The Catfish Plantation has long been haunted by former residents
of varying personalities that startle the living.
The town of Waxahchie can be seen in such movies as “Places in the Heart”, “Tender Mercies”, and “A Trip to Bountiful” — as well as other TV movies and television series, because of its historical buildings, houses and courthouse.
“Catfish Plantation Re-Opening Soon!!! The Catfish Plantation restaurant has been restored and will re-open on July 1, 2004 And for those who might be wondering… yes… the ghosts are still here.”
— Tom and Melissa Baker
There are three dining rooms with wood burning fireplaces and each room is attractively decorated with antiques. The restaurant was temporarily closed due to restoration/renovation efforts, but is to open again on July 1st, 2004.
The Catfish Plantation Restaurant, which specializes in “Catfish, Cajun, and Down Home Cookin’,’” is located in an 1895 “gingerbread” Victorian House, built by a farmer by the name of Anderson. Located in the middle of a residential neighborhood, it was bought by the Bakers in 1984, to be used as a home and a restaurant location, having no idea that the place had ghosts. It has a big bay window in the front, that looks down on the street that goes into the main part of downtown Waxahchie It has a large, 1895 style front porch, and a big front yard, that is enclosed by a white picket fence. This 1895 house was used as a private residence, up to 1970. It was then used as a doctor’s office, and then was the home of several unsuccessful restaurants, before the Baker family bought it, completely unaware of the resident ghosts.
The Bakers and their patrons have learned to live with and accept the 3 ghosts/spirits. Much was found out about them through experiences of the living, and a lot of psychic research done in the house.
Is described as a woman who with her husband and family lived in the house from 1953 until 1970, when Caroline died, at the age of 80. She doesn’t know that she has died.
Elizabeth Anderson —
The 20 year old daughter of Farmer Anderson was strangled on her wedding day by either her ex-boyfriend, or an old girlfriend of her husband-to-be.
A farmer who lived in the house during the Depression years.
He is the most quiet ghost.
There are also other Psychic Phenomena that happen at the restaurant, that are general symptoms of hauntings.
There are many cold spots, throughout the restaurant, that move around.
Broken clocks with missing parts chime intermittently.
Locked doors unlock themselves, and unlocked doors lock themselves.
Lights go on and off by themselves, as do the water faucets, and the refrigerator doors open and close at will.
ACTUAL EXPERIENCES WITH THESE ENTITIES:
Spirit of Caroline
After first buying this property, Mrs. Baker would commute to Waxahchie to work on the Restaurant, while Mr. Baker still worked in Dallas for a while, finishing up some projects, before the Bakers officially moved in for good. At this time, Mrs. Baker had the only key to the place, and was the first one there in the morning, and was the last one to lock up at night.
One morning, as she was unlocking the door, she smelt the aroma of brewing coffee, and discovered, much to her surprise, that a pot of fresh coffee awaited her, as she walked into the kitchen. (Caroline was being hospitable to this new person, Mrs. Baker, in HER house.)
About three weeks later, Mrs. Baker came in the morning to find the restaurant’s rather large, stainless steel iced tea urn, sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor, with all the coffee cups stacked neatly inside it. (Caroline perhaps was tactfully giving Mrs. Baker a hint to move the restaurant to another site.)
Restaurant employees began to tell Mrs. Baker how coffee cups were flying through the air all by themselves across the rooms, and how a can of freeze-dried chives suddenly left the kitchen shelf it was on, and flew across the room, spewing chives all over the room as it sailed by. Food has also been known to fly out of nowhere, hitting the employees. (Caroline becomes angry and frustrated because of all the strangers in HER house, and because her family no longer comes home for meals. She used to spend a lot of time preparing meals in the kitchen, to feed her family.)
Wine glasses are smashed at such a quick rate, that its hard to keep enough in the restaurant. People can bring in their own wine. (Caroline doesn’t approve of alcohol in HER home).
Spirit of Elizabeth
Elizabeth made her first appearance during a seance held in the dining room, led by a woman, Ruth Jones, a local with psychic talent. There was knocking on the walls, dishes rattled in the kitchen, and the lighted candle in the middle of the table came up “like an explosion of light.” Then, the kitchen door flew open with a bang, and a young woman, dressed in an old wedding gown, floated into the room. Psychics identify her as Elizabeth.
Her presence is detected by the sweet scent of roses, moving cold spots, and actual appearances. This ghost likes to materialize by the bay window in the front of the restaurant, and wistfully looks out toward the direction of downtown, either standing or sitting at a table near this bay window.
She also likes to reach out to people, touching them and is known to follow customers home.
While Mrs. Baker was doing some paperwork one evening, she felt a gentle, cold sensation just on her right hand. She thought that Elizabeth was holding her right hand, for about 15 minutes.
A Dad, Mom and their baby sat down at a table near the bay window, and told the waitress that the baby’s name was Alicia. While the Mom was eating her dinner, she happened to look up from her meal, and saw that the name Alicia had been written in the mist of the window. This writing was confirmed by the waitress and Mr. Baker. No one living could have done it, without being physically seen.
Elizabeth once followed a lady customer home from the restaurant, for a short visit, perhaps prompted by this lady’s sympathetic thoughts for Elizabeth, felt and expressed during the lady’s meal. Elizabeth appeared to her by her bed at 11:30 pm that night. This gentle ghost woke her up, and gave her a gift of an old fashioned powder box, in the shape of a lady. After hearing a kind voice saying, “Here you are,” this startled lady saw a solid apparition of a 20 year-old woman from the waist up, between the bed and the bedside clock. The woman’s face was seen quite clearly, and was serene, poised, and calm. She had gentle, “earnest” brown eyes, straight, fine, light brown hair, which she wore close to her head. She was wearing an early 1900 afternoon beige frock, that had a moderately low, round neckline, that was decorated with lace and embroidery.
Spirit of Will
The third ghost, Will, likes to mainly hang around the big front porch, though he does cause some of the cold spots in the restaurant, and maybe some of the other unexplained phenomena. Police, pulling up to the restaurant, have seen a man, dressed in overalls, standing on the front porch. When they get out of the car, and walk toward him, he vanishes right in front of them.
The Bakers have accepted the fact that their restaurant is haunted, and they take it in stride, and make it part of their business. They now give out leaflets in their restaurant, explaining their ghostly housemates, and encourage their patrons to tell them of any ghostly experiences that the patrons have in their restaurant. A sign at the entrance of the restaurant states: “If you have a ghostly experience, please tell us!”
A lot has been done by various parapsychologists, psychics, all for free, because the restaurant is a gold mine of information. Psychic Ruth Jones, and parapsychologists Dwanna Paul and Carol Williams are some of the experts that have been able to shed some light on the Baker’s resident ghosts, which has made living with them much easier.
814 Water Street
Waxahchie is 35 miles south of Dallas on Interstate 35.
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr