There was a knock on the door. Standing in the doorway was a young sailor in his 20s to 30s. He asked for something to eat. A young boy, only identified as David, told his mother of the request. She told him to make the man a sandwich and give him a coke.

David sat on the porch and listened to the man, while he ate. The sailor explained he had just been discharged from the Navy and had been on a ship that was docked at Orange’s Navy yard. “He said his ship just came from Japan were they had just drop the big bomb,” said David. “He was headed home to California.”

There was just one problem with the sailor’s story. The year was 1962.

The knock on the door happened several more times, but David never opened the door again.
“A kid that lived down the street said they had a guy in a Navy uniform show up asking for a meal. Said he was headed to California. Spooky,” said David.

This is just one tale of strange things happening in Orange and around the county.
Many years ago, a woman named Cel was driving down Farm Road 105 in front of the schools in Orangefield. She saw a black man dressed in a white suit standing at the opening of Granger Lane. Realizing that was an odd image that seemed out of place, in that particular spot, she immediately looked back­-but the man was gone. Rather than a ghost, she believes the man was an angel.

According to a story on the internet by Dylan Seals, Bridge City’s swing bridge may have more history to it than is recorded. The tale sounds very much like the legend of Sarah Jane Road, which is located in Port Neches. A mother; crying for her lost baby; then threw herself off the bridge.

The difference between the two stories is the author claims to personally have heard the cries and seen the woman. Fishing late at night with one of his buddies, he began to hear the cries. “It was a dark night and we had to use our own flashlights to see the water. It was around 11:30 at night and we were still trying for a catch when I heard a faint sob,” wrote Seals His companion did not here the woman until the cries grew louder. “We tried to shake it off. But every sound made us jump.”

They decided to head home around 11:45. “Then the sound of a woman crying out came to our ears. We jumped and spun around to see what made the cry. Nothing stood behind us. then the cry came again, louder as if to wake the dead. As we turned, the image of a sobbing woman in a dress with a child in her hands was standing there before us. As quickly as she came, she vanished.”

Seals claimed they ran home. They did not sleep that night and left all the lights on.
There are many more tales of the supernatural in the Orange area. The Port of Orange and the Brown Center are both thought to be haunted. And don’t forget the Hollywood Cemetery.

A snippet of evidence may have been captured at the Orange Community Playhouse. The theater has long spooked some of the players through the years. Footsteps have been heard, or music, leading directors to think they have locked someone in the building, only to find no one there.

Last year, the front door to the lobby was seen opening on its own on three different occasions.
The Texas Society of Paranormal Investigators conducted an investigation. A camera was placed facing the front door. (We’ll call it camera one.) Another camera was placed in front of the door, facing the hall; where a black mass had been observed. (We’ll call it camera two).

While studying the tape from camera two, it was observed that camera one turned off. Initially it was thought the camera ran out of tape. Several minutes later; a mist passed in front of camera two. It looked as if it came from the front door. Camera one, then turned back on. The incident happened over a period of 16 minutes. Later, a car passing the door was recorded, clearly showing the mist was not car lights.

According to Mike McCaskill, one of the founders of Upshur Paranormal, one of the entities hanging out at the OCP is actually a resident of the Holland Hotel. McCaskill, also a medium, says the woman told him she died in her room and it took a few days for her to be found. She hangs around the theater because, “She likes to sing.”

McCaskill’s wife, D.d., got the impression of three young girls. OCP board members validated that by saying a picture taken in the past did show three girls.

Believe in ghosts or not; the tales add to the spirit of Halloween.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.