LOCATION - Just outside of Karnes City
HOURS - By Appointment Only
OWNER - Karnes County Historical Society
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY - High. EVP Audio (electronic voice phenomenon), Shadow Figures, Demonic Presences, Moving Objects, Physical Attacks
Helena Texas was once on pace to far surpass San Antonio as the next big city in San Antonio, many thought it would be bigger than Dallas. Helena was the halfway stopping point for wagons transporting goods from the coast to San Antonio. Helena boasted a college, library, and several stores, along with multiple saloons. It was even poised to be the next stop for the railroad, which would have really put them on the map. All that came to a screeching halt after William Butler, the county's richest rancher, cursed the town for murdering his son. Within a year, his curse of killing the town that killed his son became reality. With his help the railroad avoided Helena, stores began to close, businesses moved to nearby Karnes City, and finally residents voted to move the county seat from Helena to Karnes City.
Helena's problem was the outlaws that seemed to be attracted to the town. It was filled with lawless individuals, many of whom were on the run. It was an awful place; sheriff’s lasted two weeks at most. Murders, and hangings were commonplace. The worst of the worst came to Helena, because they felt safe there. There were a few good people, like the Ruckman family, one of the founding family's of Helena. Their huge three-story mansion still stands in amazing condition today. Their house was a safe place from the lawlessness that was Helena. The town also hosted a Masonic lodge with a very dedicated membership and following. It is believed that the inner circle of this lodge, known as the Knights of the Golden Circle were the catalysts for the civil war. Not just the lodge in general, the exact inner circle of the Helena post. During the civil war support in Helena for the confederacy ran strong, so much so the US Calvary had to come to Helena to fight an uprising AFTER the war. Reports say the US Army hung 300 men in one year. It was a rough town; in a rough time...some say Helena made Tombstone look like a Sunday school picnic.
Now, Helena is a whispering ghost of what once was. Preserved by the Karnes County Historical Society, the original courthouse still stands and other buildings have been moved nearby. A barn, farm house, the post office and jail cells. Across the street sits the remains of an old saloon, the only remnant from the many that were once popular spots in Helena. The old building that housed the lodge and a general store sit next to the historical society's square. Then down the road lies the Ruckman house.
Paranormal activity runs rampant all throughout Helena, not just a certain buildings. It's not necessarily the buildings; it's the land itself. So much tragedy happened here, the haunting continues. Some claims have even been made that a demonic presence resides in the Ruckman mansion; several photographs have surfaced of someone peering out the windows with a human body and an animal head. Helena may prove to be just as dangerous as it once was.
1. "Get Mommy"
4. Disembodied Voice
Special Thanks to Barry Harrin for his insight on Helena, Texas. For more on Helena, get his book *Here*.