This Halloween, discover a historic park in Downtown Arlington and other haunted hang-outs
Arlington’s Lost Cemetery of Infants
Imagine living in the late 1800s, a time when society shunned all matter of sinners, which at that time included women who were single mothers or soon-to-be.
Reverend James Tony Upchurch believed there was a better way, and in 1894 he opened the Berachah Industrial Home for the Redemption and Protection of Erring Girls. Here, south of Arlington’s fledgling city center, women were taught employable skills to help them rejoin society and provide for their children. Over time, the Institute evolved into a “self-sustaining” village. By 1935 it had morphed into an orphanage.
The only thing that remains of the land Reverend Upchurch developed is a hidden graveyard in what is now Doug Russell Park, located along the southwestern edge of the University of Texas at Arlington, which is itself on the south side of Downtown Arlington. This pretty little City park with its small walking bridge and pathway into campus belies the “lost cemetery of infants” within its boundaries. The gravestones found there were most likely erected by Berachah House residents in memory of children lost during or shortly after childbirth.
Today, according to Tui Snider's research, reports of paranormal activity near the graveyard have included “shadowy figures seen darting between the trees, the sensation of being watched, the sounds of children’s voices, and small toys appearing (and disappearing) on graves.”
Wait. Did you hear that?
For a deeper dive into this historic location, join Donna Darovich for this episode of Arlington Time Capsule, a new series of videos produced by O.K. Carter:
Arlington Music Hall
If you're up for a little more ghost-hunting, check out this video produced by the City of Arlington in 2014 about the paranormal activity in one of our favorite performance venues in Downtown.
According to Jean Collins, who was at that time the owner of the Arlington Music Hall, ghost-in-residence Fred has always been up to all kinds of shenanigans. Jean not only claims to have caught the sounds of an invisible being moving onstage with her own ears, but she and countless other AMH employees were dead serious when they said lights have come back on after being completely shut off.
Even the Dallas-Area Paranormal Society caught clear EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon) in 2014 that indicated there may be more than one spirit roaming the hall, as a female voice was also recorded with the team.
Howard Ball of AMH’s next-door neighbor Babe’s Chicken Dinner House confirmed his own experiences with strange occurrences, including Fred himself walking up to Howard and asking for a look around the restaurant. "I used to live here,” Fred said, only to then disappear.
Downtown Outdoors is a Downtown Arlington platform for discovering and experiencing the great outdoors in the heart of our city. Downtown Outdoors not only helps us see Arlington’s historical and cultural district differently, but creates opportunities to engage with our outdoor spaces through creative new programming that’s open to all. Andthese days especially, there are so many beneficial reasons to regularly step out into the sunshine. Research shows that social distancing in outdoor spaces is much more effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19 as compared to indoors. Spending time and exercising outside also provide all kinds of health benefits.
Let’s go outside and play! #ExploreDTArlington
What’s your favorite way to play?
What other ideas do you have for enjoying the great outdoors in the heart of your city? We’d love to hear from you.