Visit spooktacular destinations this Halloween!

Savanna Gregg/Burnet Bulletin
Longhorn Cavern is located an 645.2 acres of land dedicated as a state park in 1932. Humans have sheltered in the caves since prehistoric times and legend has it the cavern serves as a hiding place for the treasure of infamous outlaw Sam Bass.

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Trick-or-treating and pumpkin-carving are enjoyable Halloween activities, but for extra fun and goosebumps this Halloween, visit these spooky area locations:

Longhorn Cavern State Park, 6211 Park Road 4 S, Burnet

Now a tourist attraction for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts, the historic Longhorn Cavern State Park was once just a deep fissure in the earth formed by millions of years of flowing water. The cavern then became a meeting place for Comanche tribes, and in 1848, the Comanches kidnapped an 18-year-old girl during a raid in the area. Three Texas Rangers came in the dark of night, outnumbered by the large number of Native Americans, and rescued the girl after a harrowing battle.

The Comanches were soon kicked out for a time by Confederate soldiers who mined the bat guano found in the cavern to manufacture gunpowder during the Civil War.

The cavern later became a popular place of recreation for the party people of the 20s and 30s before the state of Texas purchased it and the surrounding land to create a state park loved by visitors today.

Along with the historical stories, many legends surround the cool, dark cavern, and it is thought that many outlaws, including the infamous Sam Bass, hid out in the cavern as they evaded the law while wreaking havoc on surrounding communities. These claims have never been proven, but imagine finding the $2 million Bass and his men may have hidden in the depths of the earth in Burnet County.

Longhorn Cavern State Park offers many daily tours through the cave, and though they don't offer paranormal tours anymore, visitors should keep their eyes peeled on a regular walking tour, because you never know what you may see in the shadows of the cavern.

Those brave individuals looking for a scare may encounter the spirit of a soldier, a Comanche war chief, or a 1920's couple dancing to their favorite tune, an echo of the past wishing visitors a Happy Halloween.

Longhorn Cavern State Park is located at 6211 Park Road 4 S, Burnet. The park is open 364 days of the year, and no advanced reservations are needed for groups of less than 20 people. Tickets are $18 for ages 13 and up and $13 for ages three to 12. Weekend prices are $19 and $14.

Dead Man's Hole, County Road 401, Marble Falls

Two miles south of Marble Falls lies a 15-story sinkhole known to everyone as Dead Man's Hole. The area is cloaked in history and a whole lot of mystery, lending visitors a chance to speculate who – and how many – may have been thrown into the depths of the earth so long ago.

The hole was discovered in the 1860's and was a popular dumping ground for Union-sympathizers during the tumultuous Civil War era. A few pioneer Burnet County officials were known to have been thrown down Dead Man's Hole as well, including the first Chief Justice John R. Scott, a New York native.

Scott, though a born Unionist, was a prominent figure in the South, but he was antagonized and threatened by Confederate sympathizers because of his origins, even though he had ties to the Confederate armies.

Scott heeded the warnings of his peers of coming danger and tried to flee, but he was soon mugged and killed by his enemies, who threw his body into Dead Man's Hole, where it stayed until long after the Civil War when his and approximately 16 other bodies were extracted from the deep, dark cavern.

Today, Dead Man's Hole, now a State Historical Site, is a testament to times and conflicts long past, though visitors to the area may find themselves in the company of a few individuals who can't seem to leave.

Baby Head Cemetery, Llano County

Baby Head Cemetery is located nine miles north of Llano on Highway 16, and its grim name makes one wonder about its origin.

Legend has it that Baby Head Mountain, in view of the cemetery, received the eerie title after Native Americans kidnapped and killed a little girl named Mary Elizabeth, dismembering her and leaving her body parts to be discovered by those searching for her.

Settlers named the mountain, cemetery, a creek, and a community in the area by the same title and the community flourished for a time, but now the only glimpse of its past is Baby Head cemetery, which bears images of sadness and despair experienced by white settlers in the late 1800s.

Though no grave has been found for little Mary Elizabeth, many graves in the cemetery belong to children and infants gone too soon from their grieving families making their home in Llano County.

A trip to Baby Head Cemetery may be in store for some this Halloween, but visitors may want to pay their respects to the young lives lost as they stroll through the property and ponder its mysteries.

For the faint of heart, there are many less-spooky Halloween events taking place in the next week. Put your costumes on, lather on that face paint, grab your candy buckets, and travel to some of the following places for some Halloween fun:

Oct. 30

Trunk or Treat, First United Methodist Church, Burnet – 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., 301 East Graves, Burnet.

Oct. 31

Trunk or Treat, Hill Country Fellowship – 6 to 8 p.m., 200 Houston Clinton Drive, Burnet.

Vaughan Street Halloween – 5:30 to 8 p.m., Storefronts down Vaughan Street in Bertram.

Nov. 2

Monster Mash, YMCA of the Highland Lakes – 4 to 9 p.m., 1601 South Water Street, Burnet.

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