Are Some Houston Music Venues Haunted?

Categories: Whatever

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Photo by Brittanie Shey
Rod Argent of the Zombies at Fitzgerald's, March 17, 2013
Halloween is right around the corner, and once again it's time to talk spooky stuff... for y'all, I mean. Here at the House With One F it's always time to talk spooky stuff, but today we want to look around the city to see which music venues might actually be haunted.

First, let's define haunted, and to that I must defer to Poe because Haunted is one of the greatest albums ever released. By haunted I mean a state of being filled with phenomena or sensory perceptions that cause a sensation of dread or unease. Sometimes this is attributed to ghosts, and sometimes we have no idea why certain places cause heebies and/or jeebies.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that Fitzgerald's has something of a haunted reputation. It's one of the state's oldest and most recognized stages, and the greats have trod its boards both on the way up and down. Before being the venerable rock setting it is today, Fitz served as a Polish dance hall dating all the way back to 1918. It's a much more labyrinthine building than you think it is, especially if you begin wandering backstage where the sagging wooden building begins to give off a definite surreal vibe as the doors and floors no longer match completely up.

REWIND: High Spirits: The haunted (or is it?) history of 3700 Main


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Photo by Abrahan Garza
Girl in a Coma at Fitzgerald's, February 2013
"I've had all manner of weird shit show up in pictures of many of my bands playing there over the years," says Eddie Travis, drummer of The Freakouts and Scum of the Earth via email. Considering that Travis has also played at Club 219, the Milwaukee club where Jeffrey Dahmer picked up some of his victims, you can bet that he knows creepy.

Existence of a ghost upstairs at Fitz's was easy talk among the staff when I staged a month-long run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch there in 2004. Reminiscing with my producer and lead actor Dave Gill, he recalled, "We had a few incidents where the power on the mixing board would turn on and off by itself, or with things being moved when no one was looking. I recall the staff there all telling us, 'Oh yeah, that's the ghost,' like it was just a fact of everyday existence."

Bunny Dast of Skeleton Dick, who worked at Fitz for six years, also remarked that creepy, inexplicable things were a regular occurrence. The identity of the Fitzgerald's ghost, if there is one, is unknown.


Story continues on next page.


Location Info

Map

Fitzgerald's

2706 White Oak, Houston, TX

Category: Music

AvantGarden

411 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Numbers

300 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Music


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9 comments
Eva Lee
Eva Lee

Yes...seen it myself.

Eva Lee
Eva Lee

Twin Oaks Tavern in downtown Humble has a ton of ghost!

eddiextravis
eddiextravis

I used to hear stories about the old KLOL building as well.   Thought of another one though.  Back in "the day" there was a short lived montrose dive bar/venue called "M.O.D."  Turns out, prior to the space being used as kind of an alternative rock bar/club, it was previously a gay bar (it is montrose after all) called "Chutes", if memory serves.  There were rumors floating around amongst the local musicians that some years prior during it's previous incarnation, this had been the location of a particularly heinous (though presumably accidental) death inside some sort of secret bondage room in the club.  At some point while setting up for a show there one weekend, we asked the manager if there was any truth to the story.  He said oh yeah, check this out....and led us thru a rear door and up some stairs that led above the stage area, and into a small windowless black room where there were hooks and anchors and such in the walls, floor, ceiling etc.  Turns out that was indeed where it happened, and this was the exact spot - right above the stage we'd played on many times.  THAT was definitely the creepiest thing I've ever witnessed locally.  That building is still currently in use as well.....these days it's known as the Empire Cafe.  

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