April Slaughter
several times, and always received the same answers. If there was indeed a woman speaking with us that night on the bridge, we were unable to determine who she was or why she was there. It is interesting to note that many groups have also reported capturing EVPs of a woman’s voice on Old Alton Bridge. Some have even captured photographs of what they believe to be a smoky apparition of a woman floating across the bridge.
    Does a woman’s spirit roam the area looking for her baby? Perhaps the spirit of Mrs. Washburn is searching for the children she once loved and lost. Is there a creature keeping watch over the woods that is half-goat, half-man? Is Mr. Washburn still guarding those who wish to make a safe passage across? All I know for certain is that something or someone is out there at Old Alton Bridge.

CHAPTER 7
    The Bull Ring FORT WORTH

    The Bull Ring drink and ice cream shop (April Slaughter)
    I HAVE TRAVELED ALL OVER the United States visiting some of the country’s most famous “haunts.” I have seen and experienced some rather amazing things in the years since my fascination for the paranormal first began. Having the opportunity to travel with my mentors and friends to places I otherwise would never have been able to visit has truly changed my life. While the more well-known places are definitely fun, some of my most treasured memories have been created in places rarely talked about or known at all in paranormal circles.
    Sometimes, I come across a place that doesn’t have a reputation for being haunted at all, a place that speaks to me and sits quietly in the background as if it were waiting for me to discover it. I have found many of these places over the years; one in particular is the Bull Ring in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, an
area rich in history and perfectly primed for more than its fair share of ghost stories.
    Over the span of twenty-four years—from 1866 to 1890—more than four million head of cattle came through Fort Worth as drovers pushed their herds up the Chisholm Trail. The city quickly became known as “Cowtown” and was the last chance for the men to rest and gather their supplies before crossing the Red River into Indian Territory. A rough-and-tumble part of town just south of the courthouse became famously known as “Hell’s Half Acre,” as it had a reputation for attracting the more violent and lawless type of crowd.
    Business was good in the Stockyards, however, despite having suffered through drought and fires that resulted in large amounts of structural damage and the death of many livestock. Success continued through both World Wars, but eventually sales slowed as trucking replaced the railways as a primary means of shipping cattle to their destinations.
    The North Fort Worth Historical Society, established in 1976, sought to preserve the history of Cowtown by working to restore much of what was deteriorating in the city. That same year, the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historical District was also established. Most of what might have been lost has undergone restoration, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Texas today.
    One sunny spring afternoon, Allen and I were visiting the Stockyards to research a couple of other locations in the area. The streets were lined with cars, and there were so many people walking the sidewalks it was nearly impossible to get anywhere quickly. We had been in town for an hour or so when we stopped into the General Store to take a look around. I bought a few little things for my kids and asked the young man at the register if he knew where I could get a cup of coffee.
    “Just down the street, there is the Bull Ring. If you’re looking
for a good cup of coffee, that would be the place to go,” he said.
    It took us only a couple of minutes to reach the entrance, and as we stepped inside Allen and I found ourselves instantly smitten with the place. A large wooden Dr. Pepper sign hung on the wall just behind the long

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