Phantom Manor … Looking for the Pirate Captain's Bride

Thank You to everybody who made Haunted Abilene 2013 a success!

A BIG Thank You to the Sponsors who make Haunted Abilene Possible! Look for next year’s Haunted Abilene!

Media Partners:


Lamar Advertising

Abilene Reporter-News

Trolley Sponsors:

Smilecrafters Affordable Dentistry

First Financial Bank

Children’s Area Sponsor:

Glen D. Hall DDS

Lighting Sponsor:

Orbit Construction, Inc.

Ticket Sponsors:

Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau

Abilene Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates

Abilene Pediatric Dental Assoc PLLC

American Classifieds

Ameriprise Financial – Daniel J. Dwyer

AEP – American Electric Power

Allied Employer Group

Angelo Backhoe Service

A-Town Cleaners

Auto-Chlor Systems of West Texas

Gwenda Berry

Leigh and Charles Black

Debbie and John Blake

John and Kelley Bliznak

Bourland-Soben Family Dentistry

Brandecker, Roberta and Edward

Melanie and Kent Brown

Cade and Katie Browning

Vicki and Richard Burdine

Canada and Associates LLC

Carlton Orthodontics

Molly Cline

David and Laura Copeland

Jody and Jerry dePriest

Scott M. Dowell DDS MS PA

Candis and Doug Dye

Wes and Terrie Bennett, Edward Jones

Mandy Ellis

Dana and Ferral Endsley

Fabulous Finds, Terry Stubbs

Dr. Joe and Evelyn Ferguson

Gary and Deonna Galbraith

W. Paige and Mandy Gollihar, Jr.

Lawrence Hall Abilene Dealerships

Callie and Lee Hampton

Bill and Carol Haynes

Dr. Ralph and Jill Heaven, Texas Oncology

Hendrix Electric

Sherry and Vic Hirsch

J.V. and Gerald L. Johnson

Junior League of Abilene

Diane and Bill Keeble

Anita and Robert Maberry

Frank Johnson, JP Morgan

Marty and Patrick Lannon

Lease Management Services

Leedy Dental

Nanci and Ken Liles

Tim and Debra Lillick

Lone Star Endodontics of Abilene

Jerry and Roz Love

Lucille’s Flowers/The New Wrinkle

Kim and Anton Melnyk

Patti Jo and Craig Mendenhall

Jamie Miers

Rex and Kathy Miller

Jimmy and Sharon Millican

Mims Contractors Inc., Charlotte Mims

Minuteman Printing Company

Janet Payne

Plastic Wholesale Plumbing Inc

Dr. Norm and Angel Poorman, Children’s Dentistry of Abilene

Marty and Robert Puls

Ashley and James Puryear, James Puryear Welding Fabrication and Steel Erection

Billye and Glynn Ray

Nancy and Derral Reed, Home Instead

Barbara Schriever

Security Title Company, Gerald Johnson

Erin and Cactus Schroder

Sharon Riley Catering

Neil D. Schultz, Edward Jones


Timothy Simpson DDS, PLLC

Sivley and Toogood, D.D.S.

Gary and Kay Snead

William and Jana Sojourner

Southwest Dental Care of Abilene PLLC

T I P Social Club

John R and Jana Thacker

Toner Tiger

The Water Hole #2

The Wild Ones, Boutique & Gifts

Sara and Talmadge Trammell, Neurosurgery Associates of WT

JoAnn and Randy Wilson

Amy Windham

Western Observer Newspaper

Y Design Workshop / Stonebridge Design

Abilene’s Best … Haunted Abilene is coming Oct. 25th and 26th!

Eventbrite - Haunted Abilene 2013

The return of Abilene’s BEST Halloween experience is again presented at the Swenson House by the Abilene Preservation League, Friday, October 25th and Saturday October 26th.

The famous historic trolley rides is back with an all-new route and stories about Abilene’s most famous friendly Ghosts, daring to go further into the darker parts of our fair city’s past … stories and characters you may not even know existed!

Phantom Manor, the  Swenson House in its wonderfully spooky October dress, is headquarters for the tale of Pirate Captain Pierre Latrice and his beloved Isabella, his bride. They arrived via wagon in West Texas around the Turn of the Century. Why is Captain Pierre looking for his Isabella? Read More …

Our vision is to provide a mysterious and suspenseful glimpse of Abilene’s most notable historic sites while giving families of all income levels a thrilling night of entertainment and fun. Kids (and parents) can wear their costumes as they visit one of Abilene’s most unique and inspiring historical homes – the only one open to the public.

Tickets are available NOW  for the all-new, exciting and terrifying version of Haunted Abilene.

For more information, please call 325-676-3775 or write

Eventbrite - Haunted Abilene 2013

Photos from Haunted Abilene 2013

Just in! We have a look at all the fun Haunted Abilene 2013 was… there are four photos below, and you can look at all of them at our Flickr site… great shots by our good friend, professional photographer Doug Hodel of Abilene.

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Saturday: Bring your umbrellas! It’ll keep it from raining!

A wonderful debut for Haunted Abilene 2013 last night. Cool, but not too cool. Tonight will be similar but there is currently a 50% chance of showers during part of the evening, so maybe being a little superstitious, we are getting the word out to bring your umbrellas… we are going on Rain or Shine.

We have plenty of availability on the trolleys tonight. Come join the fun at Abilene’s Most Complete Halloween Experience, Haunted Abilene!

See the ads in the Abilene Reporter-News

rn-logoWe have a unique Media Partnership with the Abilene Reporter-News helping promote Haunted Abilene! Every few days in the paper you’ll see an ad with a photograph of an architectural detail from a familiar Abilene building. We will give two free house tour tickets to the first person who calls in and correctly identifies the property. If you see the ad in the paper, and you know where it is, give us a call at 676-3775, extension 1. It’s that simple! Just another way reading the Abilene Reporter-News pays off.


