m afraid, and he’s just trying to do his job. My entire body begins to tremble as my nerves act up and my mind plays an amateur snuff film where I’m the unpinned voodoo doll of a deranged witch doctor. Offering her hand, my friend consoles graciously understanding this is an uncomfortable situation for me.

“The fluids may feel a bit cold,” the nurse states taping over the IV catheter.

“What’s your pain level at?” he asks.

“Around a seven,” I reply continuing to shake on the hospital bed.

“Alright, well we’re giving you fluids, Ofirmev for the pain, Zofran for nausea, and Toradol for the inflammation while we get you set up with a CT scan here shortly, in the meantime try to relax a bit,” he continues.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know why I’m shaking…I’m sorry,” I continually apologize as my pain level rises.

“Not a problem, that pain medicine takes about twenty minutes to take effect. If you’re still having issues, we can give you something a little stronger. I’ll give you some space and check on you in a few minutes,” he finishes with a pleasant smirk.

My pain level gradually escalates as I’m attempting to distract myself talking to my friend about work and checking my phone. Unable to mask the level of pain, my body squirms as tears roll down my face. The sensation of fire ants seeking shelter within the burrows of my intestines becomes a growing constant. This is it, I thought to myself. This is how it ends.

The radiology technician explains the process of the CT scan as others help in transferring me onto the motorized exam table. My friend stands patiently behind the window viewing the screen with the technician.

“Essentially, the system is going to take a three-dimensional image of your abdomen,” he begins.

“Once you’re under the imaging device, I’ll need you to hold your breath as it processes through, can you do that?” he requests.

I nod in agreement as a nurse fiddles with the injection port of my IV.

“You’re going to feel a warm sensation throughout your body,” The radiologist calls out a little too late.

An extreme warmth floods my insides conjuring nausea unlike any I’ve ever experienced. Turning my head to the side, I believe I might vomit. The unpleasant feeling lingers as the exam table begins to slide into the cylindric imaging device.

“The warmth is from the omnipague and it lights up your organs on our monitor here so we’re able to see better,” the technician explains as I’m attempting to breathe through intense nausea.

“Alright, I’m going to give you a countdown. When I get to one, I want you to hold your breath as long as you can or until the imaging is complete, you understand?” he requests.

“Yes,” I reply swiftly, anxious to get out of this claustrophobic death magnet.

“Three…two…one,” he counts down.

Taking a deep breath in through my mouth the exam table underneath me evaporates as I fall into a cratered pit dropping into a lake of murky water. Opening my eyes, the surrounding water is a dreary shade of grey with floating remnants of dismembered limbs and shredded hospital gowns. Making my way to the surface, I spot a rocky shore a few meters out. Sprinting through the foul open waters, my hands pull through unknown extremities as my feet are teased by the leftovers of nameless corpses.

Trudging onto land, the jagged stones dig into the bottoms of my feet bringing me to my knees. In disbelief, I lay ashore for a moment as the rancid waves continue to crash onto me. Crawling forward, two torches ignite posted at the entrance of an ominous cavern.

“Oh, c’mon, am I dead?” I complain attempting to pick myself up off the rocks.

Rising to my feet, I notice my abdominal pain has subsided. Examining the rest of my body, my fingers run across a delicate burn that travels up the side of my torso. Seeking better light, I walk towards the cavern entrance grabbing a torch. As I shine the flame upon my flesh it begins to pulsate rapidly, stressing scales that glow in its embers.

“Alrighty then…painkillers must have kicked in,” I conclude resuming into the depths of the cavern.

Passing the threshold, the other torch dies down, disintegrating to dust. A gentle gust hauled its ashes along the bouldering moist walls of the cavern. Funneling through the seemingly endless depths of the hollow, the only element that seems to differentiate is the air temperature. As I decide to take a moment of rest a violent quake strikes the ground followed by a powerful wind that carried the stench of the waters below. The sounds of roaring rapids approach as I begin running in the opposite direction. A dim light ahead inspires me to dash promptly towards it. Within arm’s reach, the waters engulf me, viciously tossing me around like a ragdoll in the washing machine.

My frightened eyes awaken on the exam table now surrounded by doctors. The pillow underneath my head covered in sweat, I attempt to adjust to the light of the room becoming increasingly dizzier. Spewing onto the soiled linens, the doctors assist in shifting my body, so I don’t choke on my own vomit. Gagging, my eyes grow wider as something blocks my airway. Encouraging me to cough, the nurse begins delivering back blows as they rise me to a standing position. Expelling blood from my throat, a charcoal black serpent slithers from my esophagus to the floor making its way down the hospital halls leaving a trail of blood, bile, and ash. Falling lifeless to the floor, my corpse begins to burn, crumbling before the feet of the group of mystified health professionals. My friends’ whereabouts are still unknown.

© John Marrows All Rights Reserved

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This historic mansion in Texas was built in 1895 and rumored to be home to the spirit of a young girl. Dawning an old-fashioned dress, the young lady has been seen staring out the bay windows of the first floor. An apparent suicide has also been rumored in the upstairs nursery. Arriving at night on this residential street, my team and I were able to capture a few photos of the exterior while quickly roaming the grounds. Peeking inside the windows from the porch, we only found antique furniture and a grandfather clock.

Once home to a blacksmith and hardware merchant F.W. Schuerenberg, this was the second location marked by the Texas Historical Commission on my journey through the lone star state. Later research uncovered the great grandchild of F.W. Schuerenberg claimed that her father “…Schuerenberg Joseph Marek lived in this house while growing up and never heard stories about happenings. My father died, suicide not in Texas, when I was 13.” She states. “Had contact with my aunt and visited this house and asked questions about family but no comments about ghost.” She goes on to say here: F.W. Schuerenberg House Haunted History

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This abandoned farmhouse in central Texas was an unplanned pit stop, but definitely worth the exploration. Locals rumored satanic rituals and “sinful behaviors” happening at this location. Upon further investigation the only sin we could see is a few beer bottles littered around the property. Classic shag carpets were torn up from the floorboards and a deteriorating structure was all to be found. If anything, the lack of graffiti and vandalism was disturbing in its own way. We left only footprints behind in this forgotten shack somewhere deep within the lone star state.

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