The National Ranching Heritage Center | Haunted? Or Not?

The National Ranching Heritage Center | Haunted? Or Not?

Located in Lubbock, Texas

When I contacted the guys at Ghost Texas in response to their request to have guest blog writers, I worked mainly with Melvin Maya on what topics the guys wanted me to write on. He sent me a bunch to get me started, and I have to say that this location, the National Ranching Heritage Center, has been the only one I found difficult to write about.

Why? Because it’s very difficult to find any kind of ghost stories tied to this location whatsoever. I mean, sincerely – this was the most disappointing Google search of my life, guys. Legit. And at first, that discouraged me from writing on it, to be honest.

But as I read the histories of the buildings and structures that the NRHC has acquired and preserved, and as I thought about what I have experienced in my own practice as a psychic-medium and energy healer, I became more and more fascinated with this place.

For those of you who live around the Dallas/FT Worth metro area, the NHRC is a lot like Old City Park (now named Heritage Park, near downtown Dallas). The exhibits are all original buildings or replicas of buildings from all over Texas that show the history of ranching in this state.

I certainly never really thought about the history of ranching; I guess I assumed it was just something people did to survive, like farming, and if you were good at it, then you made a profit off it. I never knew that the first ranchers in Texas had ties to the aristocracy of Mexico, or that the first ranching settlements in Texas date all the way back to 1659 along areas of the Rio Grande.

Indeed, I was shocked to find that the oldest structure at the NRHC dates back to 1780. The building known as Los Corralitos at the NRHC is technically a replica, but it is precisely patterned off the original structure – which could not be moved to the heritage center because it is technically a gravesite. The original Los Corralitos structure may hold the bodies of five members of the family that first received the land grant to settle the area in Zapata County.

Get this – the original Los Corralitos structure (and the exact replica) had 33-inch thick walls and no windows – but it did boast 6 gun ports.

Because … priorities. It was the “wild” West for a reason.

But I digress.

The rest of the structures are impressive as well, with rich histories behind them - many of them were meticulously deconstructed, stone by stone, and reassembled at the museum site. The heritage center features a blacksmith shop, schoolhouse, cookhouse, locomotive and shipping pens, and granaries, just to name a few. There are also several reconstructed and preserved homes on site.

And it’s because of all these structures – most of which are originals and not replicas – that I can’t get my head around the conspicuous lack of hauntings and paranormal reports!!

A few of the structures are made of stone. If you’re new to all things paranormal, I should tell you that there is a theory amongst paranormal researchers that supposes certain materials can absorb psychic energy like a sponge, and this is why we have residual hauntings (non-interactive hauntings where the same event seems to happen over, like a video replay). So with all these stone homes and buildings, why aren’t people at the NRHC reporting – at the very least – residual type hauntings?

Y’all, these buildings span a significant amount of time – 1700-1970. People lived in them – lived hard lives in them, with almost no medical care and certainly no modern conveniences. Most of the structures have few rooms, so people were laughing, crying, living, and dying in very close quarters – and that means they were also having fights, parties, Christmases, birthdays, weddings, funerals, and births in these structures. They were feeling and thinking and LIVING in these structures.

Added to that, the structures have been furnished with objects and furniture of the period – I realize some of these accessories and objects might have been newly built in the old styles, but certainly, some of the furnishings could be preserved artifacts original to the time period of the structures themselves.


My point here is that the buildings and the items in them should be absolutely soaked with psychic energy. That’s just a matter-of-fact part of living on this planet as a spirit with a body – you give off energy because you are made of energy. It is the never-ending cycle of our existence. Everything is energy.

But, again, in my research for this blog post, I found remarkably few stories of paranormal happenings. In one article, the museum curator Robert Tidwell was interviewed. He said that some people have reported seeing folks inside the Barton House, which is one of the structures on the heritage site; another report I found was of a woman seen in the upper window of the Barton House. Some people have reported footsteps behind them when they are alone on the grounds.

That’s it. All. Everything. Todos.

More than 20 historical structures, most of them authentic, original structures, and this is it?

That’s … unusual.

There’s another phenomenon seen in paranormal activity seen in cases where original structures or items have been disturbed. In cases where buildings have been renovated, furniture has been moved or removed, or items have been cleared away, the change in the original atmosphere of the place seems to cause an increase in psychic activity. My question is - why hasn’t that happened in the buildings at the NRHC?

Or did it happen back in the 1960s and 1970s when many of the structures were brought to the heritage site and now everything’s calmed back down?

If all the people tied to these places in life really are resting totally peacefully, then I think that’s great – but is that really the case here?

I suppose it could be.

As I was editing this post to make sure it flowed well and made sense, I found myself still kind of reflecting on the lack of psychic activity at the location. In an effort to gain some insight into this situation, I honored my intuitive hit to pull a card around this article, around the NRHC and the lack of paranormal activity there.

I felt pulled to my Mystical Shaman Oracle deck, by Alberto Villoldo – it’s my favorite because of the deep spiritual messages and the gorgeous artwork.

The card I pulled was #17 in the deck, Earth, and it was pulled in reverse. In this deck, if you pull a card upright, you get an Invitation; if you pull in reverse, you get Medicine.

The card said that Earth represents the “gift of life.” It reminds us that the “world of form is a gift from Spirit and needs to be treated with respect.”

The Medicine said, “When the spirit of Earth comes as your medicine, you’re being reminded that when you practice self-care, take a walk in nature, and focus on the consciousness of abundance, miracles can and do happen.”

What I feel Spirit is saying about the NRHC and lack of hauntings there is that “miracles can and do happen.” It could be that this place is at peace: the peace that surpasses all understanding – the peace of being reunited with that which we truly are, and that is Divine Love. I feel this card could be a message from Source telling us that the people related to the buildings of this place have found that peace – there is no reason for them to walk the Earth in any form or manifestation anymore.

I feel that Spirit is also reminding us to not get carried away and lose focus of what’s really at stake in our searching for the creepy, the haunting, the paranormal. We should remember that these matters we read about and investigate are the actual souls of real people – people just like us; the spirit world is not something to titillate and amuse us, not something to be treated disrespectfully or like entertainment. We come to Earth to have experiences as both mortal and immortal creations, and then we leave to be reunited with that which created us, Source Energy. It’s ultimately about remembering and reuniting with the Divine Peace and Love that we all are at our cores.

I feel that is indescribably beautiful.

And still, my mind goes back to what I read about the NRHC. The articles I read and the interviews with the staff about hauntings never mentioned a closed-circuit security camera system of the property – are there things happening there when the place is closed up? If they don’t have video surveillance of the property, then how do they know there’s nothing going on?

I don’t know, my ghosty friends. I don’t know what to say about this place other than I am still quite interested in seeing and feeling it for myself.

Investigation of the NRHC will have to wait until the COVID-19 quarantine orders come to an end, though. It’s closed up tight to prevent more people from getting sick. And I have to wonder if, with the lack of visitors and being closed up tight, if there ARE things happening there that nobody can witness?

Perhaps there’s no way to be sure.


About the Author
Rachel Sheffler is a native Texan from the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and is an ardent student and seeker of all things Spirit-related. She loves ghost stories, history, and learning about paranormal research. Rachel is a medium and psychic intuitive, a Reiki master and energy healer. She offers private readings and energy healing sessions in a compassionate, honest, and humorous style, with a strong focus on helping people heal within.  You can find out more about Rachel by visiting her website and her Facebook page. (Links below)

Facebook Comments

Scroll to top