Ghosts and Meatballs and Other Ghostly Tales out of Texas

Cal Jennings

Cal Jennings

Halloween is approaching and do we really need to restate at this point how much we love a good ghost story?  This comes to us straight out of Texas from longtime friend of Subversify Cal Jennings. You can find more from Cal @ http://spaceeagleproductions-cal-el.blogspot.com/?m=1 Please to Enjoy.

By: Cal Jennings

I’ve had a few interactions with the paranormal in my lifetime, but none more intriguing to me than my experience at The Spaghetti Warehouse in Houston Texas. However, this was not my first experience and so I’ll begin at the beginning.

Cal's Haunted Childhood Home

Cal’s Haunted Childhood Home

I lived in a haunted house from the time I was 14 until I graduated high school. The ghost residing in this home was friendly. It was supposedly and ex-CIA agent who died in the house. He mostly liked to slam the door between the dining room and the kitchen if it was left open, but he would play with me sometimes. I would place objects on the table in a certain order and he would rearrange them. My grandparents, my uncle, my mother, and my sisters all witnessed the events multiple times. He also seemed to love Quentin’s Theme. I had a bat kite hanging from a string that never usually moved, but when I put on that record, it would turn back and forth as if someone were dancing with it. When I told my grandmother about it she said that Quentin’s Theme used to have another name. I can’t recall the name she told me but it was something similar to “Annie’s Waltz.” I tried playing other music from classical to hard rock to see if the kite would move because of vibrations from the speakers, but it was to no avail. It only moved when I played Quentin’s Theme.

I only visibly saw him once. My cousin thought it was me at first and I heard him say, “Calvin, do you want to come out and play?” It replied back in a mean, loud voice, “NO!” I yelled to my cousin that I was in the bathroom under the stairs, quickly zipped up my pants (thankfully nothing got caught in the zipper), and ran out. I saw something that looked a lot like me going up the stairs which disappeared halfway. I believe that was the last time any of us saw or heard from the ghost. Interestingly, I had been injected with radioactive dye for a kidney scan a week previously, though. Perhaps the radioactivity caused me to split into two beings in a manner similar to the occurrences in the early horror movies? OOOooooh!

The second occurrence, which I believe was real, was when someone called me to exorcise some demons out of their house. I had just left the ultra-right/conservative bible college in Florida. It was the sort of institution that went so far as to send staff to spy on people who went on dates to be sure they didn’t kiss or do anything not “Christian.” This was COLLEGE for goodness sake! I also objected to their teachings on the bible and Christ in general. When they brought a couple up on stage in front of the entire college to ridicule them for having half a beer when they ate pizza, I was out of there after advising the woman to seek legal counsel and sue their pants off… but I digress.

I was back in Houston feeling that I had done the right thing and helped expose a very non-Christian Christian college. I had taken up going to a Bible Church instead of a Church of Christ or Baptist Church, both of which I had been to prior to heading off to college. I had a good knowledge of the bible and had studied and pondered the more paranormal acts of Jesus such as healing the sick and casting out demons. My confidence was pretty high.

When I was called to cast out the demons at the person’s house, I told them to call the preacher. When they called back and said that the preacher was afraid because a demon had attacked a man who cast out a demon in the name of Jesus and the name of Paul, I thought, “That’s silly. He should know that it was because he added the name of Paul that the demon was able to attack him.” Still, I didn’t want to do it because I had taken about two hits of a weak joint earlier in the day but I felt I had sinned and wasn’t worthy. I told the person to call the elder. I got on my knees and prayed that God send someone else from the church because I didn’t feel worthy. The person called back and the elder had turned them down and was afraid for the same reason. After praying for forgiveness for my horrible sin of taking a couple tokes off of a joint, I reluctantly agreed to go to cast out the demons.

It was early in the evening when I arrived at the house. Before entering, I prayed for protection. I rang the doorbell and the woman answered the door. She was about 18 or 19 and had called her boyfriend to come over after I had arrived. While we were awaiting his arrival, I asked to see the area of the occurrences she had seen. She took me into her bedroom and I looked around.

Her dresser was cluttered with pictures, perfume, nail polish bottles, and lipstick cases. The closet door was open revealing a plaster skull that appeared to have had a black candle that had been burned enough to make it drip on the skull… I supposed this had been done in an attempt to make it look scary.

The woman stood by the closet as I entered the room. The skull appeared to move wherever she moved. My thought was that this might have been accomplished with fishing line or something and moved further into the room. Suddenly, the bottles on the dresser started flying at us. It was like something right out of the movie The Exorcist but this was before the movie was released. The bottles were hitting her but stopped about a foot away from me and dropped to the floor as if they had hit a wall. Perhaps I should have prayed for protection for the woman as well? Ah well, It was my first (and to this date) only exorcism. I examined the bottles and the dresser to be sure there was no strings or wires or devices that could hurl the bottles and decided that it wasn’t phony. I immediately said, “Satan, I cast you out in the name of Jesus!” and all of the activity stopped.

