From its inception as a convenient place to drive cattle across the Brazos to the Tornado that leveled downtown in 1953, Waco has a lot of stories. Some of them more ghoulish than others. Tomorrow night a Waco couple—who happen to moonlight as ghost hunters—will kick-off a monthly ghost tour, telling some of those stories. And as KWBU’s Ryland Barton reports, the couple says they’ve found some haunted buildings…right in downtown Waco.
"If you remember back to your childhood and start hollerin for your parents there’s a monster in your closet, there’s a ghost in my room your parents would come in and say there’s no such thing as ghosts," says Mike Jacobus. He and his wife Cindy say everyone can see ghosts. Some just forget how.
"Ghosts ain’t real, there’s no such thing," Mike Jacobus continues. "And you get to hearing that over and over again. You get conditioned—there’s not any ghosts you lose that ability."
Mike and his wife Cindy are ghost hunters. They're part of a group called Mclennan County Paranormal Investigators. But they’re also historians—they’ve dug up a lot of stories about old Waco during their investigations. And starting this weekend they’re tying those stories into a monthly ghost tour.
"This has been three years, two and a half years in the making," Mike Jacobus says. "We have interviewed a lot of people, we have had people share their stories from their grandfathers or great grandfathers that actually lived in that age about how life was. It’s not going to be a scary tour."
"It’s going to be history based and what we’ve found on our investigations. So—historic ghosts," Cindy Jacobus adds.
They’ll be bringing some of their ghost hunting equipment along on the tour. They use infrared cameras and electromagnetic field detectors to try and identify deviations in the environment…possible indicators for paranormal activity.
"It is believed that when a spirit tries to manifest or is present and you cant see ‘em they put off this electromagnetic energy. And this is all theory because nobody has ever really died, went over to the other side, did ghostly things and came back to tell the living about it," Mike Jacobus says.
Mike and Cindy have been doing this kind of investigation in Waco since 2008. Their more famous investigations include the Dr. Pepper Museum, the Hippodrome Theater, the Waco Civic Theater and Jasper’s Bar B Que in East Waco. All Haunted. Mike says Jaspers had three ghosts, one of which was a little girl.
"She would ride her little tricycle down to Jaspers to get a grape Nehi," Mike Jacobus says. "And one day she was crossing the street on her tricycle, this car turned the corner, didn’t see her ran over and killed her[…]They have actually in the past, the past owner was having a bread delivery from Mrs. Baird’s bread. He went back to the safe to get money to pay the guy and the guy said, “where’d your daughter go?” When he came back out. And he says “Daughter?” He said ‘yeah that little girl just asked me if what time do they open. And then she went around the back where you were.’ He said ‘Son, I’m the only one here.’"
So, I had to ask. Are ghosts friendly? Cindy says…sometimes.
"You take with you when you die how you are on this earth," says Cindy Jacobus. "If you’re a good person, that goes with you, if you’re mean that goes with you as well. And if they’re still hangin around, they’re still gonna be mean."
And as for Mike? He says friendly or unfriendly…when he goes, he’s gonna be around.
"I tell you what when I die instead of my headstone sayin RIP I want it to say BRB—Be Right Back—I’m gonna haunt the heck outta somebody," says Mike Jacobus.
The first ghost tour will meet in Ninfa’s parking lot this Saturday at 8pm. Tours will take place the first Saturday of every month and cost $20. Find more information on the facebook page of McLennan County Paranormal Investigators. For KWBU News in Waco, I’m Ryland Barton.