Haunting of McDow Hole on Highway 6

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Tony Maples Photography


The state of Texas is famous for many things: The Dallas Cowboys, The San Antonio Spurs, The Texas Rangers, and The Alamo. We are also famous for people: Lyndon B. Johnson, Ann Richards, and The Bushs. Well, we are also famous for ghosts. This is the story of the Ghost at McDow Hole. McDow Hole is located in Erath County.


Photo: pixabay.com

In the 1860s, a couple, Charlie and Jenny Papworth, moved into a cabin near the McDow Hole on the creek. The hole was named after his uncle, Jim McDow. After Charlie’s parents died, he left on a trip to complete family business. Jenny and the two children stayed behind. During the day she busied herself with her children and her chores. In the evening, she would take the children and stay at the McDow’s. One night Jenny and the kids didn’t show up. The McDows became frantic the next day. When they arrived at the cabin, they found the place in disarray and a trail of blood. Their son was found under the bed, but Jenny and the baby were never found.

Initially, the main suspect was W.P. Brownlow. He was known as a troublemaker around town. He immediately blamed the notorious Comanche tribe. This raised a red flag with townspeople and they began to question Brownlow’s part in the incident. No proof was ever found. Charlie and the little boy moved away. That is when the hauntings started.

The residents of the cabin thereafter have witnessed Jenny and her daughter over the years. She is often seen standing, holding her baby girl. Even scaring one man to death.

Later, a couple of drunks heard about the ghost in the cabin. They bet a bartender in town they could stay in the haunted cabin for three days without a problem. When the townsfolk went to check on them, they were nowhere to be found. Though they found the cabin riddled with bullet holes.

Years passed, and many folks made claims of seeing Jenny and the baby, from a young boy fishing to travelers on the local train. One of Jenny’s most famous appearances was at W.P. Brownlow’s bed as he was dying. Brownlow did finally admit to the murders. The murder was fueled by fear. Fear that Jenny might repeat a conversation she overheard Brownlow regarding cattle rustling which at that time was punishable by hanging. Jenny’s ghost and that of her little girl still haunt this area.

If you are up for a little scary business, you can find McDow Hole is located off of Highway 6 between Dublin and Alexander. One word of caution: remember to follow all private property and no trespassing signage.