By Michael Federick
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
One of the most interesting places I have had the opportunity to investigate is the Presidio Nuestra Señora de Loreto de la Bahía near Goliad, TX. Originally constructed by the Spanish Army in 1721, the fort was moved to its current location in 1747. The fort changed hands over the course of the 1810’s to the early 1820’s due to unrest between the U.S. & Spanish/Mexican forces.
In 1821 the U.S. & Spain signed the Adams-Onis Treaty giving all rights for Texas to Spain, which angered many Americans. By the end of 1821 Mexico had achieved independence from Spain and Texas became part of its newly created country. By 1835 La Bahia & the Alamo in Bexar (San Antonio) were the two major garrisons within Mexican Texas.
In October 1835 the Texas Revolution had started and very shortly thereafter the Texian Army had captured both La Bahia & the Alamo. In February 1836 Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón; better known as Santa Anna, led a large force of Mexican Army troops into Texas subdue the revolution and on the 23rd laid siege of the Alamo. Colonel Fannin, commander of the troops at La Bahia, was requested to provide reinforcements to the Alamo. Due to many untimely delays the rescue was ultimately canceled, and Colonel Fannin’s troops returned to La Bahia. In the meantime, Mexican Army troops led by José de Urrea, had started a march towards Goliad.
After the fall of the Alamo on March 6th, General Sam Houston ordered Colonel Fannin and his troops to abandon La Bahia and retreat to Victoria, which began on March 19th. On the banks of Coleto Creek Mexican General Urrea and his men attacked the Texan Army. Although the Texians initially repelled the attacks, they soon had to surrendered.
The Texians were escorted back to La Bahia, arriving by March 22nd. Although General Urrea requested that Santa Anna treat the prisoners with clemency, on March 27th, the Texans were marched from the fort and executed by Mexican soldiers, in an event known as the “Goliad Massacre”.
Today La Bahia is owned by the Catholic Diocese of Victoria, TX.
My investigation included an overnight, on-site stay in The Quarters. We had full access to the outdoor sections of the old Presidio. We performed numerous EVP sessions (a quite night, no EVP’s to be had) and had my Third/Fourth Cousin (a Psychic Medium), depending on what side of the family you are looking at, perform a séance within The Quarters where she connected with a number of the soldiers killed during the massacre. In addition, in Season 1, Episode 9 members of the Ghost Lab team investigated the Presidio.
Rates to stay in “The Quarters” can be found on this site.
By Carrie Mitchell
Thursday, September 27, 2018
October is here, and it's time to think all things spooky. It's not a difficult thing to do when you belong to a paranormal group whose home base is the official Halloween Capital of the World. For us Halloween is an everyday occurrence, and lo and behold it just so happens to be my favorite holiday of all time!
But how and where did Halloween originate? Let's take a look at some of the history behind this spooktacular day...
Halloween's origins date back to the tenth century when ancient Celtic Pagans and Druids celebrated a day called Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-wen). A Gaelic word meaning "All Hallows Eve". It was a time when the veil between worlds was the thinnest, and they would invite the spirits of dearly departed loved ones to celebrate life, pray for their souls, and give thanks for a bountiful harvest. It was also one of the four major holidays that segmented the calendar year. Samhain was the biggest and most sacred holiday in that it marked the beginning of winter or "new year". It signaled the end of another cycle wherein a new cycle would begin.
Many times Pagan rituals were performed. During these rituals they were known to leap high into the air with broomsticks as they danced around a bonfire to simulate the height of the crops that they desired next year. Thus the idea of witches riding broomsticks emerged. The bonfire itself was traditional in that it provided a beacon of light in which spirits of their dearly departed could follow. Today candles are lit and placed in windows as beacons to follow. Feasting was common where foods made from the final harvest were consumed. Offerings of food were given to the visiting spirits of loved ones passed as well as to
the Harvest Gods in exchange for future fruitful crops. Horn of plenty anyone? Or perhaps we'll just stick to apple crisp and rice crispy treats.
Another tradition that is still performed today is the art of carving pumpkins. The original Jack 'O Lanterns were carved from various gourds and used in Pagan rituals. Many were created and placed around the celebration space as a way to keep evil spirits at bay to protect the living. Today we place these pumpkins by our front doors to ward away those evil spirits, and prevent them from entering our homes.
Most rituals and celebrations also included "masking" or "guising", what we know today as dressing in costume. "Masking" was a way to ward off, trick, or appease evil spirits that would cross the veil with our departed loved ones. The practice of dressing in costume and going door to door began in the middle ages. Then it was called "souling" or "mumming" where the poor would go door to door receiving food in exchange for prayers for the dead on Hallowmas (November 1st). Today we know this tradition better by the title "trick or treating", only the Americanized version today depicts the theology of giving treats to prevent "tricks" or "pranks" from happening at all. A little blackmail say you?
Contrary to some radical Christian beliefs, Halloween is not the Devils birthday, or Devils night. In fact ancient Pagans and Druids as well as Neopagans today don't hold any belief in any such being. New Religion Missionaries during the conversion branded the Old [Pagan] Religion's supernatural deities as evil, and thus associated them with the Devil. And since Paganism was now the rival religion of Christianity, Pagans were vilified as being worshippers of a demon (or false) God. The Pagan's version of the underworld then inevitably became known as the Christian Hell. But that's a story for another time...
The point is that the traditions of the holiday of Samhain or Halloween as we call it today, never died out. All of the holiday's traditions and mysterious customs have roots within our religious history. Each can be traced through the lineage of spiritual beliefs, and handed down through the centuries. Though Halloween has gone through a metamorphosis and changed throughout time, many people today still celebrate the ancient traditions (with variations I might add) all while embracing the new traditions associated with the holiday. And why not? It's a day we can all come together as one and be anything or anyone we wish to be, and add some mystery and magic to our technologically filled lives. And in doing so, together we reaffirm that death is a natural and inevitable part of life, to celebrate the cycles on a wonderfully sacred and magical night!
Happy Haunting Everyone!
Until next time...