For today’s “Spooky Place in Texas,” we’re traveling north to Gatesville and the Coryell County Courthouse. Built in 1897, the beautiful limestone building is the county’s third courthouse — the first being built in 1868 and the second in 1872. The current courthouse once housed the county jail in the basement, and the courthouse itself was the scene of a deadly shootout in 1909. Ask any of the county employees if the courthouse is haunted, and you most likely will get a resounding ‘Yes.’
Coryell County Historical Commission member Bobbie Thornton will tell you the story of Elroy, a ghost that supposedly dwells in the basement of the county courthouse. Thorton says Elroy has been there for years, and a maintenance employee gave the spirit its name. Deputy County Clerk Tammy McAfee said she has felt Elroy wandering in the basement while she worked.
“There will be this cold breeze that comes through the office, and just one of us will feel it. It is a very isolated thing that will happen out of the blue,” she says.
Elroy also has been known to give you a tap on the shoulder and even re-arrange furniture in the middle of the night.
The Coryell County Courthouse is rich with history and legend, and it appears Elroy the ghost is determined to keep the history and legend alive … or, should I say, alive again.