About that time, her boyfriend arrived at the door. They came in and I asked them some questions about whether or not they had engaged in any Satanic worship or summoning of spirits to which they answered, “No.” which left me confused as to what caused the problem in the first place, so I asked about anything I could think about. I asked about Astrology books and they had a lot of them and handed them to me, but I didn’t feel that would do it. I asked if they had any books on voodoo or anything else and they said, “No, but we have this.” They then pulled out a large Satanic Bible. I thought maybe that would do it. Just to be sure, we took all the books and the skull to the middle of the street in the barely developed neighborhood where I crashed the skull on the pavement and burned the books. Yes, I burned the books. Okay. So I was a book burner just that once. So sue me! I then turned to them and told them to get into a church that they could live with and stay in it. I didn’t hear from them until ten years later when they called me to thank me. Somehow they found that I had moved to Texas City and gave me a call.

Around 1990, my now late wife and I went to Houston to eat at the Spaghetti Warehouse because we loved Italian food. It may have been an anniversary or just a romantic date, I’m not sure since my memory fails me but I was looking forward to a romantic dinner out then some lovemaking afterward. It was around 6pm when we arrived and the sky was clear and the sun was still shining. As I entered, I asked to sit upstairs so I could overlook the beautiful fixtures that had been installed in the place. I loved fixtures and articles from the past, partially from noticing the amazing handiwork that was put into my grandfather’s house which was said to be haunted. I really don’t know. I was always drawn to the beauty of the past and the majestic carvings on buildings from around the 1800’s. Because I had just had back surgery, I was in a wheelchair. At the time, I had no knowledge of anything other than some people saying the place was haunted. I didn’t believe it. It’s one of the several places in Houston rumored to be haunted.

 

Houston Spaghetti Warehouse

Houston Spaghetti Warehouse

 

The only one I’ve been to is The Spaghetti Warehouse. I guess it must be listed first for a reason.  According to an article I found this on Examiner.com, the history of the property states:

“The ghost tales center on a young pharmacist who was dedicated to his job. He was busy with a pile of paper work with invoices overflowing upon his desk. Grabbing a stack of the files, he headed for the back elevator. Without looking, he stepped into the dark, open elevator shaft and fell several feet to his death.

When the man didn’t return home in time for dinner that evening, his adoring wife began to worry. She hurried to the warehouse hoping to find her husband busy at work. Instead she found a found a group of people standing in and about the building talking about a tragedy that occurred there.  Inside the warehouse she found the remains of her beloved husband crumpled at the bottom of the elevator shaft. The distraught woman died at her home about a year later. Her family believes she died of a broken heart.”

They describe a man who fell down the elevator shaft, and his wife who died a year later of a broken heart, but what I saw was a young, beautiful woman, strangely dressed, who hit on me. I thought the woman had some nerve hitting on me in front of my wife but, due to her beauty, I found myself secretly wishing that I was single. The woman first said, “You’re a mighty good looking man. I replied, “You’re not bad yourself. Meet my wife, Diane.” After meeting my wife, she said something along the lines of, “Would you like to go somewhere and make out?” I replied, “No. I’m married.”

After I turned down her advances, she walked into the elevator and disappeared… fading away rather than just vanishing. I thought maybe I was seeing things or that perhaps the waitress knew who the woman was. I thought she might have been a customer who had been seated around the corner where I couldn’t see her. When I called the waitress over and asked if she had seen a woman that fit the description I gave her, her face turned white and she replied, “That’s the ghost.” I thought the staff had probably been coached to say such things, but seeing the woman vanish in the elevator was very puzzling.

We had problems with our elevators at work at the refinery but ours were much newer than those old wrought iron gates they used to have. They had safety devices to stop the elevator if the door was open and had heavy steel doors which opened vertically. Sometimes the safety devices would fail and you could open a door and the elevator wouldn’t be there. When I went to the Spaghetti Warehouse, they still had the old gate on the elevator. I can’t recall if the wrought iron gate had any safety devices but I remember thinking it was rather ineffective for an elevator door. I came up in it because I was in a wheelchair at the time. I do wonder if it was illness and/or ailment like my radiation or being in a wheelchair that attracted the ghosts.

Here’s a video that describes the story of the legend of the haunting.

Now, I don’t believe in orbs. I think orbs are just lens defects or peculiarities of the particular camera being used. I think the discoloration on the picture is probably a result of aging and moisture. It’s harder though, to dismiss a lovely woman hitting on me in front of my wife, heading into the elevator when I rejected her advances, closing the door behind her and disappearing without the elevator ever moving. Was any of this real? Who knows for sure?

 

 

If you’d like to visit the Spaghetti Warehouse yourself, they are located at 901 Commerce St., Houston.  You can visit their website @ www.meatballs.com