The Most Haunted Places In The RGV: The Stillman House in Brownsville

By JOANNA “LUNA” SANCHEZ

Special to the PRESS

The Stillman House in Brownsville, Texas, located at 1325 E. Washington St. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Welcome to The Most Haunted Places In The RGV. I am your narrator, Luna.

On our last story, we visited South Padre Island, where we continued our investigation at the Isla Grand Resort, formerly known as the Radisson Resort. JoeDarkly Vlogs and I were supposed to shoot a video update for The Radisson, but were not able to, due to bad weather. We will have a video update soon, later on in the week.

This week, we are taking you to another part of Cameron County, where many individuals have informed me of high levels of paranormal activity in Brownsville, Texas, at a place called “The Stillman House.” The Stillman House was built in 1850, by Henry Miller, with Charles Stillman (a founder of Brownsville, Texas) moving in with his wife Elizabeth and their two children. Elizabeth moved her children New York, due to the high levels of disease in Brownsville at the time, while Charles stayed behind and expanded his business in Brownsville to make a better life for his family. The house was then owned by Manuel Treviño—sold to him by Stillman in 1858—who maintained the home for 50 years, once making the home the site of the Mexican Consulate.When I got the pleasure of visiting the Stillman home, now a historical museum, I got a chance to speak to some of the employees that have worked there for almost 70 years. I interviewed a lady named Esther who has worked there since 2002, as a housekeeper, taking over from housekeeper Cindo Camario, who worked there for 70 years, but left after experiencing a lot of paranormal phenomena.

Esther told her the things he saw and heard, but she didn’t initially believe him. She also claims that Camario told her of hearing a little girl that would cry and ask for help. Legend has it that there was a little girl who lived there, bound to a wheelchair. The family never let her out into society, because they were ashamed of their child being in a wheelchair, so they locked her away in one of the rooms so others wouldn’t see her. The little girl would plead with her parents to let her come out to play when other children would visit the family and they denied her plea. The little girl later died in the Stillman House, and many people claim they still hear and see her in the house, asking for someone’s help to let her out. Esther said one day, when she was cleaning the Stillman House, that she herself saw the little girl in the hallway. Esther asked her if she was lost, and the little girl asked her for help in a very faint voice.

Esther says she little girl isn’t the only spirit that is in the Stillman House. She told me that when she was in the kitchen, towards the back of the house, she was getting things ready to close up when she locked one of the side doors. Esther heard banging on the
door, as if someone had been locked out. When she opened the door, no one was there. She thought nothing of the situation and locked the side door again, only to hear someone banging against the door again. She ran back to the door to open it and the banging stopped. Esther continued to close down the museum when she claims that she saw a man standing in the house, dressed in 1920s attire, speaking calmly as he described Esther’s deceased husband.

She claims that the man described everything that her husband wore before they buried him, and she was stunned, because no one else knew what her husband was buried in but her and her family. Esther says that she had no idea who this man was and shocked how he knew all this information. Esther says that after the man walked away, all the cleaning supplies on the shelf fell to the ground. Esther followed the man inside but he was gone. Another employee that walked in to speak to Esther asked her what was going on, and Esther asked her, “Did you see the man that just walked out of here?” The employee told her “No! What man? I didn’t see anyone walk in or out of the house!” Esther was confused, but says she never saw the man again.

I took it upon myself to do a little investigating of my own after I interviewed Esther, and I, too, had a paranormal experience of my own. I walked into the house, with my voice recorder on, and asked the usual questions, like “are there any spirits here that would like to
speak?” But I got no response. I walked into the hallway and I took some photos to see if I captured any orbs or anomalies, and one of the photos I took seemed to stay out of focus. I turned to the left to take another picture and when I looked at one of the mirrors I saw something and I got really scared. I stood there frozen, not knowing what to expect, so I decided to walk very slowly in case there was something there. I walked carefully toward the mirror with my camera recording, so if in fact I saw something, it would come out on camera. When I turned the corner to see who or what it was, I began to laugh at myself for being such a scaredy cat, because the reflection I saw wasn’t an entity: it was a mannequin! I felt so ridiculous after I saw it and was still laughing.

I kept walking, continuing my investigation with my voice recorder and asking other questions. I walked up to the room where employees claimed to have seen, and heard, the little girl and asked, “What is your name?” How old are you?” After my investigation I thanked the employees and Esther for letting me visit and experience the Stillman House Museum. Later on that day. when I got home. I decided to go back and listen to my voice recording to see if I caught any paranormal entities that wanted to be heard. At first I heard nothing, but when I listened closer to when I asked for a name, I could hear loud breathing, and I thought. maybe it’s just me and thought nothing of it. When I got to the part of when I asked, “How old are you?” I heard someone say “Luna!” in response. I replayed the recording and again, hearing my name “Luna!”

If you have a similar story, please feel free to contact me at joannasanchez3232@gmail.com. We will be more than happy to get your story. Don’t forget to check out our videos @JoeDarkly Vlogs on YouTube.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.portisabelsouthpadre.com/2019/11/14/the-most-haunted-places-in-the-rgv-the-stillman-house-in-brownsville/

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