top of page

EP 1: Ink, Coffee, & Spirits

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

Sometimes life takes you places you don’t expect…like a haunted tattoo shop in the heart of Austin, Texas.

*SPOILER ALERT: The following blog post contains spoilers for Episode 1! Before reading on, listen to this amazing story here! Afterward, make sure to check out this "Behind-the-Episode" blog for behind-the-scenes photos and info!

Last year I was toying with the idea of finding a way to explore my interest in the paranormal while satisfying my passion for storytelling simultaneously. Thoughts of a blog or podcast were floating around in my head, but honestly I didn’t know which I should pursue.

One evening I stumbled on an article in Austin360 about a local coffee shop being haunted. Something internally told me to go grab a cup of joe and see if I could get any of the employees there to talk. My wife encouraged me and loaned me an old recorder she had from her photo journalism days at Syracuse University . Why not, I thought. I didn’t know what I was doing exactly, but I felt confident I’d figure it out along the way.

Spider House — 2908 Fruth St. Austin, TX

It took me a bit to build up the nerve to start asking the servers questions, but eventually I did. Sadly, many of them had heard of the eerie rumors of the coffee shop being haunted, but hadn’t had any actual experiences themselves. An hour went by and I felt I’d hit a dead end until someone offered up the suggestion that I try talking to the tattoo shop next door.

Artists’ would come in the morning to find their stations messed up. Glass would be broken on a consistent basis. It got bad enough that employees felt whatever was in shop was following them home.

Royal Legion Tattoo — Austin, Texas

There was mention of this shop in the Austin360 article I read. It came back to me when I saw the neon red glowing sign in the distance. Although the article focused heavily on the Spider House, it did mention an adjacent tattoo shop reporting some activity also. I thanked the server, paid my tab, and took to the stairs of Royal Legion Tattoo.

The shop was a great space. You felt at home the moment you walked in. Well for me anyway. There was incense burning, heavy metal coming from the speakers, dim lighting, and art all over the walls, the counters, and hanging from the ceiling. I got a chance to chat with some employees and quickly learned this place was actually experiencing some serious paranormal activity. They briefed me on some of the most common occurrences but told me to reach out to the owner of the shop, Raymond Wallace, to see if he’d be interested in telling me about some of the experiences.

I left that night excited about what might unfold next. I reached out to Ray as soon as I got home. He got back to me the very next day and we set up a time to meet at his shop and chat.

Ray Wallace outside his shop - Royal Legion Tattoo

Ray’s stories were fascinating. The sh