Are Some Houston Music Venues Haunted?
|Photo by Abrahan Garza|
|Peter Murphy at Numbers, April 2013|
Mike Terror, certainly no shrinking violet, has sworn off ever performing onstage at Numbers again after feeling unwelcome by the antics of a spectral critic.
"We've played Numbers three times, and every single time everything goes to shit when we are onstage," says Terror via email. "Everywhere else in the venue, things are fine. But once we are onstage and it's time to set up or perform, bad energy rises, my band gets irritable, equipment messes up, performance suffers, etc.
"We didn't really think anything of it, until we found out that somebody had been murdered on that stage."
"It just doesn't feel right up there," Terror added. The murder he's referring to is that of Brody Darnell, who was fatally stabbed in the Numbers restroom in 2003.
Across the street from numbers is AvantGarden, formerly Helios, formerly The Mausoleum, appropriately enough. If any Houston venue looks haunted, then it's certainly this one, with its Anne Rice patio and narrow stairways. Though there's an idea that a ghost wanders the building, it's probably just a bit of fun hype. No one I could find had any concrete story to back up the rumor.
There is at least one definitely haunted square of musical ground left in Montrose, and that's the location of the former home of KLOL, now Lovett Place Condos. Some of the biggest names in rock played live on the air back when KLOL was a proud resident of Houston's radio row, and more than one DJ recalled strange events at night.
Lone Star Spirits Paranormal Investigations inspected the building in 1999, close to the end of its run as Houston's rock mainstay. DJ Chuck Shramek told LSSPI that phones would launch themselves off the hook, stuffed animals would occasionally walk across the shelves they were sitting on, elevators would open and close on their own, and that mysterious shadows could be seen from the corner of the eye.
The most prevalent ghost story was that of a Hispanic cleaning lady often seen in the halls; LSSPI briefly glimpsed her wearing a denim shirt in their own investigation. This same spectre is rumored to still walk the halls of the condominiums, but as with so many great and juicy pieces of Houston music history, it's possible that she too has faded as another victim of over-gentrification.
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