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Dawn at the Alamo

by James L. Choron

A Ghost Encounter and Chilling Tales
of Ghostly Experiences at the Alamo

Book Hotel Here > San Antonio Hotels
James L. Choron
I guess everyone knows that I'm originally from Texas, and that even though it's been several years since I was last "home", I am still a devoted and dedicated Texan. This shows up in a good many ways, the most obvious is the fact that I'm a "history nut" who enjoys reading and researching events, particularly historically related ghosts and hauntings from my native state.

Texas is a very old place, by American standards, having once been a Spanish colony, part of "New Spain", and, therefore, settled long before the rest of the United States. Aside from Saint Augustine, Florida, the cities of San Antonio and Nacogdoches, Texas are the oldest permanent cities in the United States.

The city of San Antonio, in particular, has a number of buildings known to have spirit entities present and to be the subject of active hauntings. One of them, by far the most famous of the lot, is the Alamo.

Everyone who visits the Alamo, especially native Texans, has some kind of "experience". Most of the time, it's simply a sense of awe, or an overpowering sense of the immensity of what took place on the spot. In my own case, being a natural sensitive, it took a slightly different tone.

Alamo, San Antonio, Texas
The Alamo
Photo courtesy Chia-Wei Wang, August 2006

In the summer of 1990, I took my children, Erich, Megan and Heather to see the Alamo and the other sites in San Antonio. I had waited until I thought that they were old enough to understand the significance of the place, or at least the two oldest were. Erich was eight years old at the time, Megan was six, and Heather had just turned four. It was not the first trip to the Alamo, for me, by any means, but, it was, as usual, an awe-inspiring experience. No one who has ever heard the story of the Alamo, let alone seen any of the movies made about it, can ever forget it.

At first, it looks a bit small, tiny, in fact, in comparison to the modern skyscrapers that surround it. That's because only two of the original structures remain, and they are of Spanish Colonial construction, low and compact, dwarfed by their present surroundings. Not so, a century and a half ago, when the sprawling old mission dominated the area to the North of what was then the city of San Antonio. Much of what was once inside the walls of the Alamo is now under pavement, or inside the walls of buildings which have sprung up around it (many of which are said, by their inhabitants, to be haunted by spirits from the famous battle), as San Antonio spread to take in the area in which the Alamo is located. One must remember that in 1836, the Alamo was not actually "in" San Antonio, at all, but rather, on the outskirts of the, then, sleepy little town, over a mile from the center of the city, across the river, past "La Villita" the nameless "little village" that bordered San Antonio, in open country.

I had a pretty full schedule lined up for us, so we arrived at the Alamo fairly early in the morning, wanting to see it first, then go on and tour the other old Spanish missions and then go down the famous "River Walk" and see the other historic sites in the old section of San Antonio before going to the Tower of the Americas and the Texas Folklife Center, and, of course the San Antonio Zoo and Busch Gardens. In any case, the kids enjoyed the "tour", especially Erich and his oldest sister, Megan, who seemed to be totally spellbound by everything around her. She was completely silent for the entire hours that we were in the Alamo, which is completely out of character for "Miss Marching Through Georgia", who has never, to date, held still for over five minutes in her entire life. Megan, at that age, could, in fact, create more raw havoc in a totally empty room than a Viking raid or Sherman's March to the Sea (where she got the nickname.) and I should have suspected something when she showed so much interest in something as "dull" as history. But Erich is my "sensitive". He always has been, and still is. He is the one who seems to have inherited my "talent". Up until that time, while not doubting it, Megan had simply seen it as "interesting" and something that "daddy" and "brother" had. and she didn't. Nothing to worry about or get upset over.

As we were leaving the Alamo, Megan looked behind her and waved, then softly and very somberly said "goodbye Jamie" (she pronounced it "Hymie" as in Spanish). which is something that she had no way of knowing, at the time. I looked around to see who she was waving to, thinking that she had met some new little friend on the tour, and to my surprise, no one was in sight. When I asked her who she was talking to, she said "Jamie". There he is, right there. She pointed to a spot directly in front of the Alamo's doors. No one was there. I told her that I didn't see anyone, that he must have gone back inside. Then, she said, no. there he is, and pointed. I still didn't see anyone. She then described him to me: a Mexican boy, about fifteen or sixteen years old, wearing cotton pants, a white cotton shirt, sandals and a tall black hat. She said that he had stood beside her the whole time we were in the Alamo, and told her about the battle. "He said that he was there. He said that he's been here an awfully long time and can't go home. "He was sad, but he was glad that he found me to talk to".

Now, my daughter does not have an imagination. If she says she saw something, she saw it. Being a sensitive, myself, I had no doubt that she had seen the Mexican boy, just as I had no doubt, from the way she said he was dressed, that he had been a soldier in Santa Anna's army, and that he had, most likely, died on that long ago March Sunday morning in 1836. I can't help but wonder how many other little children he has befriended over the years, and if it helps him pass the long days that must hang over him terribly. I have also often wondered, why, someone so young, did not pass on. Is he somehow tied to the spot where he died, so young? Is he somehow "lost" and trying to go home to some long gone and forgotten village in Mexico?

That was the beginning of what turned into a substantial paranormal interest in the Alamo, on my part. For close to fifteen years, now, I have collected stories of the paranormal associated with this particular place, and filed them aside from my usual investigations. It seems that every six months, or so, I come up with a new incident, or at least "new" to me.
For decades, people from all walks of life have told chilling tales of ghostly experiences at the Alamo. ... next page

James L. Choron
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