Would you like to volunteer at Haunted Abilene?

We always need talented volunteers at Haunted Abilene, and since each year it gets bigger and better, our need for volunteers increases.

If you are available on Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26, why not consider joining the fun group of people who are working on this worthy event? Even if you can only work one night, we need you.

There are many jobs to do, and here are just a few:

  • Greeters and ticket-takers
  • Costumed characters to be in Phantom Mansion
  • Tour guides
  • Runners to bring refreshments to other volunteers
  • Children’s area workers

And in the set-up period of Thursday and Friday, we need workers who can:

  • set up booths
  • move heavy stuff

Now–if you are interested, please email us, but most importantly attend the very next meeting of the Haunted Abilene committee. It will be Thursday, August 8th, at 5:30 at the Swenson House, 1726 Swenson at North 18th. You’ll get a kick out of this creative and friendly group!

Sponsor 20 kids so they can attend!

One way you can enjoy the fun of Haunted Abilene is through sponsoring one or more groups of Abilene children, so they can attend, regardless of family income.

We’re telling you about our unique Halloween event and asking for your help sharing this experience with hundreds of children in our community who attend the after school program at the Alliance for Women and Children and children of Dyess AFB families with deployments.  Tickets sell to the public for $10 each. However, for each tax-deductible contribution of $150 from individuals or businesses, we can provide 20 tickets for these children.

Each ticket purchased and donated by you or your company will have your company’s name printed on the ticket, also your name will appear on our event handouts as well as our Haunted Abilene Web Site. This will make the community aware of your contribution to these children.  Most of these children have never been in the Swenson House, and this might be just what it takes to encourage their interest in the history of our fine community and its people.

Our vision is to provide a mysterious and suspenseful glimpse at one of Abilene’s most notable historic sites while giving families of all income levels a thrilling night of entertainment and fun. Our event is neither terrifying nor gory, unlike many Halloween options, and we pledge to keep it that way. Not only will these children be able to wear their costumes one more time, they will be visiting one of Abilene’s most unique and inspiring historical homes – the only one open to the public.

Trustees of the APL are selling tickets that will be donated to the Alliance for Women and Children’s After School Program and the deployed children of Dyess Airmen. Admission prices are kept low so that families can enjoy Haunted Abilene. All proceeds benefit the Abilene Preservation League and the Swenson House.

Your sponsorship supports our mission of   preserving historic buildings and promoting historic preservation.

If you would like to become a $150 sponsor, or discuss larger sponsorship opportunities that carry naming opportunities, please call us at 325-676-3775 extension 1.

Here’s a list of the great companies and individuals who are helping put on Haunted Abilene.

Buying tickets

Ticket store is open!!
Eventbrite - Haunted Abilene 2013

Here are the steps to get the tickets you want:

1. Decide which night you want to attend:
Friday, October 25th or Saturday, October 26th

2. What kind of ticket?
Combination (includes trolley) or house only?
(Combination is $20 per person, house only is $10.00 per person)
(If you want the trolley only, please see #4 below)

3. If purchasing combination tickets, decide what what time you would like to board:
7:00 pm departure
7:15 pm departure
7:45 pm departure
8:00 pm departure
8:30 pm departure
8:45 pm departure
9:15 pm departure
9:45 pm departure
10:00 pm departure

4. You’re ready to go to the order page! Eventbrite - Haunted Abilene 2013

5. If you want a Trolley Only Ticket, click here. Choose the trolley departure time and the $15.00 Trolley Only ticket price will be used.


As before, we’re using Eventbrite so you can make your reservation and pay online and choose which trolley departure you would like, or buy tickets only for the Phantom Mansion.

You can also purchase tickets at our office in the Elks Arts Center, 1174 North First at Cedar, on weekdays from 10 am to 5 pm. It is best to call right before you come to make sure we are in.

Our phone number is 325-676-3775 for any questions you may have. Don’t miss Haunted Abilene!

What about little kids?

While Haunted Abilene’s pretty crazy scary, families can bring little ones along and there is plenty to do for them. There is a children’s area for younger children who might not feel comfortable walking through the darkened house and being greeted by its scary visitors. Games and an air castle on the South Lawn will be available in the special children’s area. And for the scariest places, like the carriage house, we’ll post age appropriate warnings.

The trolley ride is always a great thing for the little ones.

Could Captain Pierre Latrice be played by Johnny Depp?

Well, he has the same swagger … but Latrice lived before eyeliner was readily available. Plus, Haunted Abilene doesn’t have a very big budget, and we hear that Johnny is tired of playing pirates, so you can draw your own conclusion.

Who is Isabella … Fort Phantom’s Lady of the Lake?


It was after only a few months of marriage when on a cool October afternoon, the young Pirate Captain and his new bride Isabella decided to go for a sail on Lake Fort Phantom Hill. As they talked of plans for their new home on Swenson Avenue, a sudden and powerful wind came from the North. Barreling down from the clouds with such speed, Isabella was thrown from the boat into the murky waters.

Her body was never found and the Captain was never the same. Returning to the house which he named Phantom Manor, he believed that Isabella would return to that home — if only in spirit. Not realizing the terror he was bringing into the house, he held seances and used voodoo practices begging the powers of darkness to return his Isabella.

Oh yes … Isabella returned and brought with her unimaginable terror. So my guest, we dare you to climb the steps where not only will you hear the creaking of the wood, but also the screams of horror. Are you brave enough to walk through halls inhabited by spirits seeking new bodies? Do you have the courage to enter rooms where nightmares will suck away your soul? Will you be amongst the few who will exit this house? Ahhhhh, we shall SEE, won’t we???