Haunted El Paso: The Supernatural Tales of the Former Houston Elementary
Ysleta High School, Austin High School and, of course, El Paso High are among the many schools in the city purported to be haunted. And until I learned about College Career Technology Academy (CCTA), I thought I had heard all the local stories.
The rechristened CCTA -- formally known as Houston Elementary -- is said to be one of the most haunted schools in El Paso, but until recently it wasn't even on my haunted building radar.
After an internet search and conversations with our radio listeners, it turns out there are quite a few supernatural tales of bizarre goings-on in that school.
The Ghosts of Houston Elementary (Now CCTA)
Lucy called in to the radio show and told us that when she was a volunteer at Houston Elementary back in the day staff would always talk about what she referred to as "the man dressed in black." According to Lucy, he would appear and then quickly disappear, and recounted how the ghostly apparition once brought the office secretary to tears.
Houston Elementary Man in Black & Touched by a Ghost
Another one of our listeners, who goes by LibertyBelle, currently works at the Raymond Telles Academy, which is adjacent to CCTA and part of the huge complex that housed the former Houston Elementary. “My office is right next to the principal’s office," she told us in an app chat.
"And although I’ve never seen the supposed man in all black, I have experienced a few things. When the principal is not in his office, I hear a lot of movement in there. There have been times the faucets in the restrooms are on for example when we get back from the weekends."
LibertyBelle adds that when she has to go to the supply room, which is in the basement, she "sometimes get a pretty uneasy feeling so I just grab the supplies I’m down there for in a hurry and get the heck out of there."
Listener Ghostly Experiences
A passage in the 2003 book “Spirits of the Border:The History and Mystery of El Paso Del Norte,” which recounts the alleged hauntings of numerous locations around El Paso, supports the stories our listeners shared with us.
Authors Ken Hudnell and Connie Wang relate how throughout the years of its existence, teachers and students have reported “strange noises and doors opening and shutting” and that campus police responding to intruder alarms “have heard sounds of people walking in empty hallways, lockers being shut, [and] voices carrying on conversations in empty classrooms.”
Like I always say when it comes to the paranormal and the supernatural: we report, you decide.