Wednesday , 25 April 2018

Myths and Legends: Historic Chestnut Square Investigation

chestnutsquare-4 recently joined TexPart for a paranormal investigation of Chestnut Square Historic Village with the goal of gaining first hand knowledge of not only the history of the site, but also the allegations that many of the homes are haunted.
Dating back 160 years, Chestnut Square Historic Village offers charmingly placed antiques and well preserved furnishings alongside haunting tales of little girls running from the Dulaney Cottage, objects flying from the walls of the Faeries House and a mysterious woman seen standing upstairs in the Dulaney House. Unique vintage decor pieces, some pre Civil War, allow any visitor to be immersed in McKinney’s plentiful history. From the oldest standing home in the city to artifacts dating back to the 1800s, it is no surprise that Chestnut Square has accumulated it’s own myths and legends.
The Faries house, built by John Faries in 1854, is one of the few tangible remnants of what life was like during an era full of change in America’s and McKinney’s history. “Mr. Faires was a skilled craftsman of both metal and wood,” says JJ Rice (founder of TexPart). “The home was originally just the front two rooms with a dog trot connecting the two areas. Mr. Faires son and daughter-in-law moved in to take care of him when he got older and they were the ones that closed in the dog trot and added to the back of the home. The home stayed in the family until 1974 and originally sat one block west of where it is now.”Being at the fore front of the only battle fought in McKinney during the Civil War the Faries House has seen some unfortunate events over time lending itself to allegations of decor being flung across rooms and hair being pulled. As we walked up the steps to the house looming in front of us we couldn’t help but be a little bit nervous. Upon walking inside we were told about some of the characters that are said to haunt the rooms of this house. From the woman who died in the home after her dress caught fire while cooking at the hearth, to the mysterious man seen sitting in one of the bedrooms, the Faries House is one of the more infamous buildings at Chestnut Square Historical Village.
Next we headed to the Dulaney House, built in 1916 for Joseph Dulaney’s wife. It’s beautiful prairie-style structure stands out amongst the smaller homes within Chestnut Square and holds a place in McKinney’s history. Doors swinging open on their own and apparitions of a woman upstairs are among the claims within the home. Knowing this, TSB was equally as nervous about going into this house as we were to enter the Faries House. Walking on the creaky floor boards with cameras and voice recorders in hand, we tried to stay as calm as possible so that we could try and capture some sort of evidence to prove the legends abounding within the walls of the Dulaney home. After the group convinced us to freely walk through the halls and up into the attic where people report seeing a woman in white through the windows we relaxed and continued on our journey to the next house.
While the Dulaney House may have slamming doors, the Dulaney Cottage, built in 1875 has more playful hauntings. Some claim to see a little girl running from the Dulaney House to the Dulaney Cottage and others report seeing the rope in the front living room swinging back and forth when there is no wind. To be honest, the house just creeped us out. Maybe it was the ominous red lighting or just the setting itself, but either way we decided we were much more comfortable with the lights on. As we explored the rooms of the house members of the other group said that they actually heard the voice of a small girl in the upstairs bedroom. Could this be the little girl that is seen running back and forth outside?
History may be in the past, but take just one step inside of Chestnut Square and history comes alive. If you’re there long enough who knows….you just might see something for yourself.
If you missed last week’s article on Pecan Grove Cemetery be sure to take a look at it here.
Check back next week to see what TSB discovers as we tour some of the haunted store fronts of the McKinney Square.
By Sawyer Erickson and Emily Garrison
Photos by TSB’s Sawyer Erickson

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