Catfish Plantation Restaurant –Ellis County, Waxahachie, Texas
814 Water Street
Waxahachie, Texas 75165
Waxahachie, the “Picture Perfect Town.” Well known for its beautiful scenery and homes, as well as, its historical buildings, this town has been the backdrop for such movies as “Bonnie and Clyde,” starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway and “Places in the Heart,” starring Sally Field. As a matter of fact, several movies and television shows have been filmed here. However, Hollywood’s finest are not the only visitors to this town. If you travel down to the west end of Water Street you might just find some visitors from beyond the grave residing in the infamous Catfish Plantation Restaurant.
A farmer named Anderson built this Gingerbread-Victorian style home in 1895. Later on the house was passed down to Mr. Anderson’s daughter, Elizabeth. In the early 1920’s, Elizabeth was found dead in the house, murdered by strangulation on her wedding day. Then, a decade later, during the Great Depression, a farmer named Will was residing in the house. Will also died inside of the home, due to unknown causes. Finally, in 1970, another resident named Caroline, died inside of the house at the age of 80, presumably from old age. These three deaths are believed to be the cause of the paranormal activity that still occurs today.
After the death of Caroline, the home on Water Street housed three restaurants and then sat vacant for several years until Tom and Melissa Baker purchased it in 1984, turning it into the famous Catfish Plantation Restaurant.
Since 1984, there have been uncountable occurrences reported by the owners, employees, patrons, news crews and paranormal investigators.
In 1984, after purchasing the home, Mrs. Baker commuted back and forth while the house was being renovated. One morning Mrs. Baker unlocked the door and walked in to find a pot of coffee already brewing when no other person had been in the house. On another occasion, just a few weeks later, Mrs. Baker came in to find her large iced teapot sitting on the kitchen floor with coffee cups stacked inside of it.
Employees of the Catfish Plantation have experienced coffee cups, wine glasses, cooking herbs and food being thrown through the air by unseen hands, as well as, dishes rattling for no reason, pounding on the walls and fast-moving cold spots! This kitchen menace is thought to be the spirit of Caroline, who apparently loved cooking and who doesn’t seem to appreciate the restaurant that now occupies “her” house.
The full-bodied apparition of Elizabeth made her presence known during a séance held in the house. During the séance the lit candle in the center of the table burst into an explosion of light. Then the door to the kitchen burst open revealing a woman in a wedding gown. The specter then floated into the room before disappearing before everyone’s eyes! The spirit of Elizabeth has also appeared several times in front of the bay window, gazing outside toward town. In addition to her appearance, Elizabeth’s spirit is usually accompanied by the scent of roes and icy cold spots.
Elizabeth is also thought to have followed one patron home one night. Apparently the customer had expressed sympathy for the spirit of Elizabeth. This poor woman was awakened at 11:30 at night to find the apparition standing at the foot of her bed. She claimed that Elizabeth was only visible from the waist up and that the restless spirit gave her an old-fashioned powder box in the shape of a lady.
The third spirit in the house, Will, has been seen standing on the front porch of the restaurant in bib overalls. Most of the people who have seen him say that when they tried to approach him, he quickly disappeared.
Some of the other paranormal claims here include; a broken clock that still occasionally chimes, doors unlocking themselves, lights going on and off on their own, water faucets unexplainably turning on and the refrigerator doors being opened and closed by unseen hands.
The haunting of the Catfish Plantation Restaurant has become an accepted part of the business for the Bakers. Today they have a sign at the entrance that reads: “If you have a ghostly experience, please tell us!”
As for the three restless spooks, they’re still there and still quite active!