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EP 18 & 19: Pioneer Farms I & II

*SPOILER ALERT: The following article contains spoilers for Episodes 18, & 19. Before reading, be sure to listen to Pioneer Farms - Part I & II. Afterward, feel free to check out this "Behind-the-Episode" blog for additional info and photos! And visit our Patreon page for more extras!

Photos for this story courtesy of Thao Photography

Below you'll find photos taken on our first visit to Pioneer Farms on August 17th, 2018. I'm also going to include some other photographs taken on some follow up visits in which we had more light to work with, just so you can get a clearer picture of the property and the many buildings we explored.

This is the general store that was built for the set of a film that matched the era. It's the first building you'll see to your left as you enter the front entrance of the site.

This row of buildings and homes run the length of the left side of the square, just past the general store. There were no reports of unexplained activity in these buildings so we never entered or explored them. Strangely enough, Sara never even bothered walking to this side of the property and did not ask to explore the buildings.

Here volunteer Catherine shows us to the right side of the village.

This is the Wessel Dance Hall.

This is the Aynesworth-Wright House.

And this is the last house you'll pass on your way out of Sprinkle Corner Village - The Orsay House.

The first thing I did when we arrived was sit down and interview long-time Pioneer Farms volunteer Rhonda briefly on the porch of the Tate House, which now operates as the farm's front office. Behind me are volunteers Catherine, Ceirdwn, and Chuck.

I did my best to capture as much testimony as I could while we waited for everyone to arrive and take the long journey to explore the entire farm.

Chuck and I discussed his sighting of the cowboy and the history of the Chisholm Trail. And others shared small anecdotes.

Soon the sun was setting and we were finally ready to begin our tour, exploring every inch of this place, the best we could. From here on out, I'll share photos from both our walks walks around this magnificent place, by ourselves and when Sara arrived as well.

Here Sara was pulled to the Orsay house, seeing a tall shadow figure in the windows.

The shadow figure she described matched what Rhonda had reported seeing standing at the picket fence at this exact location.

After the energy at the Orsay house grew upset, we pushed on down the trail. Sara kept getting asked the question "Where am I?" from many of the spirits she was encountering. She was unaware of it at the time, but we all knew that the majority of the buildings on this property were transplanted here from other parts of town or even other towns. So I was curious if the spirits she was seeing came with the buildings and were no lost and confused on these grounds.

The trail comes to a fork and you can go left or right. We chose to go right both times and knew it would circle us back around to the other side eventually.

At this fork, if you look to your right, you'll see a tiny stagecoach stop. This is where Sara spotted a man with a banker-type hat waving.

Kruger Farm Homestead during the day

Although we hadn't had any reports at this homestead, Sara was pulled to it and found a male spirit not of the era of the building residing on this property. She believes his name to be Edwin. There was also an elusive female spirit roaming the ground here. When Sara explored the backyard here, she discovered the mysterious portals and believed the spirits were using these to travel throughout various spots on the farm.

Eventually we made it to the Tonkawa encampment and were all in awe of the 500-600 year old oak tree by the banks of Walnut Creek. Behind it you can see the mock teepee and camp set up in the clearing there. Behind where we are standing is a small trail lined with lots of trees and vegetation. This was where Sara noticed the Native American spirits standing guard as we approached this area in the dark.

Moving on past the encampment we began circling back, following the trail that would lead us back around to the front entrance. On this path, our next stop was the Texian Farm or the Jourdan-Bachman Homestead.

The Texian Farm is one of the only original buildings on the premises. It features a dog run cutting through the middle of the home.

This is the kitchen where Alexis and Rhonda had their incident. Alexis felt a tug on his shirt while at the same time Rhonda felt a tug on her thumb. Sara had just mentioned that there was a playful spirit here and when this happened, she quickly learned that it was a child spirit. He was around 5 years old and the name he shared with Sara was Micah.

The parlor area. I believe this is where a male volunteer woke to find his blanket removed from him and folded neatly at the edge of his cot.

This is the bedroom Sara felt that someone was sick in. She also was told the bed and other furniture was arranged differently than how it was displayed here.

This was the parent's bedroom in the homestead.

Our next stop along the trail was the Scarborough Barn. Here was where sightings of a man, or what many referred to as "the cowboy", was seen tending to horses or moving cows into the pen beside the barn.

Approaching it from back this is where I saw a light out of the corner of my eye move along this broad side of the barn from right to left.

Inside the barn, I'm aiming the mic at Sara as she relays the details about "the cowboys" she sees. Here's where all the validations occured. She reported anyone who'd see him would see him working, tending to the animals, and she also stated he was asking for the farm to get cows. If you look at my silhouette, directly behind me is the area Catherine saw "the cowboy" moving cattle into a pen beside the barn. But as we all knew, the farm did not have cows and hadn't for years.

Our last stop on the trail was the infamous Bell House. Alexis stands here at the front gate of the homes picket fence. It's a big yellow house but we somehow all didn't manage to snap a photo of it. Maybe Mrs. Bell had even deterred our cameras! But here Sara felt absolutely nothing, which was strange considering this was the building with the most reported activity. However, Catherine theorized that Mrs. Bell was just protecting the home from all the new strangers and may have made it "appear" to be dead inside. But only time will tell. And we will be back. So stay tuned!

Funny side note, Alexis and I have an inside joke that we've been running with each other for over a decade now. We're both from Texas, grew up in small South Texas towns, so when we started investigating haunted sites in our younger college days, we called ourselves The Ghost Cowboys, just being silly amongst ourselves. Taking this case on we both felt so thrilled to feel like we were back home, investigating a haunted site in a quiet, desolate place like this farm. And the cherry on top was that we actually found a real "ghost cowboy" in this barn behind us. What a phenomenal case this has been and I can't wait to share our concluding findings in Episode 20 on June 24th.

Stay restless out there,

Stephen Belyeu

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