Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Richard Moya Park (Southeast Austin)

"To those uninterested in or oblivious to the paranormal, Richard Moya Park, a wooded tract of land along the banks of Onion Creek, is best known for its bridge, which consists of three black-iron spans that were once located in downtown Austin. Initially constructed at a cost of $45,000, it served as a toll bridge for just two-and-and-half years, until June 18, 1886, when it was closed and then removed to make way for a wider span. The history of the bridge is briefly described on a Texas Historic Landmark marker erected at its south end in 1980 ... 

... What the marker does not say is that the bridge itself is believed by many to be haunted and has been the subject of numerous ghostly tales over the past century, most of which allude to an ill-fated romance that ended in violent death. Many visitors to this Blackland Prairie site, especially those who have actually walked across the bridge, have also reported seeing apparitions of various sorts. For what it is worth, the site in Austin where the bridge used to be located has no accounts of paranormal phenomena whatsoever associated with it as far as I am able to ascertain (it is, however, noted for being home to about 250,000 bats and for having one of the most impressive twilight emergences in the country.)" 

Those are the first two paragraphs of my chapter on Richard Moya Park for Ghosthunting San Antonio, Austin, and Texas Hill Country! Between them appears the text from the historical marker at the site, as shown below left; below right, a view of rain-swollen Onion Creek; below center, one of the ponds formed by recent flooding at the site; bottom left, a friendly lizard that is not the worst thing I have ever encountered in a public restroom; bottom right, the back entrance to Richard Moya Park from Moore's Bridge Road and a possible means for investigating the bridge at night despite the park being closed during hours of darkness. 



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