Editor’s note: Don’t go looking for ghosts after hours at Foster Cabin or anywhere else at Log Cabin Village. If you want to visit the ghosts, do it in the daytime and buy a ticket. The Log Cabin Village is owned by the City of Fort Worth and requires admission to visit. Trespassers may face legal penalties.
Towering oaks provide an umbrella for the log buildings below. The trickle of a shallow stream whispers as the slow-spinning wheel of a gristmill splashes sporadic bursts of water. Not far from the mill is an herb garden peppered with vibrantly shaded flowers.
The 109’s Log Cabin Village is a step into the past, featuring historic cabin structures from around Texas dating between 1843 and the 1880s.
But some have said setting foot on the historic site also involves stepping foot into the spirit world.
Foster Cabin, which houses the village staff’s offices and the gift shop, is notorious for potential signs of haunting. Foster was the home of merchandising firm owner Harry Foster and his family. As the story goes, one of Foster’s sons fought in the Civil War and returned injured. The son received medical assistance from a caretaker known as “Ms. Jane.”
Even though the Foster family has long since passed on, village employees over the years have had encounters with Ms. Jane.
Some claim Ms. Jane’s perfume lingers at Foster
Ivette Ray, the curator at Log Cabin Village, said Betty Regester — the village’s former curator who worked there from the 1970s until the early 1990s — claimed to smell strong scents of the lilac perfume Ms. Jane wore and felt cold spots upstairs in the Foster cabin, where Ms. Jane would have likely tended to Foster’s son.
Jeanie Jones, an employee who is stationed at Parker Cabin in the village, has worked at Log Cabin Village for a year and a half. In that time, Jones said, she has heard her fair share of ghost “rumors.”
One in particular took place when Kelli Pickard, director of Log Cabin Village, had a brush with the paranormal in Foster after all the staff had gone home for the day.
“One night, (Pickard) knew she was alone downstairs in Foster after hours and she felt a touch on the shoulder,” Jones said.
Jones’ story might seem chilling, but Gary Freeman, who has also worked for four years in the Marine School, a one-room, board-and-batten schoolhouse built in 1872, said he has heard creepier in his time there. The most chilling, Freeman said, involved a teenage visitor who felt a curious feeling when leaving the village through Foster Cabin, the visitor exit.
“[The teenager] asked, ‘Do you feel that?’” Freeman said. “He was asking if I could sense a presence on the other side of the door when he was leaving.”
Freeman said occurrences like these have brought him to an interesting conclusion: “Some people are more susceptible to the [spirit] activity than others.”
But these experiences have not swayed Freeman, who said he had been in Foster Cabin alone before and had not experienced anything supernatural.
“I’m very open-minded,” he said, “but I don’t believe in [spirit activity].”
Both Jones and Freeman said they are asked often about the “rumors” of haunting, which Log Cabin Village has documented on its website. Jones said she gets the question “about once for every 20 guests.”
Visitors still ask about the hauntings
Freeman said he only gets the question from time to time, but he often hears people claiming there is activity in other cabins than the two rumored to be haunted.
“One lady even swore there was activity in Parker [Cabin],” he said.
Now there’s an instance Jones can attest to. A former employee at the village claimed the lye soap at the sink inside Parker was constantly moving to every corner of the room, Jones said. One moment it would be by the sink, the next moment, it would be on the floor, she said.
But moving soap is pretty harmless, Freeman said. That’s why, “if there are even any ghosts out here, I think they’re friendly,” he said.
Friendly as any potential ghosts might be, gift shop workers David and Michael said in their four years working there, they have seen many “ghost hunter types” come through the village inquiring about Ms. Jane.
Michael said he isn’t buying the “urban legend,” though.
“With these old buildings, you can’t tell if the groanings are from the building or something else,” he said.