You need a backbone for this spooky place

October 16, 2013

For today’s “Spooky Place in Texas,” we are taking a trip to a spot whose name alone is spooky: The Devil’s Backbone.

The Backbone is a scenic, 20-mile long ridge that conforms to the route of Ranch Road 32, running east-west between Wimberly and Blanco. The limestone bluff is surrounded by canyons and valleys. That, in turn, causes mist and fog to unexpectedly pop up, thus adding to the mystique.

Dozens of locals and passers-by have reported ghostly sightings of Confederate soldiers and Apache chiefs and the sounds of horses galloping through the canyons. Others have stumbled upon cold spots in mid-July.

While the sightings are reported all over the place, the Devil’s Backbone Tavern — built on the site of ancient Indian campgrounds and the area’s first stagecoach stop — is spook central! Doors open and slam close, pictures fly off the walls if someone speaks ill of one of the regular patrons and the sounds of a full bar are often heard well after everyone has gone home.

Sometimes, when the tavern’s bartender, Mary Johnson, is closing the bar for the night, she says invisible hands will brush her hair while she’s sweeping. “Will you guys knock it off?!” she’ll snap. And she says they do, at least until the next night.

On the Devil’s Backbone, life and the afterlife go on …

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