Rolling through a real ghost town is a unique experience in itself. Thoughts of the dark side occur while viewing the surroundings, so a ghost town tour can turn into a surreal paranormal experience. Soon the mysterious undercurrent causes a change in perception and tricks are played on the eyes. When preoccupied with spooky thoughts, a fleeting glimpse of movement out of the corner of the eye can cause the shadows to come to life. Before long, a feeling of impending evil doom becomes overwhelming, then a sudden urge to escape from this dark place to somewhere safe and sound becomes the only thought in mind. Chilling, uninviting, yet intriguing to the point of futile resistance, a ghost town sure does have a way of luring people in long after the occupants moved away.
When pulling into a ghost town with a modern SUV station wagon full of kids, the question that one pensively awaits to hear is spoken. “Well if all the buildings are empty, then what happened to all the people?” … To answer this question in the spookiest manner possible, all that one has to do is reflect upon the memories of a classic horror movie to scare the wits out of the kids. Just take your pick of the many horror movies and invent a realistic horror story that covers the history of why nobody dares to live in the old ghost town! The kids will have a look of horror filled awe on their faces and the spooky ghost town adventure can begin. Oddly enough, this same tact can be effective when used on naive adult passengers, which can lead to situations that are even more memorable!
There are many kinds of ghost towns and some of them are places that you really do not want to visit. There are ghost towns where environmental disasters occurred and places where pollution was so rampant that a visit to such a place would be a major health hazard. These kinds of ghost towns are closed for a reason, so it is best to steer clear, no matter how tempting they may be. There are other ghost towns in the old west that have been cursed for all eternity, such as Bodie, California. In Bodie Ghost Town, anybody that picks up any item in town to bring home will suffer a deep dark bad luck streak, till the item is returned. This well known curse is just one of many associated with the old gold rush mining camps of the west.
There are also plenty of abandoned ghost towns along old historic Route 66, but the big difference is that these are the kind of ghost towns that you really can visit with no dire consequences. The Route 66 ghost towns were not abandoned because of radioactive contamination, an oil spill or a genetically engineered pesticide leak that caused a zombie apocalypse. The abandoned Route 66 towns are not cursed to damnation either, unless you consider the Federal Government to be the kiss of death.
Route 66 does have ghosts from the past, but they are indeed real. The Federal Government did in fact do everything possible to destroy the Route 66 culture, which was quite a rebellious scene way back when. America’s Southwestern vacationland gone hog wild was the rebel cry and anybody that had a business along the solitary major highway that went to the Southwest was making money hand over foot. All that one had to do was prop up a cheap roadside attraction to draw the tourist dollars in back in the good old days when Route 66 touring was number one.
When the Federal Government’s built modern interstate freeways to bypass all of Route 66, this was the proverbial nail in the coffin for thousands of businesses and small towns along the entire historic Mother Road. With no traffic passing through, the main street areas dried up and the well ran dry. Economic depravity forced homeowners to give up their land and abandon the lifestyles they once proudly led. Cookie cutter motel chains, greasy fast food joints and monopolized fueling stations along the newly built interstate freeway replaced all those cozy little mom and pops businesses on Route 66. This is what happens when a government turns its back on the needs of the people, in order to satisfy corrupt corporate initiatives that lead to authoritarian monopolization, which is evident at every modern freeway offramp. This horror filled reality actually took place when historic Route 66 was bypassed back in the 1960s.
Texola, Oklahoma definitely is a casualty of the Route 66 bypass war. This small town straddles the border of the Texas and this little town has never really had it easy. Historically, Texola had a few name changes in its early years and the current name is the agreed upon result of much dickering. Depending on which map from the past that you look at, this town has been officially been totally located in Texas or Oklahoma. Most of the recent maps say both, even though there is really nothing much to look at past Texas State Line marker. This farming community showed slow growth up till the Route 66 era began, then modern tourism delivered a much needed economic shot in the arm. Texola proudly served the needs of Route 66 tourists for several decades, then this little town was completely bypassed by a modern high speed interstate freeway. As a result, Texola slowly dwindled away into the past, just like an old wind withered farm house sitting in a barren field after the Great Plains Dust Bowl disaster.
Driving through any ghost town is spooky, especially when the weather is stormy. Foul weather and tales of horror go together like peanut butter and jelly, so if the skies are not sunny, then that is the time to give in to doing a spooky ghost town tour! On the day that I toured the Texola Ghost Town, high winds were blasting the area and several fast moving wildfires started up in the western Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle region. The blustery gusts of wind had all the trees moving around the abandoned dilapidated houses in Texola, as if some kind of demonic force was trying to say “Go away!”
The imagery that runs through one’s own mind while wandering around in an abandoned ghost town during foul weather can be remarkably macabre, while at the same time many somber thoughts fill the head as well. A bit of sadness is felt for those whose life long dreams were crushed by the disparity cast by unsurmountable unseen forces directed from Capitol Hill. As the strong wind blows, the remnants of venetian blinds flutter and a few rotten wood beams creak. Branches of overgrown trees beat on the sides of the dilapidated structures, as if they were in the ninth round of a world title fight. When staring through the doorless entryway at the rubble, old broken kids toys, the rotting curtains and empty beer bottles, one just simply has to stop to take the time to wonder about this old Route 66 ghost town some more.
Texola actually is a living ghost town, because a few people still do reside there. In fact, there actually is one solid open business in town that operates as a general store, snack bar and tourist trading post all wrapped up in one package. The Tumbleweed Grill & Waterhole #2 Country Store is pretty much the headquarters for saving Texola from extinction and it is a neat tourist trap ta boot!
The entire town of Texola is private property, so visitors should respect the property rights as such. This means that rummaging for souvenirs to take home is taboo, even though there is no evil curse to deal with, that is of course except for the chainsaw massacre incident that took place nearby in Texas not too long ago. Rumor has it that the abandoned town of Texola was associated with this horror story in some way, so if you want to get your fun filled paranormal kicks on historic Route 66, Texola Ghost Town is the place to go!
Leave no trace!
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